This New Year's Eve will be the first time ever that I will not be in my hometown of Erie celebrating. As a traditionalist, I rarely branch out from my normal routines. Every other year I would spend New Year's with my family and we would watch New Year's Rockin Eve and have a fancy dinner. This was always pleasant and enjoyable, and it will be memories I will always cherish. It was the one night a year we ate whatever we wanted, and had course after course of food. We toasted the New Year with sparkling grape juice, and that was that.

Instead of this routine, I will be celebrating in Nashville, Tennessee. This city, much bigger than my hometown, will be new to me. I will for the first time see what it is like to celebrate New Year's outside of my own town, and experience a new adventure. I think that beginning the year in this way will be a positive kickstart to a more adventurous outlook on life. I want to take 2017 in stride, and be more willing to try new things.

I say this as I realize that I will complete my undergraduate years of college at Allegheny in the winter of 2017, and be thrust into the real world and go to graduate school in 2018. So, I know that in a way 2017 will be my last year of true freedom before stepping into adulthood. Not to say that I'm completely free now. I have a million obligations and responsibilities, but I am still a younger adult undergrad. This is why I must make the most of the upcoming New Year.

Though I don't often believe in resolutions as I feel they can be made at any point during the year and are often broken, I want to go into 2017 with a different outlook. I place so much emphasis on striving for achievement and this has gotten me far, but it has come at the cost of losing chances to relax and not be stressed. My trip to Nashville will be fairly brief but I hope that the time I spend there will be the beginning of my quest to let go, and be open to experiences.

Perhaps this is asking too much from a trip, but I am excited as I prepare in the days leading up to it, and am ready to enjoy myself. I will go into this trip with less expectations and more ease to just enjoy my time there, and this will hopefully continue long after the ball drops on New Year's. I realize that I cannot change completely, in fact, I don't want to, I like routine and tradition regardless of my 2017 wishes, but maybe I will place less emphasis on this and more emphasis on enjoying myself in the surroundings I live in. Cheers to the New Year!