As confetti falls, resolutions stand strong

Brady Johnson

Each year brings the promise of change for nations, groups and the self. The desire to grow within 365 days can feel exciting, daunting, but never impossible. Yet, New Year’s resolutions come and go, many within the first month of the year.
Augustana students, staff and administration share their thoughts on New Year’s resolutions and how we can all live a little better in 2019.
Catherine Lotz, sophomore, sits in the brew diligently working as the term passes the half-way point. Lotz pushed herself to wake up earlier to spend more time on the things that matter to her. Time management is a big thing to Lotz and hopefully, the additional time will allow her to accomplish another resolution of hers, to read more.
Resolutions are unique to each individual. Lotz’s resolutions are different than Erich Fang’s, first-year, who connects his new year back to his religious roots.
Fang would usually commit himself to a set of resolutions, but this year he has decided to push himself in his faith instead.
“I am Catholic and my big time of year is Lent, where we give something up. I feel like that works more for me because I am committed to it,” Fang said. Fang sees Lent as more constructive than resolutions and feels like his faith will hold him true more than new years resolutions. Last year he gave up social media for 40 days.
An example of why Fang made this change comes down to one of his biggest new year’s challenges.
“I pick at my nails all the time and it has been my resolution the past five years to stop and I found myself doing it on new years night,” Fang said.
Staying on top of a resolution can be hard for many. President Steven Bahls and his family have been pushing themselves physically each year to stay in top shape and also use the opportunity to see more of the world.
Currently, Bahls wants to walk 10,000 steps every day using his Fitbit, which is synced with his wife’s Fitbit allowing them to hold each other accountable. Bahls also wants to ski 65 miles in one week to signify his 65 years of age.
Resolutions for Bahls transitioned over time from getting good grades into physical fitness, one of which was rafting all eight major river expeditions in North America, that was started on his 55th birthday year. That resolution has since been completed and now, he wants to walk 5,000 miles in the American west or Arctic before he turns 75.
“I am well on my way,” President Bahls said about his resolution to hike 5,000 miles. There are times when President Bahls had second guesses about his resolutions, like the time his raft overturned and he almost drowned. Today, Bahls uses this perilous experience in his speeches and will continue to accomplish these physical feats because the rewards are just too great.
Connie Ghinazzi, one of the librarians at Augustana, has moved away from rigid resolutions but has notions of things she wants to change and do better in her life.
“I think this year feels a little bit different for me,” Ghinazzi said. “In some ways, I do have some things on my mind I really want to pay attention to.” Ghinazzi wants to park further away at work as well as take the steps in the Gerber Center rather the elevator.
Ghinazzi shows off the quilt in her office while mentioning that she wants to have more time to be creative this year, which she has so far accomplished by waking up early and making time where she can easily relax and quilt.
One of Ghinazzi’s biggest life goals was downsizing last year from her big home, which was in her family for 60 years, into a smaller condo. The whole experience was freeing to Ghinazzi but also a very somber moment in her life.
Ghinazzi is the youngest out of six siblings, and being able to have them over at the house one last time led to reminiscing about their father, who passed 30 years ago.
Covering the library windows are Augustana student and staff resolutions. Ghinazzi says that Maria Emerson, the librarian, was behind the idea. The post-it notes covering the windows detailing hopeful change are not the only outlet for resolutions.
Social media has garnered the phrase “new year, new me” as numerous individuals post their resolutions over the Internet. Yet, not everyone believes the phrase is as powerful as it sounds.
“I respect it. It’s admirable, but I feel like a lot of people say that and then they kind of stay the same,” Fang said. Fang is not the only student who feels that change is not achieved merely through a post.
Jonathan Quigley, junior, has let go of resolutions because they have never come to fruition and believes that the goals he currently has will go longer than just a year. Quigley mentions the stress of being a college student has made him evaluate what he wants to accomplish by not trying to overfill his plate. Publishing more videos on his Youtube account is his long-term goal. Quigley believes that change cannot be forced into one hashtag.
“Change is a very slow process with ups and downs,” Quigley said. “You’re going to change throughout your life so you don’t need to put more pressure on yourself to change at any given point in your life. New year, new me [expletive] that.”