Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Valentine's Day Bingo
February 24, 2024

Putting 'resolute' back in New Year's Resolutions

At every turn of the year, people all over the United States make New Year’s Resolutions. I’m frequently one of these people, although I can’t remember a single time any of my resolutions panned out the way I intended them to.
I can remember that I started making them as a child, in naive attempts to be more grownup, before I fully comprehended how long a whole year could be. I certainly don’t think tiny me knew how big a commitment it would really be to fulfill a New Year’s Resolution.
Now that I’m on the brink of graduation, with less of my senior year ahead of me than behind me, I’m starting to rethink my grasp of the word “resolute”.
I am nearing the finish line on what has been essentially an 18 year educational relay race that started in pre-pre-kindergarten for me (I was a bit of a rambunctious kid at the tender age of four, as I’m sure my mother would vehemently affirm). One year of education would pass the baton to a short summer’s respite, and then I’d be back again, another year older and another year further down the academic track. New Years would come and go in the middle, like it always did, and my resolutions would fade by spring break at the latest, but my dedication to school didn’t waver.
My family has always taken the approach that education is my primary job. Each year, I dutifully approached my work and my extracurriculars with as much enthusiasm and resolve as I could muster, and I’m content with the work I’ve done, and have yet to do to finish this race, to see this job to the end.
Yet there isn’t another year of school ahead of me now, as it is for many of my fellow soon-to-be graduates who are approaching grad school as the next leg of their races. Suddenly, I’m finding myself facing a future that isn’t defined by when my next break is, or what comes next on the syllabus. It is as much a relief as it terrifies me.
So what does being resolute mean to me now, in the face of the void of uncertainty that will yawn open for me on May 22nd? I’ve decided that I’m saving most of my resolve for the new test I have ahead of me: trusting myself.
“Resolute” is the sort of character quality usually reserved for descriptions of more grand heroes than someone like me. Yet the journey I have already undertaken to get as far as I have in academia did require a Herculean effort of daily resolve. Making it to a point where life after college is really the next step was as much a triumph over myself as it was over any difficulty with school or college itself.
Its too easy to make discardable resolutions at New Years, and most people who make resolutions are guilty of it. But trusting myself is one I hope to hang on to, as much as I hope I can manage to go to the gym three times a week for the whole year.

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Putting 'resolute' back in New Year's Resolutions