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HC Carleton Execs: Advice For Ourselves On New Years 2020

I was scrolling mindlessly through the photos on my phone. Mostly crying at how small my kittens were and how much they’ve grown this year. Then I came across a picture of my best friend and I from New Year's Eve last year. We’re standing close together, arms wrapped around each other, hazy from the alcohol. I can remember all my friends that were there that night. How we crowded around a small coffee table to play drinking games. How we all huddled into a room to countdown to midnight. I sat there thinking about that night and when the last time I saw those friends was. At least in person. I thought about how no one had ever considered wearing a mask and how my best friend and her boyfriend, who were probably taking the picture, who I thought might get married, are no longer together. 

“What would we even tell those two about the year ahead?” I texted my friend, along with the blurry, scanned disposable photo. 

She thought it was a good question and worth bringing to the exec board here at HC Carleton and I agreed. So for this article in our Holiday Theme Week, I asked the execs to consider what advice they would give to themselves on New Years' 2020. 

Belle, Campus Coordinator

My advice to myself would certainly be to savour the little things a whole lot more. I definitely find myself engrossed with school and work way too often and I let the stress get the best of my fun. 2020 brought so much stress, strife, and uncertainty that made every get-together with my bubble, journey outside or extra-curricular opportunity so much more meaningful. We really don’t know when and if things will return to normal, so making the most of the joyful aspects of your life is so incredibly important. If that’s getting dressed up and making dinner with your roommates, going for a hike, or doing some online shopping, then do it if it makes you happy. Happy New Year everyone, stay safe!

Alex, Senior Editor

I would tell myself to be mindful of all the things I accomplish. Big or small just pay attention to everything you’re able to do. If it’s getting out of bed for the day, amazing! If it’s completing a project, awesome! Remember to put effort into relationships that are most important to you. Call, text, email, Facetime, it’s all worth it. Also, don’t worry too much about what you want to do after school. Be open to opportunities and trust the process, it’s not worth all the agony, and remember that no path is linear — you already know that.

Sydney, Marketing and Publicity Director

Like everyone else, this year has definitely rocked me. I will fully admit, I truly was not prepared for what this year was going to bring. This has been one of the hardest years of my life in many ways, starting off by losing my grandmother to Covid, which was obviously extremely difficult to process and deal with, for my whole family. However, in many ways this year has also forced me to grow and develop so much as a person with all the introspective time I’ve had, which I am so extremely grateful for. This year has also allowed me the opportunity to strengthen old friendships and pick up new interests and hobbies, which I likely would not have put the effort or time into if everything was “normal”. With all this being said, I think the greatest advice I would have given myself at the beginning of 2020, is to lose all expectations and to really appreciate and focus on the little things, as that’s what will bring you joy in this extremely trying year. In addition, I would stress the importance of taking everything one day at a time, because I’ve definitely gone through huge waves this year. Sometimes I’ve been extremely productive and motivated, and other times I’ve just missed “my old life” so badly that it’s been crippling. All in all, I think the biggest thing I would tell myself is that this year is going to be exhausting but it will eventually return to “normal”, and until then just be kind to yourself and those around you.

Zoya, Events Director

If I could go back to January 2020, I would tell myself that life continues. This was one of the craziest years that I have experienced and a lot of stuff, aside from the pandemic, that happened to me. I may have not liked all of it but I definitely learned from these life experiences and grew for the better. Getting to know and love yourself is important. If anything, the pandemic forced me to spend even more time with myself and allowed for reflection that a busy life doesn’t always allow. There are moments in life that feel all-consuming, and like you’ll never get out of it. At times this pandemic felt like more than I could handle, but life continued. March came and went, the summer passed, September came and school started. Now here I am with my third year of university halfway down. All these things happened, and they will continue to happen. The most you can do is make the best out of the situation. Create joy and excitement where you can, it really is the little things.

Sherlly, Social Media Director

“Sherlly, BE yourself and keep going. Hold tight for a little while longer and no matter what, don't give up. I know you will want to but trust me it will get better; it will get a lot better. Have trust in yourself. Everything you do is a part of a process, and you are so close to the light at the end of the tunnel. “ While this year was definitely hard on the world as a whole, there isn’t a single thing I would change about how this year turned out for me. I appreciate every single moment of it.

Rawan, Junior Editor

The main thing I would tell myself is to trust the process and have faith in the woman I’m becoming, especially through moments of strife. There’s this quote from Oprah that I always hold close to my heart, and it’s this: “There is a supreme moment of destiny calling on your life. Your job is to feel that, to hear that, to know that.” When you’re not listening to the part of you that calls for what it loves most, you can get taken off track — and that’s okay. You will always have time to stop, reflect, and turn back to the things that make you feel the most joy. Even if those things scare you at first, trust the process. You won’t regret it. You will find so many teaching moments that will introduce you to parts of yourself you never knew existed, parts of you that will be a vital part of your womanhood for years to come. Once you take down your protective walls and finally let your passions shine through, you will blossom into the beautiful flower you were always meant to be.

Rachel, Junior Editor

I think the advice I would give myself is to just relax. I find that so much of my time goes into assignments, or work, or clubs, and I need to remember to just take a minute and breath. Enjoy the little things, get back to old hobbies, call my friends more often, and to be honest get a full night’s sleep. As the year got crazier and crazier, I feel that I put all my energy into other activities or people to keep me distracted, but in the end, I wish I used that time for myself. It’s great being involved in so many things, but everyone should remember that it’s okay to relax and have some alone time!  

Rianna, Events Team Member

I would tell myself that heartbreak doesn’t last forever. I deserve so many good things in life even though there are times when it doesn’t feel like it at all. The right person will be worth the wait and they will give you what you deserve not just through words but also with actions!


Happy Holidays from all of us here at Her Campus Carleton! 

Alexandra graduated in 2021 with a degree in journalism and professional writing.
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