New Years Resolutions for Anteaters

The new year has arrived, and college students are all probably feeling the same post-holiday blues and agitation in regards to us not being accustomed to writing 2012 on our homework assignments and papers.

2012 is here though, and whether this is our last year on Earth or not, with the looming predictions by Nostradamus and the Mayan calendar, we must continue living our lives here at Irvine.

We all perhaps feel like falling into an endless sleep for the ensuing 10 weeks with winter quarter before us, but we will all transition and prevail, maybe sporting heavy, tired eyes and holding an energy drink in one hand and with a pretzel in the other (as the Wetzel’s Pretzels just recently opened in University Center), but we will adjust, remain triumphant this quarter with our celebrated Anteater pride.

Perhaps though, a few words of advice should be imparted to the UC Irvine student body, in order to encourage a successful, productive and fun winter quarter.

First, as our days at UCI seem to be flying by at record speed, we should all attempt to tackle some of the feats on the UCI bucket list of 50 things we, as students, should do before we graduate from the school.  This list includes zany things from going to school in pajamas (embarrassing, I admit, but it does imbue a feeling of triumph and confidence once fully achieved) to asking about and finding the secret UCI underground tunnels.

These tasks may seem bizarre and frivolous, but they are great ways to perhaps get a conversation started with a stranger and they do instill a little bit of UCI pride as we celebrate the university’s upcoming 50th anniversary in 2015.

Another way that we can get more immersed into campus culture is by getting more involved. This may seem draining, time-consuming and unnecessary for success, but it provides a great way to meet new people, help others and escape the weird roommates people constantly complain about on the Anteater Express.

However, there are a plethora of clubs at UCI, all with various focuses, and they offer new experiences and opportunities that can be beneficial to us and pleasurable.  These clubs range from The Writer’s Circle, which critiques student’s creative writing, to the Harry Potter Club, which focuses on and plans games and activities around the famous J.K. Rowling books.  Clubs are a great way for students to get some downtime from lectures and homework and to interact with fellow students in a non-academic setting.

We can all enjoy the commencement of 2012 and of the winter quarter by shunning the traditions of the New Year’s resolutions.  New Year’s resolutions are heavily loaded promises that only set us up for failure.

It is erroneous to begin the New Year with setting unrealistic commitments. Instead, goals should be things that we setup for ourselves on our own time and that we should be planning and working on while here at UCI. Hopefully, by us being at this great institution, we are already well on our way to achieving our goals. Forget the diets and the pledges to run more and get better grades, and just be the best person that you are capable of being, sans the upsetting resolutions.

As corny as it sounds, the failed resolutions only make us seem like disappointments, as our busy schedules don’t allow for much time to carry out superficial promises.

Speaking of bettering oneself, one thing I will remember with fondness about 2011 and which I hope will carry over into this new year is the sense of rebellion that swept throughout  the  world.  This rebellion was an attempt at improvement and was witnessed in the acts of the national Occupy Wall Street movement and in the larger-scaled Arab Spring uprisings.  Being both a daddy’s girl and what many would call a “goody two-shoes,” I usually frown on rebellious acts, including the many times my sister used to sneak out during the wee hours of the morning. Still, I found that these revolts against what many consider corrupt systems were about expression and that they defined what the human spirit is all about.  Expression is essential to the human existence, and by people rising up and voicing their opinions, change is possible and good may possibly prevail in these times of economic headache and global pandemonium.

Hopefully these uprisings continue in 2012, fighting against what people deem unjust, and the world  perhaps will be made into a better, happier place … and if the world does end this year, at least we can say we ended on a stellar note.

The year has officially begun, and we may not be able to predict definitely what will unravel both in our own lives and throughout the world, but we can promise ourselves a fulfilling year filled with new adventures and great times at this university. By getting involved and by being the best we can be and with self-expression, it’s guaranteed to be another amazing year at UCI.  So welcome back and let’s see that Zot! Zot! Pride!

Stephanie Weldy is a third-year English and literary journalism double major. She can be reached at weldys@uci.edu.