Welcome To 2017!
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Welcome To 2017!

Go make it big!

Welcome To 2017!
Mrinal Jha

Apparently, 2016 was bad. I thought it was good. In fact it was pretty darn great. Maybe the theory of relativity applies. 2015 was so bad that relative to that 2016 just involuntarily felt better.

But I think there was more to it than just comparison. There was growth. I found myself making conscious decisions. Last year, during fall semester my GPA fell so much, I almost went on academic probation. I didn't though so that's better than worse?! Once winter break of 2015 began and everyone was engrossed in the holiday season, I saw the happy smiles around me and it occurred to me how glum I looked. I was listening to sad, trashy Bollywood songs on Christmas day instead of listening to jingle bells or something cheerful. The bells weren't ringing. The clock was ticking though. It kept reminding me that I was in America to do better than crying and shedding tears, hair and weight. I was actually living a dream. I needed to make the most of that opportunity.

I'm from what they call the city of dreams in India - I'm from Bombay! I know how many people come to my city with unfathomable dreams. I know how difficult it is to get the opportunity to fulfill one. I did, and I was wasting it. Not cool.

So, I used the break to find things to do. I went for a songwriting retreat all by myself. I travelled from Michigan to California with my blank poetry book with the hope of filling some pages. I filled many. I wrote 4 songs and even got to perform them in the first week of 2016 in Monterey. That boosted some confidence.

I had always been very self-confident, ever since I was a kid. I never pitied myself; I never let anybody else tell me I was not worth something. I've always been worth everything. And then suddenly, I pitied myself at every instance as though self-pity was the oil running my deactivated engine.

Once I got back for spring semester, I had three days before college started. I used it to eat pizza and think how I can make it different from the last cause I knew it had to be. I lied on my bed, which had seen numerous tears in that past year, I felt pity for my bed sheet, which obviously was sick of the salty treatment. I tried making a joke. Was it lame? Don't tell me yet.

Anyway, I was scared. The memories and flashbacks from those terrible nights spent on the same bed scared me. What if this semester walked down the same horrible path? I would be doing harm to myself but also to others invested in making my time here not only wonderful but also possible (especially financially!).

But then, I told myself it would be better. I will make it happen. I had a plan. It was simple. It was two words: Be happy. That was it. I went back to reading some of my own poetry, and of course I wrote some more. I danced a little to absolutely no music, or maybe to the music I created in my own mind.

When the semester started, I woke up at 5 am for the first few weeks to do my readings. I went for breakfast, which I must have collectively eaten 15 times in the 3 semesters before the one I had just started. I started seeing some A's on my papers. That encouraged me further. I applied for positions and got them. I found peace in a new best friend. I went to New York to record my first song ever. It was one of the 4 songs I had written in the beginning of the year. I got a chance to do some spoken word too!

And this was still March. By the time the semester ended, I had raised my GPA to 3.3 from a 2.2. That's something. As the year progressed, I had a job for the summer, I got the chance to travel; go to DC for 4th of July. I met some amazing people. I also finally went home after one whole year! I had decided to go back only when I could smile. I didn't want my parents to see a grumpy kid despite everything they did for me (which they did the last time I was home).

I went home. My best friend followed me. We had a great time and whatever little time I had with my family only added to my happiness. I came back this past semester to be on the executive boards of 4 clubs. I also came back to 4 jobs and directing one of the most successful culture shows our college has ever had. And more importantly, I came back to ME! So much had changed from my first fall to my second and then to my third.

So, 2016 sucked for many. But for me, 2016 was the year closest to my heart. I truly learned to be independent. I learned how to bring a smile to my own face, without anybody else, without anything else.

You can now leave me in a room alone, and come back hours later to find me smiling. That's what this year was to me. I wrote many poems, made new friends, drank a lot, oh btw I also turned 21! And I realized from the messages I received for New Year's that so many people consider me their best friend, so many people fall back upon me, and that I have created a version of myself that's even better than the one I lost.

This year was significant. I saw many new faces, places and innumerable such sights that I will forever cherish. I learned that only our own achievements can uplift us. And we must do that for ourselves. We owe it to our own self to be happy and successful in trying,

We could fail the first couple times. Most of us do. But we must wake up everyday and try to be the best version of ourselves and we all know that we recognize what that looks like. Every day that we don't try, we are being unfair to nobody but our own soul. Sometimes, it's just baby steps, like waking up and taking a shower. That's it. It looks simple but sometimes that can be difficult too. From that, you can progress into more. And you will if you try every day.

Even the last best version of me would have been scared of 2017 because 2016 was so good. But I have now updated myself and surprisingly, unlike most updates, this one works and is appreciated. I am looking forward to 2017. If I survived a year that killed so many people, literally, theoretically, mentally and/or emotionally, I will not only survive 2017, I will make it kickass. Here's to entering the New Year with a big smile, lots of hope, big dreams and the will to imagine, create and pursue :) Happy New Year folks. Go make it big!

Me with my family in Seattle at the end of 2016!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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