Now isn’t that a refreshing phrase to hear?
I love the beginning of the year because it comes with a refreshing mix of feelings, such as relief, exuberance, anticipation, determination, encouraged, impulsive, bright, confident, earnest, optimistic, just to name a few. I have always been a strong believer in creating new year resolutions and for simply looking on the bright side of life since this is the official start of a new chapter. Time has transitioned from 2016 to 2017; there cannot be anything more official than that in my perfectionist mind to finally start on all the things I have been delaying until the new year.
As 2017 begins to open up its many opportunities to me, I feel intensely grateful to be living in this day and age with the family, friends, and role models I have to support and continue to inspire me. Winter break has been chock-full of finding my purpose, a question I know I will never really know the answer to, considering that it changes as I change as a person, and for now, I may have found my purpose for the time being. I’ve always been one to plan, and after having my entire plan of the future ultimately uprooted by the horrors and learning from first semester, I finally feel settled and satisfied in life since I have a plan set and motivation enough to work my ass off to attain it all.
With that being said, here are my 19 New Year Resolutions and Goals for 2017, my 19th year of life. Though not all of them will be attained in just 1 year, I know that at least having these goals in my mind during this new year of growth will always be a good reminder to know what I value.
- Volunteer at hospitals – I always remember how many people it takes to truly heal a person in a hospital. There may be medicine to cure them, or at least help them, with their physical status, however I’ve always been aware of how much the kindness of individuals impacts a person. Hospitals are a scary place for so many people, and I know I can make a change through the individuals who have their life changed on the daily in a single hospital room or a hospital visit.
- Intern, work, get that experience! – While I do have a game plan at the moment, that doesn’t mean that I’m not open to variations of the plan or even an entirely different plan altogether, and I know that I can’t simply plan my life out and forget that there’s an ultimate The Plan made by a powerful someone up there (God). Through possible internships and work opportunities I’ll hopefully have, I can potentially find other routes of life I can take. However, by pursuing my goal to volunteer at hospitals, at least that much keeps me focused on my plan of the moment. Though I have my mind geared towards pursuing a career in medicine, I’m also aware that people do not have just one talent in life or one career only that they are meant to practice or pursue. There is so much out there in the world, and the least I can do is try to experience a little bit of everything.
- Graduate in Spring 2019 with a BA in Psychology – Now this is where I dive deep into my academic plans. By committing to this plan, I would be committing to two and a half years of constant academics, something I have never experienced since I just entered the realm of college. I know that if I had stuck with my original major, I wouldn’t have been able to do this. However, psychology is just really fucking cool. I hold such a deep interest in the behavior and mind of us, human beings, and I cannot wait to continue to grow in my understanding of us a species and why we act a certain way.
- Get into a two or three year Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing program – Here’s the big dream, to become a registered nurse. While I may not be able to pursue at BSN due to complicated situations at my current undergraduate university, I’ve found a route that will enable me to pursue my interest in psychology while also preparing for the intensity of attaining a masters degree in nursing. I always set myself up to live up to high expectations, and what higher expectation is there than to become a doctor. So many kids remember being urged to become a doctor, a lawyer, or an engineer – the trifecta. Though my parents never explicitly told me to aim to become a physician, I always knew medical field was the general route to take, and what’s the highest position in the medical field? A doctor. However, from the first taste of the pre-med track during my first semester, I realized this isn’t what I want after all. I’m not saying that becoming a nurse is second to being a doctor because of doctor-nurse stereotypes. I’m well aware of the difficulties that come with pursuing both career tracks. What I’m saying is that I’ve come to the realization that the one thing that was holding me back from pursuing nursing in the first place is my fear of being lumped with the stereotype that all Filipinos are nurses mixed with my ability to pin too high of expectations on myself before realizing what comes with pursing it all. I embrace my new trek of becoming a registered nurse, or possibly a nurse practitioner, and I happily and fully believe that it’s my new highest expectation that I want to pursue with my life at this point in time. Nurses embody an immense amount of compassion and intellect to do their job every single day of the year. My mom has been a registered nurse for years now, and I have constantly marveled at the amount of hard work she puts in during a single day of work, let alone decades of doing it all. I can only feel a bit disappointed that I didn’t realize this sooner. This is my dream, and I shouldn’t think of pursuing nursing as a stereotype because that degrades the amount of work that is put into being a nurse and everyone who has pursued this path with their life. They are caretakers, second mothers and fathers, the individuals who keep patients from passing the line from life to death at points… Nurses are courageous, devoted, empathetic, knowledgeable, wise, and so much more. And the most I can do is work my ass off to become one of them.
