Resolution Reality: New Years Pledges You Won’t Keep

We’ve all been there: January 1 and feelings of fresh beginnings and new opportunities.  You are a veritable clean slate.  In the spirit of cleanliness and some sort of genesis, you concoct a list of resolutions you’ve told yourself will enhance not only your being but also the coming year.  Yes, it is possible that these pledges could lead to positive changes in your lifestyle.  But if you’re anything like me, they haven’t lasted more than seven days in past years.  The first week of every New Year repeats like that recurring trend of leather pants; sure they looked good on Pat Benatar while she enlightened us with the realization that love is a battlefield but by no means do they enhance the average body type.  But back to reality, January first to seventh, one pound lost, one calorie less consumed, and a flourishing phone relationship with my parents later and I am slowly crawling back into my hole of old ways. 

Rules were meant to be broken.  It appears that in my lifestyle, and plenty of others’, resolutions are as well.  So, here to mock those out there like myself, creators of goals, pledges, and plans that live for a week, are the ten resolutions you won’t keep; and trust me, they have been tested (by myself and plenty of others).

1)    Sign off of social media…particularly Facebook
Sometimes it feels as if your newsfeed is out there to destroy you: neon lights updating you on your ex’s relationship status (while yours still remains hidden…and single), notifying you of your high school enemy’s new occupation when you always hoped she would just admit her expertise belongs at Mustang Sally’s, and working particularly as a horrible reflection of Saturday night’s escapades.  Cutting yourself off social media, such as Facebook, is not only impractical but also impossible.  Facebook is a fundamental aspect of modern college life; through event invites, newsfeed updates, keeping you up to date on your “friends” whereabouts, and Sunday morning photo uploads, your life now revolves around social media and you can’t just eliminate that.    

2)    Say no to sugar and starches completely
So maybe you shouldn’t have had that second cookie at last week’s Christmas party and that serving of pasta instead of a listed protein dish on the menu at your friend’s birthday party, but cutting out such foodie simple pleasures come the new year is no way to deal with the annual holiday weight gain.  Restricting your diet drastically not only is, in my book, some sort of self punishment, but it also just causes you to crave what you’re limiting even more.  Go ahead, attempt cutting out sweets entirely but look me in the eye come January 7 and try to tell me that you didn’t cave with the leftover holiday baked goods lying around in your kitchen.

3)    Win back your ex

Six words: you broke up for a reason.  A reason, whatever it be, there was a cause, a fuel to the fire, a motive, a rationale, whatever your synonym or phrase, there was and still is a justification to the end of your relationship.  If your previous relationship did not bring you what you want, it taught you what you don’t want.  Do not go back chasing nostalgia, or whatever good moments you remember from the time you two shared.  Move on, as scary as it is, because there are far too many fish in the sea for you to fight with a failed past.

4)    Lose 10, 20, 30, well, X amount of weight
Unless you’re Bethany Frankle or starring on the Biggest Loser you are not going to lose a certain amount of weight.  Life is turbulent at college and some days for whatever reason, whether it is a difficult Thursday morning—yes, we saw you last night—or a free Tuesday afternoon, you do not make it to the gym.  And some of those days, you just really need a caf meal or more like a feast.  Whatever the reason, pressuring yourself to lose a definitive amount of weight is like telling yourself that you’re too mature for the Jersey Shore, when in reality, no one is never too grown-up for some Snooki-falling, JWOW-whining, guilty pleasure.

5)    Eliminate a dirty dorm room

Just put away your clothes already.  Is it really that difficult?  The answer is yes.  The reality is you will not keep this resolution.  It is easy to get messy without your mom nagging you every hour to clean up.  By no means are you in Kansas—well, home—anymore, Toto, and no matter how many times you remind yourself to tidy up on Sunday afternoon, you simply won’t get to it whether it is that Friends marathon that is more enticing or your built up stack of homework that is more demanding.  Soon enough your room will develop into its very own thriving metropolis of piles of clothing equivocal to the Leaning Tower of Pisa teetering over a ground covered in un-matched socks similar to a lost and found in elementary school. 

6)    Get a boyfriend
The New Year arrives and all of a sudden you’re no longer single and jaded but rather ready to mingle.  Bring on the boyfriends is your Saturday night motto. And what feels surprising on your return home late at night (rather, early morning) is that you have reigned in no one, nothing, zip, zilch, nada.  Pressuring yourself to obtain a relationship is not only illogical but also impossible.  Things come when they are least expected and well, demanded.

7)    Embrace Thursday mornings...and Sundays too

No you won’t, you just won’t.  Turning down a Wednesday night at Bucknell is, well, rather unprecedented.  As Bucknellians, we rave about the perfection of a Wednesday night out: the ideal reprieve in the middle of a stressful and work-loaded week.  But you must be present for that early morning Thursday class…or do you?  This is college.

8)    Talk more and touch less
You really want that boyfriend and it appears that the solution to snagging one isn’t a gamut of random hookups each and every weekend.  It feels tried and tested: talking more and touching less.  But cultural tides—whether unfortunate or fortunate in your book—pull you away from your end goal.  It is as if adults love to remind us that we are a part of the “hookup culture,” and no matter the veracity of their statement, the reality is, it is not something you can single-handedly fight.  In my perspective it is healthier, safer, and saner to talk more to prospective males but sometimes you get sucked into the cultural swing of things and well, there’s more of the latter.  So be it.

9)    Cut out cramming
You’ve been setting this resolution since you were 14, decked in a monochromatic Juicy sweat suit, and it was your freshman year of high school.  Now you are currently enrolled in college, approaching either your second semester or eighth and reality bites: you still won’t keep this pledge.  Tell yourself you’ll study days in advance and write papers when they’re initially assigned—whatever helps you sleep at night—but even come finals time, you’ll still find yourself on the third floor of the library the night before a major assignment. 

10) Remember your roots
I mean after all they are your parents, the reason why you’re here—on Earth and college.  So, you resolve to call them plenty more this semester.  But the reality is the questions about your day—activities, people, and grades—over Goldfish after school never really stopped.  And soon enough, once the year thrusts forward full throttle, your phone calls and video chats—overall means of communication with your parents—go in the opposite direction, slowing down to the point of no communication.  At least remember to call for birthdays.  

Elizabeth is a senior at Bucknell University, majoring in English and Spanish. She was born and raised in Northern New Jersey, always with hopes of one day pursuing a career as a journalist. She worked for her high school paper and continues to work on Bucknell’s The Bucknellian as a senior writer. She has fervor for frosting, creamy delights, and all things baking, an affinity for classic rock music, is a collector of bumper stickers and postcards, and is addicted to Zoey Deschanel in New Girl. Elizabeth loves anything coffee flavored, the Spanish language, and the perfect snowfall. Her weakness? Brunch. See more of her work at 

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