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Christmas tree

Happy New Year, and happy Winter term! No new year is complete without New Year's resolutions. For my second term at Dartmouth, I wanted to share a couple resolutions and goals surrounding social and mental well-being based on my previous term and for looking ahead!

Heart in Snow

  1. Calling family and friends from home regularly

As the fall term grew busier, I found myself skipping calls with my family and missing texts from friends. After all, with so many new experiences, finding that time felt like a lower priority. However, spending time with my family in the winterim made me realize how much I had missed them and how valuable their support and love are to me. Contacting them less often, I realized, took a hit on my mental health. Aiming to call them and friends on a steady schedule, such as every week, could be a manageable goal that keeps that sense of home and stability.

  1. Exploring different academic experiences

Somehow, the prospect of careers looms ever larger when in college. Who would've thought? It's stressful, but if one's not careful, can also take away from the joy and allure of learning itself. I want to combine the contemplation of future careers with a general passion for learning. Whether it be working in a lab by attending a lab course this term, or learning Python through my WISP internship, or receiving writing feedback on my essays in my writing seminar, I hope that I can approach these with enthusiasm and to expand my own limits in the process. I'm sure I'll get to do that this year.

  1. Thinking less

Now, I know how this looks. How can I think less when the point of school is to think, to ruminate, to learn? But there's a difference in the type of thinking. Last term, I found myself in a lot of spirals trying to extrapolate trends in my actions into my future, to guess what others thought of me, to avoid looking silly by making mistakes. It's understandable; in a new environment, wanting to make a good reputation and remake oneself is natural. But trying to analyze every little thing made me more fatigued and anxious than before. I hope to watch my own thinking, and to accept and remind myself that there are aspects of life outside of my control, and that answers, although I will be looking for them, will also come in time. In a way, this resolution goes hand in hand with my previous point; why try predicting something's outcome when you can try it out in the first place?

  1. Taking time for myself

As I've spent more time on campus, I've repeatedly been surprised by the number of times I see people I know just by walking around. Just a big feature of living on a smaller campus! But the simultaneous need to refill my social battery and the desire to be included, while being aware enough to say hello to people passing by ended up a little exhausting. I want to be able to evaluate where I can stand on that balance, and to follow it. Basically, I want to know when my body needs time to rest, mentally, physically, and emotionally.

I also want to spend as much time in the sun as I can... it's kind of a precious commodity now!

Who knows what's going to happen in 2023? I find myself a little nervous, but also hoping to enjoy the ride. Good luck to everyone in 2023!

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