New Year, New Me? New Year, Better Me. 

It’s that time of the year again. Gyms are full, and people are swearing that this year their resolution will actually stick. January’s prophecy is in progress, and the Hilltop is no exception. From visiting Koret more frequently to reducing screen time, I got an insight on USF students’ most sincere and sentimental New Year’s resolutions.

My personal New Year’s resolution is to wake up earlier, and although this change is small, I find it significant. For the past two weeks, I’ve been setting many alarms and waking up at 6-7 a.m. each morning. Although it is redundant and at points aggravating, it has gotten a lot easier and very beneficial. Suddenly, I found all the missing hours I needed to finish my to-do list by night time. I also want to be more intentional with my time. In 2022, I spent over six hours a day on my phone, scrolling endlessly until my phone either died or my class was about to start.

I needed to know: who else is out setting new goals for 2023, and what are they all about? First-year marketing major, Sydney Gutierrez told me she wants to send more postcards this year. “Since it’s my first year, I feel like I haven’t talked to my friends from back home too much, so we promised we would send each other one postcard each week to hang on our walls and update each other during the busy semester.” 

Leaving behind her friends, family, and home for the first time, fall 2022 proved to be a difficult transition for Gutierrez, but she’s optimistic about this year. She said writing cards is a hands-on way to show her appreciation for the people she misses the most. “I wasn’t really good at keeping in contact last semester, and going on winter break showed me this, so I’m hoping that this could be a small change to help.” She also said how this year she wants to practice having a more positive attitude, especially about school. It is so easy to get caught up in the chaos of a busy schedule alongside different clubs or organizations, but shutting those negative thoughts away means more time to focus on the positive. “I’m excited about this semester,” she said. “I’m definitely going to try to improve a little bit more everyday.”

Kaylee Ramirez, a third-year kinesiology major, wants to practice self-love this year. “My resolution is to spend more time focusing on myself and not putting others before me.” Ramirez told me that she wants to do little acts of service for herself and be comfortable in her independence. She wants to try going to restaurants alone or taking weekly solo-walks through Golden Gate Park. She also reflected on 2022, discussing the various lessons she learned and the reminders she has set for herself everyday because of it. “I have to remind myself to live my life day by day and be present in the moment; not to linger in the past or worry about things I can’t control.” She wants to have more intention in her actions in 2023 by balancing her time more efficiently through school, work, and her sorority. 

In her last year at USF, fourth-year marketing major Justine LaMantia is absorbing lessons from last year and turning them into actions. “My New Year’s resolution is to really focus on myself in 2023 and do things I always say I’m going to do but never get around to doing, like working out and staying active, reading for leisure, making time for friends, and having weekly self care nights.” LaMantia explained how she wants to shift her mindset and her priorities for this school year. “I didn’t put myself first in 2022 and I made a lot of decisions that really negatively affected my life as a whole.” 

Last year taught her how to walk away from things that do not benefit her, even when it seems hard. LaMantia told me about an old relationship that started with love, but turned into an unhealthy imbalance of her needs and her old partner. “It’s 100% necessary,” LaMantia said. “I’ve learned a lot from simply walking away.” After graduation, LaMantia plans to travel to the Philippines and Greece to rest from the chaotic years in university, but she’ll also be searching for career opportunities in sports marketing. 
A new year has infinite potential. According to Forbes, 80% of people abandon their resolutions by the second week of February — but it doesn’t have to be that way. In my experience, the only things you need to sustain those healthy goals this year are a positive mindset and discipline. From working out to keeping in contact with loved ones, remember, whether the changes are big or small, 2023 allows for new opportunities to better all of us. Let’s have a great year!

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