New Year, New Me

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I procrasinated taking this photo until the day before it was due. I wanted to look good with cute clothes and makeup on, but this is me everyday: no makeup, woke up five minutes before I had to leave, wearing the shirt I slept in. To publish a photo I’m not confident with in a magazine that is viewed nationally, it’s a step I’m proud of myself for taking.

I procrasinated taking this photo until the day before it was due. I wanted to look good with cute clothes and makeup on, but this is me everyday: no makeup, woke up five minutes before I had to leave, wearing the shirt I slept in. To publish a photo I’m not confident with in a magazine that is viewed nationally, it’s a step I’m proud of myself for taking.

Mario Hackney

Mario Hackney

I procrasinated taking this photo until the day before it was due. I wanted to look good with cute clothes and makeup on, but this is me everyday: no makeup, woke up five minutes before I had to leave, wearing the shirt I slept in. To publish a photo I’m not confident with in a magazine that is viewed nationally, it’s a step I’m proud of myself for taking.

Kelli Volonte, Business Manager

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The New York Times wrote an article about how to detect if you are beginning to burn out. If only I had read that article a year ago.

After a long, hard junior year I learned a lot about myself. At the time, it felt like I was never going to heal from the mistakes I had made, and over the summer a multitude of new experiences happened, and I learned that I didn’t like who I was pretending to be.

In English classes, teachers teach about how to create a good story. There’s a plot line, a subplot, the big event where life will never be the same afterwards, the climax, and resolution. If life were viewed as the kind of novel English teachers spend a month tearing apart, dissecting for analyzing, one of my life changing events occurred this summer. Then I realized how ashamed I was of the person I had developed into over the course of the past year.

Focusing on yourself is difficult, but it’s even more difficult with a constant flow of outside influences and distractions. After the “Big Life Changing Event,” I decided to cut off all the outside influences that I felt were only contributing negative factors to the person I had become.

I deleted everything. One after another, I left without saying a word to anyone. All the Snapchat streaks I had always been so worried about losing, didn’t seem to matter so much anymore. 356 days, 117 days, 40 days, the list goes on and within a few days, they were gone. No more Instagram, Twitter, Facebook – I even deleted the Tumblr I hadn’t used since Freshman year of high school.

Almost three weeks went by, and I was enjoying the isolation. Without the constant pressure of having the perfect Instagram aesthetic or retweeting the best dog photos on Twitter, I was free to focus on myself and really self reflect. It felt like I was in my own little reality, where all the mistakes I had made felt a million miles away and a lifetime ago.

Within that isolation period, I discovered who I was and who I wanted to be. While the rest of my peers were posting their senior photos and finding out what classes they had with their friends – all things I had been looking forward to over the summer – I was alone.

With being alone comes a peaceful period of self reflection and contemplation. Until reality hit me in the face and it was the night before the first day of my senior year. All of the sudden, everything I had been working on was going to have to be utilized consistently in an environment where I have struggled the most.

Slowly as I made progress on myself and towards my goals, I opened back up to the outside world awaiting on social media. It was a long process, taking months to add everything like Instagram and Snapchat back. Although the process isn’t over. I’m constantly working on being happy, approaching everything with empathy, and all of the other goals for I have for myself.

Having personal goals for developing as a person is overlooked by the goals people have for their career or college. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if all of the other, more materialistic goals are reached if you haven’t developed as a person and grown from the experiences you’ve had.

Being a kind and compassionate person, constantly growing and learning to be a better person is all that really matters. And sometimes, it’s easier to focus on doing that without a continuous flow of outside influences. Social media will still be there if someone decides to take a break for a little while.

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