Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

New Year, Same Opportunities

My social media timelines are divided between “new year, new me”, unprompted essays about why new year’s resolutions are useless, and manifestations for the future.

So which camp do I fall into? In some ways, all of them.

New year, new you? Sure — if you’re willing to put in the work. 

Despite growing up to Cinderella’s magic falling away at the stroke of midnight, the seconds between 11:59 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. aren’t all that special. I don’t blame you, though. There’s something refreshing about the idea of a blank slate. Whether it is starting a new notebook or canvass, or the beginning of university or a new semester, the feeling of starting over cannot help but inspire change. 

In most cases, the only thing standing between you and that new job, meeting new people, launching your side hustle, or getting to your goal weight, is discipline. What changes are you prepared to make to yield different results? When it boils down to it, that’s a lot of pressure. Our circumstances can blindside us and some events are truly out of your control, but how will you respond to them? How will you learn from them? How will you grow?

It’s tempting to see the new year – and now, this new decade – as a landscape of opportunities being thrust upon you, but you are steering this ship. You are monitoring the tide, deciding the direction, and choosing when to dock. You, for the most part, are in control and have always been. It’s just a matter of you owning your position.

For some, it’s an exciting time. For others, terrifying. 

If you’ve grown numb to jumping into new things because you’ve had a rough couple of years or your mind does not process and respond to all situations effectively — I see you. It can be hard to see hope on the horizon, and even harder to see people leaping to heights you have stopped imagining for yourself. But maybe your new year isn’t stamped by a new job, or your family becoming whole again, or finding a new group of friends to treat you better. Maybe it’s getting out of bed. Maybe it’s finding one new friend. Maybe it’s losing one. Maybe it’s seeing the silver lining in an hour, rather than writing the whole day off. 

It’s important to remember that change is not linear. 

Yes, we’ve heard this before. But this year, I really started to understand. I have rushed mourning and healing and new opportunities to fit into one-week, one-month, one-year turnovers in an attempt to come out triumphant, successful, and ready to tell people just how I did it. But it doesn’t work like that, and we shouldn’t expect it to work like that either. 

A year – any measure of time for that matter – should not be the sole factor in measuring our progress. Give yourself the time to feel, heal, plan, and thrive.

So make those manifestations. Claim your year. Declare your goals. Take back your power. 

If putting it out in the universe, praying to your God, writing it on a dream board, or sharing it with your friends is the first step, take it. 

Most importantly, don’t let anyone decide what your new year means for you. You can use New Year’s Eve as a jumping board into the greatness you believe you’ve been working towards. You can treat New Year’s Day like any other day. But like any other year, it’s yours.

And from the bottom of my heart, I wish you a happy new year.

Journalism & Poli Sci '20. I love books, goats, breakfast foods, and spend too much time refreshing my blog: https://sherlynassam.wixsite.com/sail