New Years has always been my favourite holiday; it's the only one that promises a fresh start, a clean slate, a do-over, really. While I am delighted with how this past year has turned out (got my license, was accepted into grad school, moved to Ireland, became an ambassador, met 100+ new people etc), I'm looking to the New Year to be a year of an even more incredible series of adventures.
Resolution #1: Talk to three new people a week
I follow Melissa Hartwig on Instagram, and was inspired by her #greatsocialexperiment, where she challenges herself to talk to someone new every day. I'm a very social person by nature, but I would like to get more comfortable getting to know people who are otherwise strangers.
As author, Augusten Burroughs said: "How do you meet a new person? I was very stumped by this for many years. And then I realized, you just say, 'Hi.' They may ignore you. Or you may marry them. And that possibility is worth that one word."
I'm not lonely, nor am I getting married anytime soon, but the sentiment stands: you can only broaden your social circle and your life if you take chances. I met one such random friend while we thought we were locked in on campus, so his friend tried to scale the fence to free us.
Resolution #2: Say yes and figure it out later
My second resolution is saying yes to more things. I'm an international student ambassador, work as a writing tutor, and belong to a few clubs on campus. In addition, the law masters I'm doing has landed me an incredible group of about forty new friends. Last semester, I found myself agreeing to various events at various places, and then bailing due to overlapping commitments or just the sheer overwhelming nature of them. Studying is hugely important, but so is recognizing that academia only comprises part of the university experience; it is also about expanding your horizons through hearing people's stories and having fun while at it.
Resolution #3: Stick to my promises
This ties into a third goal of being reliable. I feel like I'm a good friend, but I do have a tendency to sometimes back out of promises or events late. I'd also like to be more accountable regarding school work; I'd like to start earlier and get my work done in a less stressed and less rushed fashion. Also, start assignments the day they're assigned and stick to a schedule.
Resolution #4: Remember that self care is not selfish
The natural consequence of reducing this stress will aid in assuring improved mental health. Bressle AKA Niall Breslin at presented at NUI Galway during exam week and his story had an incredible impact. Try to set a regular sleep schedule and take time to relax.
Resolution #5: Discover Ireland
My last resolution is less abstract and involves Ireland itself. While I spent many summers here growing up, I feel I don't know the country well. Next summer, I would love to do a roadtrip along the Wild Atlantic Way. All I need to do is round up some road trip buddies, solid snacks, and of course, Adele's 25 as the soundtrack. Between now and then, the goal is to see more landmarks on shorter trips, including the Cliffs and the Connemara. And pet too many donkeys.
To recap, my resolutions for the New Year are to talk to at least three new people every week; say yes to things that excite me; be more accountable to my promises and my deadlines; take care of my mental health; and see more of this gorgeous county.