Art and Writing by: Emma Killeen
2018 was a big year in my life. I studied abroad in London, I had my first 9 to 5 job for a summer, and I began my final year as a student. Looking forward into 2019, I have another big year ahead of me. I am now officially a second semester senior which means I will be *hopefully* graduating this spring and *hopefully* getting a job this year, two of life’s major stepping stones. While these goals seem daunting, I feel prepared to tackle them fearlessly by implementing the lessons I’ve learned and small comforts I’ve found in 2018 and letting go of some of the negativity I’ve held on to in years past. Here’s a quick list of five things I’m taking with me into 2019 and five that can eff off.
1. Moscow Mules
I don’t think I have to explain this one that much. Moscow mules are the perfect drink for all seasons and if you don’t like them, get out.
Best described by Lyndsey Matthews for Country Living, “Pronounced "hoo-ga," this Danish concept cannot be translated to one single word but encompasses a feeling of cozy contentment and well-being through enjoying the simple things in life.” Depending on where you live, winter can get dark and dreary. One way I’ve found to combat winter sadness is to lead a hygge life. This means wrapping yourself in a giant scarf, lighting some candles, sipping some tea, and reading a book. Embracing this cozy lifestyle and hibernating for the winter can make the colder months a little more bearable.
3. Normal Eating
“Normal eating” may sound easier than it actually is. Simply put, normal eating means to “provide for yourself, don’t deprive.” Dietitian Ellyn Satter defines normal eating as “being able to give some thought to your food selection so you get nutritious food, but not being so wary and restrictive that you miss out on enjoyable food.” Normal eating is having that extra cookie (or three or four) because you want to, it’s getting pizza after a night out and not regretting it in the morning, and it’s eating an extra meal because you are hungry. These days restrictive dieting has become so normalized and excessive eating has become guilt-ridden. Unlike most new year’s resolutions that stand to cut down unhealthful eating, in my 2019, I want step away from overthinking my food choices and just eat something because I’m hungry and it tastes good.
4. Independent Activities
Not to make this an “abroad changed me” article but I studied alone in London for a semester and one of the biggest things I took away with me was the power of doing things alone. Wanna see a specific movie? See it. Wanna go to a museum? Go. Wanna try that funky restaurant? Table for one please! Being able to do the things that interest you independently is extremely empowering and although it may feel a bit uncomfortable at first, you come to realize that the people around you are paying no attention/don’t care that you are by yourself. Don’t wait until your friends are finally free or beg them to come with you, just do it yourself!
5. Game night
This might just be the Midwest in me, but games are the best way to bring a group of people together. Whether it be at a family dinner party or in a group of new friends, games are the perfect ice breaker that allow a mutual distraction and discussion between people of all backgrounds and ages. Games make people feel comfortable though joint competition, laughs, and debate and offer and alternative and quirky way to start off a night. Some of my favorites are kings cup, cards against humanity, or piccolo!
I think we can all agree that hangovers SUCK. At the ripe age of 21, mine are already getting increasingly painful. 2019 will be a year of responsible drinking for me as I ditch the times of college binge-drinking and begin to navigate the adult world as well as my own body’s alcohol limits.
Envy, defined as “a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else's possessions, qualities, or luck.” It may be the stage of life but throughout my school years I have found it hard to be 100% happy for other people’s accomplishments. Get an amazing ACT score? Great, I bombed it. Aced your exams? Agh, I could have studied harder. Nailed down your dream job? Shoot, I haven’t even begun to apply. I’m always comparing other’s accomplishments to my own failures. This year I want to focus on the positive and give my peers the recognition for their hard work that they deserve and not criticize myself in the process. Everyone has different end goals and different processes of reaching them so there is no need for the comparisons or negative energy.
3. Uncomfortable Shoes
Shoes, I love you. You are a beautiful thing. But you can also really ruin a night. No more blisters, barefoot concrete walks, or constant complaining for me in 2019, I’m being a practical shoe lady from here on out!
4. Competitive Stress
Sometimes at school I feel like it can quickly become a “who has the biggest ‘to-do’ list” contest. Success should not be measured by amount of hours studied, clubs joined, or lack of sleep. I advise everyone when stressed to take a step back and ask themselves if they really need to get so worked up about this test or homework? Probably not. Good, take a breath, get a coffee, walk around the block and restart. Studying is important but don’t miss out on bonding time with your buds over the false notion that if you’re not studying, you’re doing something wrong.
5. Being Interrupted
Calling all introverts and fellow quiet-voiced people! Are you as tired of getting talked over as I am?? Dear loud people, I’m sorry that my voice doesn’t project as well as yours but that does not mean what I am saying is less important. Shout out to the one person in the group that is always listening, you are special.
What are some things you're taking with and leaving behind in 2019?