New Year’s Resolutions

Charlie Buttler, Staff Writer

New Year’s Resolutions can be a kick start for anyone who is looking to accomplish a goal. But do people really need the New Year to find motivation to make a change? I was interested in what the students of Issaquah High thought of those resolutions and if they had any of their own that could inspire others to make one for themselves.

According to CNBC, resolutions in the new year date back reportedly to at least over 4,000 years ago in ancient Babylon, where people promised to repay debts and return things that they had borrowed in the past year to please their fickle deities.

Before interviewing students, I conducted some background research to get an understanding of their relevance today, especially with successful people. Melinda Gates has quite an interesting outlook on New Year’s Resolutions, choosing a single word to help her find guidance throughout the year, including “gentle” and “spacious.” Oprah Winfrey, though, does not like to make resolutions, saying that she prefers to live in the moment instead. “I can literally start crying over a leaf. I live in the moment. I try to find the good that’s going on in any given situation.”

Most of the students I talked to had a fairly negative outlook on New Year’s Resolutions. They believe that they are good ideas in theory, but people do not take them seriously enough and cannot stick to them in the long run. If people want to make a change, they should not need the New Year to warrant that.

For example, Senior Priscilla Tran thinks the whole idea is quite “lazy” and that they are an “easy way to get out of planning throughout the entire year.” Instead, she ops to choose goals whenever she wants to that are completed over longer periods of time. For example, Tran wants to “hike in every single national park in the U.S. It keeps me motivated. If I only went to school, did homework and worked, I wouldn’t be doing what I love.” Throughout her life, Tran will also seek to “land on every single continent throughout the world.” She added that “traveling has been a big part of me and my parents taught me to learn about different cultures and to respect them, then you have a different outlook on life and an understanding of other people’s lives.”

Similarly, Sophomore Paris Brown does not support the idea of New Year’s Resolutions. She believes that it “should not take one day to change you.” People make them because they are “bored with themselves, so they try to find a reason to act differently.” She came to this belief after trying to make a New Year’s Resolution of getting better grades in middle school as a New Year’s Resolution. It did not work because she says, “I realized that it was not so much about bettering myself. Rather than just saying on the spot that I will do it, I would have planned it out much better.”

While some had quite a negative outlook on the resolutions, others thought that they are a legitimate way to become a better person. Just because they may seemed forced because they have to begin around a certain time period, those students thought that should not be an excuse to take it lightly.

For example, junior Kas Bakker wants to cut his Xbox time in half. His goal may sound simple on the surface, but he has chosen this in order to accomplish far more for himself. He chose this resolution so that he could spend his time more efficiently doing stuff that is useful to [his] future, like getting a job and driver’s license.” At the start of 2018, he has the resolution to “be less lazy and get a job,” but did not have very much of a plan to accomplish it. This year, he is committed and will follow his resolution in order to have a successful year. “When I get home, I will not jump on the Xbox for two hours, but rather jump straight into the homework,” Bakkar says  Forgetting his past misfortunes, the junior was confident: “I am going to crush this one!” he exclaimed.

Along the same lines as Bakker, Senior Akhil Joshi has a classic goal this year: stop procrastinating. Especially in his senior year, he felt it vital to have this resolution at such an important time of his school career. “I need to prepare for college, especially the applications for them,” says Joshi. Besides all the applications, he wants to have success in his classes that can earn him college credit. “I want to start doing work as soon as it’s assigned, like the KBATs in my AP Gov class.” Getting school work done sooner would free up more time for him to work on college-related tasks. His key to following through is simply to “take it seriously. I need to have a clear plan for the resolution,” claimed the senior.

Junior Dianne Caras simply wants to get better grades in the New Year, but has clear motivation to become that better student. “My dad has been pushing me to have better grades. Even though I think I am doing well he wants me to do even better by studying more,” said the junior. Although the resolution may be brought on more by her family, she has taken the initiative to do whatever she can to follow through. “Group studies with people who take the same class or have already taken the class have really helped me out,” claimed Caras. In her junior year, where grades are probably more important than any other, it is a great time to try out new methods to find out what works. Caras said, “If my math grade improves, that would be a good indicator of success.” At the end of the school year, she could reap the benefits from her family too. “Usually if I have A’s my dad gives me some money, so that helps keep me motivated,” said the junior.

All in all, the students of Issaquah High have quite mixed feelings towards New Year’s Resolution, but all believe in setting goals, regardless of the time of year. Most New Year’s goals were school-oriented, but some had high aspirations for the future outside the classroom. But, it is safe to say that IHS students will do whatever it takes to improve.