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I had so many things planned for the winter break. Work on some creative projects I’ve been putting off. Meet up (virtually) with friends and reconnect with people I haven’t talked to in a while. Catch up on some online work. Take a wine-tasting course. Do some research on future scholastic endeavours. Write some more HerCampus articles to get ahead before classes start. But even with almost a month off, I didn’t accomplish the tasks I set out to do. And I hate that I am so disappointed in myself every single time I see my little sticky note on my computer with all the goals I had. 

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It isn’t like I haven’t done anything with my break, I’ve actually done a few things that I should be proud of. I should be happy that I got into cycling, spent lots of time cooking with my family and got caught up on a few TV shows I’ve been looking into (The Mandalorian, anyone?). But I can’t help but feel like it isn’t enough. And despite not having done anything taxing during the break, I’m more depressed than ever starting the semester. It might be because I haven’t seen anyone in person other than my family for over a month. It might be that this pandemic has been dragging on for longer than I hoped. It might be because a lot of people I thought I was close to have stopped reaching out. All of these things, including all of the other hassles of 2020, have really added up. 

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But this is the start of a new year, and there is so much yet to look forward to. My one new year’s resolution for 2021 is to be nicer to myself. I need to be more self-aware that I can’t always do everything I want to, and that’s okay! 2020 has been a rough year for everyone, and it has left most people drained, and I’m not naive enough to think that a new year will immediately make all that go away. Working on mental health is a struggle that most people in university will face at some point, and it’s particularly difficult to do with the pandemic going on. For now, I’m okay with just staying afloat. I’m becoming aware that it isn’t necessarily the year to figure myself out by making a bunch of resolutions that I won’t necessarily be able to keep up with. But that doesn’t mean I’m not ready to brave the year ahead. So for 2021, if you will have one resolution, try to make it self-acceptance and awareness. And most of all, be kind to yourself. You deserve it.

My name is Ariane and I am studying biology and psychology at Queen's University! I am passionate about environmental conservation and feminism, and love trying new things, volunteering to help those around me, and general self-improvement!
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