New Year's resolutions

I think reflections on the past year are nice, but annual resolutions are a little silly. You should be ready to make changes regardless of what time of year it is. For students on the quarter system, though, New Year’s resolutions go nicely with the return to the second quarter of the school year. It just so happens that Winter Break is a good time to look back at how you did in your first quarter of the year, and how you’re going to approach the next two in a new way.

I’ve been saying that I haven’t been given the opportunity to socialize during my stay in Seattle. It’s true that I’ve been more busy with school than I can remember, but looking back I’m pretty sure it’s been a cop-out. I do have time to socialize. Even if I’m just as busy next quarter, I can go somewhere to do homework instead of stay in my room. Learning to leave my apartment more often, never mind the weather, means I can also be more easily prepared to go to fun social things.

So that’s why I’m resolving to be more of a “social” individual. I’ve resolved to do that before, and it’s worked, but the way I’m approaching it this year is by physically leaving my room. I stayed in my room and kept the door open for people to come by when I was an undergrad, but I wasn’t being on the offensive. I was always letting people come to me. That’s not really how it works.

And that gets me to my next topic, and what I’ve decided just today is another thing I should work toward. Over the past year I’ve gotten less and less judgmental. I’m pretty proud about that. I’ve opened myself up to meeting and talking with all kinds of different people. Despite that, I think I’ve let a number of things slide that probably shouldn’t slide. I think this year I’m going to attempt to be more confrontational. Tell people what I think. Prevent people from making mistakes. I don’t think it’s the same as being nosy – it’s just being an active participant in people’s decision-making processes. I’m not really thinking about anything in particular right now, but things like this happen a lot. I’ve often felt excluded simply because I’m very lenient about a lot of things.

This doesn’t only apply to personal matters. This year there’s the election. It does matter. I’m going to be pushing people to get interested and opinionated about politics. Also, probably, religion. Over the past few years I’ve presented myself as an atheist who is totally cool about people’s religious beliefs and thinks that they are healthy things to have – I might be reconsidering that. There are problems with even some of the simplest religious beliefs and I’m going to start pushing people to imagine a life where they don’t have to depend on that sort of stuff. Living in reality is often very important.

That’s all my thinkin’ for now! Looking forward to the new year and the next quarter.