By Evelyn Heis, Film & Television Co-Deputy Editor
It's officially that time of the year again. The New Year. For most, a dreaded time, masked with toxic positivity where one is pressured to transform overnight and leave last year’s self behind. New Years: the time where you must strive to become a healthier, sportier, more spiritual, and all-around better version of who you were the year before.
For others, however, New Years is an exciting time, marked by its freedom, as we’re able to completely reinvent ourselves, shape the year, and start off on a clean, new slate. No external pressures, just our own volition to search for happiness.
No matter where you stand on that spectrum however, the New Year’s message is still the same: last year’s self wasn’t good enough and you need to change that this time around.
Instead of acknowledging every good thing we accomplished that year, we all fall victim to that ‘New Year, new me’ expectation. We convince ourselves we need to do better, become better, and reinforce this vicious cycle.
So, when January 1st comes around, we pull out our diaries, in a total Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001) fashion and begin to list all of the things we desperately need to change that year. In Bridget’s case, it was to stop smoking and going for emotionally unavailable men. In my case, I made a note of resolutions like writing more, exercising often and using my phone less.
It is now February and I can confirm that I have not gone to the gym once and my TikTok consumption is higher than ever. The most exercise I’ve partaken in has actually been walking to-and-fro my flat to the nearest coffee shop- a lifestyle choice which the Gilmore Girls (2000-2007) would totally approve of.
And yet, I had started this year on a completely different note. Bewitched by the magic and prosperity of the New Year, I obsessively planned and nit-picked different goals for myself to reach this year. I was filled with a zealous drive and frenzy to become an overachiever, chanting ‘2022 is going to be my year’, convinced that I could conquer the world if I wanted to, that I completely looked over what I had done thus far.
I know this is the case for most people. We tend to take the little moments for granted and focus more on our academic or social achievements, rather than how far we’ve come as a person or how many lives we’ve impacted along the way.
The truth is, New Year's resolutions do not have to be instant, they don’t even have to be made. We have 12 months in a year and plenty of days, years, and months to reach our personal goals. You can have as many chill days as possible, spent watching Friends (1994-2004) or binge-watching Gossip Girl (2007-2012) for the umpteenth time, and still have had a successful year. ‘Success’ is subjective but getting through your to-watch list is imperative.
This year, try slowing down and setting yourself some soul-enriching resolutions, like being kinder to yourself, actually showing up to all of your in-person lectures or maybe heading to the cinema more often. but let’s leave the pressure to stick to them behind - that is so last year.
Featured Image: Evelyn Heis/Epigram
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