- Travel to many cities, states, countries – I’ll admit, I have been bitten by the bug of Wanderlust. I’ve always found an interest in traveling ever since I was younger (I mean, who hasn’t?) however it was only this year that I’ve felt a need to really work towards pursuing this dream of mine. The family trips have gradually stopped over the years, and the farthest I’ve ventured in the last year is Southern California. But there is so much more out in the world that I’ve been aching to see with my own eyes rather than through the pictures online. I know I definitely won’t be able to see this all in the next five years, but here are a few places I would love to visit at some point in my life.
- New Zealand
- Sydney, Australia
- The Philippines
- Sri Lanka
- New Orleans
- British Columbia
- Chicago, Illinois
- Bora Bora
- Explore the beautiful city that I live in – It’s so easy for me to become so swept up in my studies; I constantly forget how many adventures I can have by myself and with my friends by simply taking one step out of my door to see a little more outside. While I live here for the remainder of my undergraduate career, I am more aware of just how necessary it is to make time, rather than wait for time, to explore the beautiful city.
- Write, write, write – At the end of 2016, I finally started to write consistently. There has not been a day during winter break when I did not write in at least one of my journals or on this blog – though admittedly I did not become a frequent blogger until now. Due to the fact that I’ve been writing a lot more, I have been feeling so much better. First semester left me as such an emotionally, physically, and mentally drained individual that I thought my five-week winter break would never be enough for me to prepare for another semester. However, I set goals for myself and just wrote away the entire time. My mind and heart have felt much more in synch since the process of writing helped me figure out what I want to do in college, destress, and realize just how blessed I am to simply have the opportunity to be pursuing a higher education. I’ve always said that writing is a crucial part to my existence, but I’ve never really put the effort in to continue with this passion of mine, that is until now.
- Keep in contact more with family, close family friends, and past friends – There are too many instances in a day when I think to myself, “I should have greeted so-and-so happy birthday” or “I should have commented on so-and-so’s newest post.” These people are in my life for a reason, and I have always regretted missing these many opportunities to make sure they still know that I think about them from time to time. I know how much it impacts me when I get a comment on a picture of myself or when people greet me happy birthday, so why can’t I do the same for others?
- Grow in faith – Catholicism has been an integral part of my life ever since I was born. Hell, my mom constantly retells the story about how she offered me up in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament when I was still in her womb and a few days after I was born. While it is an important religion to my family, I am still learning what it means to me as an individual. I grew up in an environment where I was constantly exposed to a prayer group that soon became a second family, and while I may know a little more about Catholicism than most people my age, I have yet to understand everything in the terms of myself and how I stand with it. I have so many questions about my faith, and while I’m well aware that I won’t be able to get the answers to them all in one year, or even in my entire lifetime, I pray that this year will be one of growth, so that I can confidently believe rather than push through with everything I’ve been taught since birth by default.
- Continue devour books – Ever since I entered my 5 weeks of Winter Break, I’ve been on a book reading hype. Every week, and at some points even every day, I’m busy reading a new book, and damn has it felt good to get back into the swing of things. I remember when I was a little girl, I would check out stacks of books from the library and read them all with no problem whatsoever. Granted I am a young woman now, and I do have a lot more on my plate than school and playtime, but reading is such an important factor in my life that I’ve kept on hold for the longest time. 2017 will be one where I will make time for reading since its what makes the creative juices flow in my mind on the daily.
- Have more “off the grid” moments in life – Honestly, who gives a damn about SnapChat streaks? I often delete all of my social media during high stress times when I know I need to focus, such as during finals week. I recently realized that in addition to deleting my social media during high stress times, I should just devote a few days or weeks at a time to completely unplug myself. Throughout the year, I tend to go through many mental breakdowns where I just feel like nothing is going my way and there’s way too much on my plate for me to handle. What I’ve learned is that majority of the reason as to why I feel like there’s too much on my plate is because I feel like there’s a lack of time, and majority of that time usually goes to my phone or laptop. These “off the grid” moments, I hope, will keep me in check, and will remind me that it’s perfectly acceptable to take a few days for myself without the need to update Instagram or message friends on Facebook or keep up with my SnapChat streaks. In the end, none of that is going to matter, and honestly majority of social media is a waste of time when there’s too much time spent on it. I hope that through these “off the grid” moments of life, I’ll remember to stay present in life and everything I can attain through what I have around me.
