This year has been a year of growth. That’s what college is for, right?

As the new year approaches, so does the idea of new resolutions. As I think about what I’d like to change to better my life, one thing comes to mind.

I want to be bold.

I want to be bolder in my relationships. The only way to deepen our relationships with each other, the Lord, and even ourselves, is to be vulnerable.

Being vulnerable with each other is hard, I know. But what’s the point of having a best friend, a boyfriend/girlfriend, parents, siblings, etc. if you can’t talk to them?

Sure, some things are good to keep to yourself, but I’ve learned the hard way that keeping all your emotions in and trying to take on the world solo only harms you and the people you love.

I want to be bolder in my speech. No, this doesn’t mean being harsh or mean. It means speaking what’s on my mind and being an advocate for myself.

I’m going to stop answering questions with vague or general answers. No more “I’m fine” or “my day was good.” If my day was good, I’m going to say why it was good. If it was bad, I'm going to say why it was bad.

I’m notorious for watering down my words or shrugging off my problems because “nobody cares what I think or what’s going on.” But the truth is, if they don’t care how I am, then why did they ask? My most restrictive quality is being too harsh on myself.

Being bolder means telling your friends something that may be hard to hear. Relationships are built on connection, need and authenticity. Say what you really mean, don’t beat around the bush. If you are concerned about them or think they are making a bad decision, tell them.

It’s hard to take risks in relationships, but when we do we receive a deeper sense of love for ourselves and others and a deeper knowledge of ourselves and our own needs.

Being bolder with yourself is a much trickier concept. That means holding yourself accountable, accepting when you need help and truly knowing yourself and what is best for you. A bolder person owns their strengths and their weaknesses.

Someone who is bold knows who they are and is proud of that person. They don’t try to change themselves to be someone they aren’t or to fit in.

We can all learn a little bit from kids in this sense because they say what they think, wear what they want, and they truly understand that you can be whoever you want to be. That wonder at the world and admiration for other people fades as we grow older, but I encourage us all not to succumb to a monotonous lifestyle so common nowadays but to be bold enough to allow ourselves to be vulnerable with ourselves and others and to always say how we feel.