Reflection: What the New Year Means to Me

Once midnight hits and the new year starts, I think we are all going to let out a collective sigh of relief. Honestly, 2016 has definitely been one of the toughest years. I mean it was probably worse than 2012 and the world was supposed to end that year. Between the election and the deaths of some of the most iconic figures, this year has been one crazy event after another, so the new year is welcomed with open arms and a greater sense of hope than in the past.


    Although we celebrate the new year with parties, countdowns, and fireworks, what does the new year really mean? To some, the first day of the year signifies a new beginning. They are able to put the last year behind them and start fresh with the optimism that this year will be their year. For others, the new year is the first step in making a change. They set their goals in hopes of bettering themselves by the time the new year rolls around once again. 


    I could sit here and list off each of my resolutions, promising that the cliche "new year, new me" saying will magically come true as soon as the clock strikes midnight. But even Cinderella's magic wore off at midnight, leaving her with a pumpkin, a torn up dress, and some mice. That's not to say I don't have resolutions, because I do, but life happens and resolutions change over time. 


    To be honest with you, I am as equally terrified for the new year as I am excited. The new year always seems like such a mystery and you never fully know what to expect. After going through a year like 2016, 2017 is unpredictable. Where will you be at this point next year? Who will still be in your life and who will leave? Each day serves as a new possibility that something great will happen, but some not so great things can happen too.


    My first post as an intern for Dream On Youth was to discuss different DIY projects that could help boost positivity as we headed into 2015. One of my favorite things to do when a new year starts is to begin a jar of good things. With this project, you can keep track of all of the good things that happened over the year by writing them down with the date on a small piece of paper. Each slip of paper is then put into a jar that you can open on December 31st, allowing you to reminisce on the past year. Whether it's small accomplishments like getting an A on a really tough test or something bigger like a vacation, the jar serves as a reminder of all of the good things that happened. Although I slacked a little bit towards the end of the year, I always love going through the jar and remembering some of the smaller moments that occurred.


    As we head into the new year, I want to set a goal for those of you who are reading this. Take each day as a new opportunity to improve and grow, no matter what happened the day or week before. When something good happens, write it down. I'm not saying you have to create your own jar, but a quick note on your phone works too. You'll be glad you did when 2018 rolls around and you're able to remember the small moment that put a smile on your face when times were tough.

Mika Matias