- Remember that needing alone time is perfectly valid – I identify as an extroverted introvert. While I have sometimes have no problem socializing or leading a group, I need my alone time or I will genuinely feel like combusting. My first semester of college was a well needed reminder to me that I need to practice saying, “I need my alone time.” There are so many instances in college where I would be too afraid to say no to hanging out with someone because I would fear facing their judgement or their cold shoulder in the face of being rejected, so I almost always said yes. It reached this unhealthy point where I would completely shut myself in my dorm room over the weekend and avoid people by not answering the door whenever someone clearly knocked. I even learned to angle my light a certain way so it wouldn’t be seen outside from the crack under the door. I’m motivated to make this semester and this year as a whole the complete opposite of what I resorted to doing at the end of 2016. My alone time is valid. I need it to keep myself in check, and not to get overly exhausted. I cherish my friends and many people who go to my school, however if they don’t understand or accept my excuse of needing alone time, then they aren’t worth being in my life in the long run. I may feel the need to please the needs of other above my own, but I need to stop with that because it is far from healthy.
- Explore photography, and the actual works behind it – Photography is an amazing form of art, and I have constantly wished that I could do it. I’ve learned that I need to make my wishes come true, and that’s why I’m devoting a good chunk of my year to pursue photography. In the city I live in, there are so many beautiful places to take pictures have photoshoots with friends – I just have to remember to be proactive in making all of that come true. Practice makes progress, and through progress perfection can be attained.
- Prioritize myself – It’s undeniable that I cherish my friends and family, however what I’m learning to unbecome is a people pleaser. Over the years I’ve attained this unhealthy sense of wanting to always please the needs of others as a way to seek acceptance from them as well as validation that they want to be friends with me. What I’ve recently come to realize is that I don’t actually need to do all that crap to have friends. Real friendships aren’t one sided; they run both ways on both parts. As I grow older, I become more and more aware of what’s important to me, and why it is crucial for me to remember it all while being with others. If my friends or family clash with what I think is important or don’t even bother to support me in my endeavors of life, I gotta know when to say goodbye, and this is the year to learn it. In the end, I’m the one who’s going to reflect on my own life, and I wouldn’t want to think that majority of it was wasted on things of naught.
- Do things in moderation – I honestly don’t know where my obsessive habits come from, but it’s something that has prevented me from doing everything I’ve wanted. Whenever I do something, I get overly invested and spend all of my time making sure I finish it, while also forgetting about everything else I wanted to achieve in addition to it. With me, I never just have one goal. I have multiple goals, and I aim to achieve them all. However, I won’t be able to do that if I continue to do things obsessively. I need to learn to pace my life, and know not to rush through the process of doing something, since I lose myself in the journey of achieving the end goal. Moderation is something I’m not too familiar with because I tend to always aim to do things above and beyond, however moderation is a concept I’m working towards in the many things I want to achieve since that’s the only way to achieve it all.
- Be more WOKE – I honestly have this on here because of the 2016 Presidential Election. I feel like I lack in the knowledge of a lot of things in this world, and that has always frustrated me. I want to know what’s happening in the world. There are millions of other people with stories of struggles and accomplishments, but I feel like I know little to nothing about it all. So here’s to 2017, a year of being aware of the things that may not impact me, but impact millions of others.
- Practice the ability to say no AND how to not feel guilty about it – THIS IS WHY FIRST SEMESTER SUCKED ASS FOR ME. I didn’t know how to say no, and on the rare occasion when I did, I would feel intensely guilty. I consistently had a fear of missing out on the whole college experience. I always tried to do something on the weekends, and it reached intense moments of exhaustion when I felt anti-everybody. Knowing myself, I need to know when to say no because there are so many wasted nights faking happiness where I could have saved my efforts and traded a miserable night out for a joyous night in. While I pride myself in the ability to say no when faced with temptation, for the most part, I need to learn to say no when facing social situations with my friends.
- Stop being my own worst critic – I make mistakes, but I don’t like it when I do. While I’ve slowly learned through the years to become a little less harsh with myself, I still struggle in being accepting of the mistakes I make. I will learn from my mistakes. It will make me a better human in various ways.
- Feel confident in my own skin – Now this is a biggie. Confidence has always been a fleeting, in the moment feeling for me. It has never stayed for a long time because my thoughts and self-doubt always come back to haunt me. I need to become more accepting of myself before I can work to make true changes in myself – the kind that I want. I’ve always been heavy-set, ever since I was a younger girl, and I have always hated it. I felt like God was punishing me by not making me the lightweight, delicate girl I imagined all Asian females to be. I always compared myself to my beautiful, petite friends, making sure I was aware that if I was to ever try to look like them, it would be a long, painful journey. Though I live in an era where there is so much more acceptance across the board by females who may not fulfill the original standard of beauty, I don’t know how to love myself and all the flaws and little beauties. I’m devoting 2017 to learning to know and accept the fact that I am a valid, precious, and capable human being.