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It’s officially New Year’s resolutions season. Although I honestly don’t think time is real, I think we all naturally like the idea of a fresh start. There’s no better time to try ditching everything you think makes you a negative person. 


At this point, I think articles about New Year’s resolutions being a bit tired and useless are getting old. Instead, I’d rather carry the lessons I learned in 2020 to 2021 to try to improve my overall well-being instead of burning out from overly-ambitious resolutions by Jan. 10. 


I learned a lot in 2020 — and a lot about myself. I’m looking forward to continuing this growth, using philosophies I’ve already been carrying for most of my life, and fully launching myself into 2021 and any of the obstacles I will face. 


So, rather than making a resolution to shrink yourself or to end toxic relationships, I hope someone else can carry the lessons I’ve learned in 2020 through a bigger picture in 2021. 


There’s a lot I can’t control 


I think — or at least I hope — many people also learned this in 2020. Suddenly, everything changed on a Friday in March. I faced a lot of disappointments this year, like most people. But, learning to surrender to fate instead of dwelling over what I can’t control is powerful and essential. 


But, I can control how I react


I know a lot of people hate to hear this, and I am definitely one of those people, but you can consciously work to avoid reacting negatively to these situations you can’t control. I am still learning this myself. But, it helps my anxiety overall if I remind myself I control how I react to situations. 


My thoughts are powerful 


Through increased alone time and free time in 2020, I learned a lot about spirituality and principles like the law of attraction. I want to continue to launch what I have learned into action in 2021. Like Ariana said, it’s just like magic! 


Procrastination is toxic 


I had probably the worst year of my life as far as procrastination. I don’t know what it was, but I felt completely unable to complete any work unless it was mere hours before the due date. I typically have no problem with procrastination, and I like to finish work as soon as possible to maximize my free time and minimize stress. 


But, I learned the toxic cycle of procrastination that frequently led to me starting essays at 11 p.m. on a Friday night and prevented me from fully enjoying my time. 


Sometimes, doing what I don’t want to do will make me feel best 


I love being alone, but like many other anxious introverts, sometimes the alone time I think I want actually ends up just making me feel worse. In 2021, I want to remember this and try to enjoy my time instead. 


Inner happiness leads to outer happiness 


Finally, if 2020 taught me a most important lesson, it is to not count on outer circumstances and people for happiness. I think I’m generally a happy person, but I’ve especially learned how to remain positive, optimistic and motivated about life for internal reasons. 


I’m really looking forward to a rich, positive and happy year as I carry this lesson into 2021.

Becky is a junior at Penn State studying digital/print journalism and French. She is a staff writer for Her Campus and also the lifestyle editor at the Daily Collegian. Becky is a member of the Penn State Thespian Society, and also is a committee member on a THON OPPerations committee. In her free time, she can be found listening obsessively to various broadway cast recordings (her favorite at the moment being Hadestown) or watching old episodes of RuPaul's Drag Race.
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