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Two Weeks into the New Year

 

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It’s about the time of year when people are either still sticking to their New Year’s Resolutions and are proud of it, or… they have completely fallen off the bandwagon and are reevaluating their goals and resolutions. We’re almost three weeks into the new year and I’ve found myself thinking about the changes that a new year brings.

Let’s start with New Year’s Eve. For such an irrelevant holiday (we’re really just celebrating a new number), the pressure to have plans and to have a New Year’s kiss is enormous. Not to mention, the ladies of the world spend weeks planning their perfect outfit and how they will do their makeup. But in reality, New Year’s Eve is just another day, just another turn of the clock. And… for most people in my age group (20s) it’s an excuse to drink excessive amounts of alcohol and spend the first day of the year in bed regretting the previous night.

Yes, it is a great time to reflect and remember the memories and laughs that the year brought. And don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my fair share of fun on New Year’s Eve. However, any day, of any week, of any month can serve the same purpose. This time, we just have to teach ourselves how to write a new year at the top of our paper.

So what is it about New Year’s Eve that makes us feel pressured in so many ways? And why are we expected to have resolutions?

In short, I really do not have a solid, specific answer. But I can tell you, I think it’s unnecessary to put so much pressure and anticipation into ONE day of the year.

When it comes to spending time with friends, having a good time and looking cute, I am all in. However, setting high expectations for one day and for one night is setting yourself at a disadvantage. I’ve found that the spontaneous, unplanned nights are the times where the most fun is had. I have also found that putting so much thought it a single outfit leads me to be more critical of myself and less apt to have a fantastic time. And so what if you don’t get a New Year’s kiss right at midnight? The next day, the next week or even month still counts!

Now, to the part that everyone can relate to… the drinking. We all regret it the next day, but we do it anyway? I’ve never understood the excessive drinking and the hangover the next day. It’s expected that we drink but why? Why can we not have a good time while being sober, or even just a drink or two?

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For me, the part that I look forward to is the time to reflect. I don’t put pressure on myself to make a resolution or to make big changes. But, I do love the opportunity to reminisce and talk about the positive things that have happened. This year in particular, I was able to talk with my boyfriend about the amazing, crazy year that we had together and it provided us a time to sit down and talk about events and things that we wanted 2017 to be filled with.

To me, this is exactly what the new year is for and I do not think it needs to be anything more.

If you want to make a change or a new goal, do it. Do it when you think of it, when you feel motivated and when you feel that the time is right. Do not wait! And certainly do not let the pressure of a new number get in the way of meaningful goals and changes. It’s okay not to have a New Year’s Resolution! It’s okay to have a March, April or May resolution. When you feel like it’s time, make a change! You will be far more successful and motivated.

T-Minus 6 Months

The Anticipation and Fear that College Graduation Brings

What do you do when what you’ve always known has a time limit?

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What do you do when you have to prepare yourself for the unknown?

What do you do when you know your life is about to undergo a drastic change?

As long as I can remember I have called myself a student and I have called myself an athlete. But, in six short months, my identity is changing, drastically. I will no longer be either of titles that I have come to identify with and come to love about myself. And, although most days I am able to tell myself that I am ready and I am excited for what the future holds, fear still overcomes me and has my mind racing day in and day out about the possibilities and changes that lie ahead.

Up until this point in my life I have had school and softball to fall back on. My life has been relatively easy. College and sports have been written out for me. Pick a major, have a list of classes. Pick a sport, show up to practice. College and my sport have been a comfort zone, just like the teddy bear you held on to for the first eight years of your life.

 

Thinking about having to walk away from that comfort zone and the things I have come to love is absolutely terrifying.

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What if I do not find a job? What if I can’t pay my bills? What will I do without my teammates? How will I stay in shape? Where will I live?

Each year nearly 1.9 million bachelor degrees are awarded and upon graduation I am just a speck in the job force. I am no longer a college student, I am just another resume in the pool of millions. I will no longer be part of the 460,000 individuals who can call themselves a college athlete. The safety net that I have always felt secured by, will soon be gone and I will be face to face with the world.

Playing a sport allowed me to come to Ellensburg to earn my degree. Being a college athlete allowed me to find myself and further fall in love with softball. Studying public relations has allowed me to find a field that I am passionate about and look forward to learning more about. Yet, like anyone I still have fears and doubts despite the confidence I have developed.

There must be someone more qualified, why would someone hire me? Have I truly developed and am I actually prepared for the workforce?

Without a doubt, I am confident in the skills I have learned and developed, I am confident in my abilities to be a productive employee and I am excited for the future. However, I still wonder and question how I will develop in the workplace and what my future will look like. Just like anyone else, my goal is to be successful and be independent. It’s human nature, right?

Not only will the future require me to adapt to a new lifestyle in the sense of working and finding a career, but adapting to no longer being an athlete with come with its own challenges. Being an athlete has always been an outlet, a sense of security and a place of belonging. Not only will I not have a daily workout plan and a time set aside for friends but I will be placed in a pool of new people and completely out of my comfort zone.

As I list all these factors and worries out, yes, it seems unrealistic and it seems that I am overthinking it. But, this is real and I like to tell myself it’s natural.

Although this may be one of the most significant life changes that I will be faced with, it is also an amazing opportunity to grow, develop and create my own life and career. Just like every other successful person that has gone before me and just like every other challenge and fear I’ve been faced with, I have to take a leap of faith. So with all the fears and doubts that you may also have, take the leap into the big world.

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References:

http://www.ncaa.org/student-athletes

https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372