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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bucknell chapter.

As the New Year rolls around, dozens of resolutions follow. The start of another year typically inspires people around the world to think about all the goals they have for themselves. They’re invigorated by the spirit that this new year is their year. But oftentimes, this motivated spirit dissolves a couple weeks into January in recognition that to complete these goals, one must actually work for them. Planning resolutions and completing resolutions are two different things, as one requires us to combat the habits that render us stagnant. And so, a big part of following through with our resolutions is to dedicate ourselves to being comfortable with a bit of change. We must be willing to live in the “in-between” and embrace the feeling of growing up and out. 

When I say growing up and out, I am referring to growing up into a mature “us” and growing out of the comfort zone we confine ourselves to. Growing up is a more natural process that comes with time, but accepting the process of growing out of old habits to make room for the new is more difficult to tackle. This is part of the healing journey, and—as with most things—starting is the hardest step. Reigniting a connection with our inner self is a demanding yet fulfilling process that can take weeks, months, or even years, with constant bouts of fluctuations in spirit and reconsideration on if the present pain is worth future happiness. 

So in order to meet our newfound goals and expectations for 2023, we must be willing to make changes within ourselves. But how many of us are in February and still where we started on New Year’s Eve? If you aren’t mentally raising your hand, then you are my hero and I aspire to be you. But the hard truth is that many of us may not have gotten past the stage of writing down our aspirations. And that’s okay! A myth of resolutions is that they all can be completed within the year, and that’s a myth because these to-do lists are often filled with tasks that can be impossible to fulfill in our current circumstances. As a college student, it is hard for me to find the time to complete my “physical” goals of practicing yoga, listening to podcasts, and reading for pleasure since I still have classes to attend. (And don’t get me started on the difficulty of eating healthier with only the cafeteria as my option for meals). My point is that our goals often exceed what our circumstances allow for us, and so we must either adjust our resolutions or our circumstances. 

For me, adjusting my 2023 intentions was more manageable and beneficial for my healing journey! Although I still keep my circumstantially difficult goals in mind, I have chosen to focus more on my mindfulness, healing my inner self, and growing up and out. Focusing on more attainable goals has made me feel more motivated and happy with myself, as I can actually check off my goals instead of unintentionally setting myself up for failure. 

In starting my self-healing journey, I have discovered just how hard it can be to focus entirely on yourself. I am nearly nineteen and am only just beginning to discover bits of my identity I didn’t realize I was lacking or needing to focus on. Focusing on your inner self opens you up to finding out all the things that make you you, and one of the biggest influences on our sense of being evolves from the people around us. The most influential being our friends. 

If you think about it, we surround ourselves with people who have similar interests or relate to us. We bond over our favorite artists, books, and movies; we chat about our celebrity crushes, political views, and childhood memories. Friendships are formed through pass-time hobbies, debrief sessions, podcast-like voice memos, and they ultimately influence our way of being. In the end, we take and give different qualities of both ourselves and others within a friendship, so much so that pieces of our identities are made up by another person.

Our lives become intertwined—so what happens when we start to “grow out” of the things that once defined our bond? What happens when we start our healing journey and realize we need to “grow out” of friendships in order to “grow up” into our higher selves? 

One of the hardest lessons I faced in transitioning from high school to college was the reality that platonic breakups do happen, and they hurt as much as romantic ones. When your identity is shaped by puzzle pieces once belonging to others, it can be immensely difficult to give up on them. When puzzle building, we sometimes find a piece that looks like it’ll fit. We test it out and notice that maybe it doesn’t line up exactly, but it can fit for the time being. Eventually, however, a new piece comes along and we realize that maybe that one from before wasn’t in the best place. So we take it out and place the new pieces together. 

It doesn’t hurt as much when it is only a puzzle piece. But in the realm of friendships, we have to confront our fears that it is possible to grow out of that once slightly-off piece in our soul. After all, keeping it there only holds back the puzzle from being completed and no one wants to own or be an unfinished puzzle. The process of growing out happens here, as we recognize that the piece is good but isn’t meant quite for that spot. 

As human beings, we are extremely fluid: we age, mature, find new hobbies, and move across the world. The point is that we are not meant to remain stagnant. And sometimes you find people who can grow up and out with you, but there are others that must sometimes remain behind for the benefit of you both. In the realm of actually getting around to these New Year’s resolutions, we must learn when it is time to stop forcing a puzzle piece into a spot and instead move on to another piece. Here’s to 2023 being filled with finding out what we need in friendships, who we are as a human and friend, and when to actually start the resolution list. 

Hailey Drapcho

Bucknell '26

Hailey is a second year student pursuing a double major in Literary Studies and Classics & Ancient Mediterranean Studies. She enjoys discussing the humanities and sharing her passion for storytelling everywhere. Her free time is filled with loads of books, lots of writing, and Taylor Swift on loop. She hopes to be an author one day and/or also work in the field of publishing as a book editor, literary agent, or literary journalist. Until then, she hopes you find a bit of yourself in each article she writes and that her work makes you feel seen.