Ah, the New Year.
A time that is supposed to be full of hopeful expectation and wishes of rejuvenated spirits and circumstances. For myself in recent years, the New Year mostly makes me feel pretty bummed out. It tends to remind me of missed opportunities, past failures, and things I wished for that didn’t come to pass. I would let these nagging thoughts eat at me and make me feel that I’m not good enough. I would look at my friends’ and family members' lives and feel envious of their achievements throughout the year. I’d compare myself to other people’s accomplishments and wonder why I didn’t also feel proud of how far I’d come.
Maybe the New Year brings up similar emotions within yourself. Maybe you know exactly where I’m coming from and these feelings resonate with you. If you also have felt this way before, I want you to know that you are not alone. This time of year can be very hard, and I want you to know that it’s okay to have these feelings. I also want you to know that while you may have these feelings, they do not define you. Your feelings of inadequacy do not make you inadequate. Just look at this past year, and see how far you’ve come; you’ve survived the heartbreaks that felt like they were crushing you, you overcame feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, you’ve come so far, dear friend. I urge you to push forward.
An exercise I’ve done for myself to be more excited for the New Year is making a list of things I want to accomplish for myself, no matter how big or small. I also make a list of things that I already have accomplished in the past year. This exercise gives me perspective to see that I have met goals that maybe I didn’t realize before, and that I have the strength and the motivation to meet new goals in the coming future.
Let this New Year fill you with hope.
The struggles you’ve endured this past year are not in vain- you have overcome them and they have shaped you into the marvelous, wonderful person that you are today. You are stronger than you know and you are needed in this world. This new year can be an exciting, beautiful thing, my friend. There are many songs still to be sung, and laughs left to be had. You have survived your most daunting hardship up to this point and still have yet to experience some of your most beautiful moments- so don’t miss it. Let each breath in your lungs and every beat of your heart be a tiny exclamation of joy. These small everyday occurrences are your body telling you that it is fighting for you and is a tiny victory within itself.
Let yourself feel joyful and excited this New Year, because you deserve it. Make a truce with yourself, your past, and your mistakes. Your future is looking bright, dear friend, and this New Year is a chance for you to see how incredible life can be.
If you feel like you are alone this New Year, know this: You are important, you are loved, you are cared for, you were created for a purpose and are needed in this world. Life can be hard, friend, but you can endure the pain you’re feeling. I promise.
Happy New Year, dear friend.
Written by Campus Rep Sophie Diemler
Edited by Executive Assistant Addie Van Rijn