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As 2021 concludes, the new year seems like a good time to start thinking about what you want to accomplish within the next year. Although the last few years have been difficult, I think 2022 should be a year to look forward to reaching our goals and living our dreams.

Dear 2022,

As I write to you, there is about a month before you start and I’m excited – but also very nervous. The past two years have been tough and it’s time to end that streak. I think getting through hardship consists of positive thinking. Negative thoughts will not bring positive outcomes, but sometimes that can be hard for me to understand. 

Cheers to a year that will be filled with gratefulness and graciousness to myself and the world. Within the past year, I’ve learned to see the beauty of my surroundings and I wish to continue to be blessed with the nature that surrounds me. From the leaves that fall from the trees to the snow that flurries all around, and the flowers that spring from the ground; I’m so grateful for the beauty of nature that I get to see everyday. Moreover, I hope to start seeing it in the people around me as well.

Sometimes, I am so fixated on the arguments I have with a person that I completely dismiss all the good that they have showcased. I want to be able to remember the good, not completely ignore the bad, but to highlight that things are not always as bad as they seem. 

Here’s to a year of self love and care. Not a self love based on competition and comparison with others, but one with a newfound confidence and glow. One where health, fun and exploration are driving factors. I want to keep reading the books I want to read, and taking the classes I find fulfilling.

Activities should be tried and explored, but no one should be telling me I’m not having fun just because they aren’t making the same choices as me. It’s okay to enjoy staying in and watching a movie over forcing myself to go out when I don’t want to. Balance is important.

The biggest lesson I need to learn is to live the life I want to live now and stop making excuses. I’m looking at this new year as an opportunity to take a step back and think about what I want rather than arranging plans that will never work out – I am just going to live my life.

Planning is good, but I’ve learned that spontaneity is usually key to unexpected fun. Stop over-planning and just go. Sometimes the best things in life are the most spontaneous.

Let this be a year where dreams come true and a smile remains glued to my face. One where I control my life and actions and not the people around me. I will discourage my toxic behaviors and only welcome the good. Stay kind and soft, but allow a slight fierceness to stick up for myself. If others want to judge, let them, they aren’t the ones that will be affected by my choices at the end of the day.

Let this be a year of love and rebuilding.

Thank you 2021 for these lessons, and welcome 2022, I can’t wait to enter this next adventure with you.

Arianna is currently a second year student at Penn State University from Massachusetts. In her free time she likes to listen to music, read, and watch the same three shows over and over again.
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