Grace Wan, ‘18
The days are winding down to the final moments of the year. As one month becomes one week, and one week becomes one day, it is almost time for us to bid farewell to 2014. In addition to accidentally writing “2014” at the top of our headings for the first few days of January, the common practice of making New Year’s resolutions has found its way into the BHSEC community as a tradition for each new year.
The roots of New Year’s resolutions are found in the first signs of celebration for the beginning of a new year, which date back approximately 4,000 years to ancient Babylon. The Babylonians intended for their resolutions – many of which concerned returning borrowed farm tools to their owners – to allow them to start the year morally and correctly.
Lasting for 4,000 years, the tradition has spread to BHSEC students, who have made resolutions of their own. Improving academically, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and challenging oneself are resolutions that are shared by the BHSEC community. “My resolution is to do better in school and to be more physically and socially active. I want to be part of bettering the community,” stated Kyla Brown, a Y1. The drive for enhancing one’s surroundings is shared by faculty members: “I’d like to create a concert series which would feature musicians, poets, performers, and dancers here at BHSEC,” Dr. Despommier reported. In addition to improving in a school setting, BHSEC students also look to bettering their personal lives. Facing new experiences is a shared goal, as is posing hurdles for oneself to jump over. “I want to develop a new hobby that will take me out of my comfort zone,” remarked ninth grader Jessica Irimescu. Zettiah Wilson, a ninth grader, agreed: “I want to come out of my comfort zone and to start exercising more.”
BHSEC students have also noted that while setting goals can be valuable, it is ultimately the effort one puts in that determines if a resolution is successful or not. “A resolution is for yourself. If you put your mind to it, then you can do it, but if you don’t, you won’t get anywhere,” Hanan Issa, a tenth grader, commented. Students also expressed that a resolution is not the only path to accomplishment. As said by Danielle Moulton, a tenth grader, “I don’t think it makes sense to make a resolution at New Year’s when you can make one at any time in the year.” Furthermore, though striving toward a vision can be helpful, excessively pressuring oneself to follow a resolution can yield negative results. “New Year’s doesn’t have to be stressful. People shouldn’t feel obligated to change their lives simply because it’s New Year’s. You can start the New Year any day,” advised Dr. Despommier.
Ultimately, each individual has the power to decide for him or herself whether or not a personal resolution will be made for the New Year. Whether it is to be accepted to one’s first-choice college, to help others and the world, or to finally remember to write 2015 instead of 2014 in January, everyone has the potential to determine for themselves what they will accomplish, even without the guidance of a resolution. Who knows? 2015 could be your year!