A Clean Slate

How many of you, back in January, set all of these really lofty, ambitious goals for yourself? And now, eight months later, never accomplished those goals?

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It’s okay. We’ve all been there. It’s basically a societal expectation that we will fail at our New Year’s Resolutions. But I am here to deliver good news! The new year is an arbitrary time to set goals for yourself. It’s not any better to set goals on that day than it is during any other day of the year. So, why not now?

Working in higher education, I am constantly reminded that a new year is about to begin. A new academic year. Move-in day, new students, returning students, new classes, new connections. It’s actually surprisingly rejuvenating! But here’s the good news – you don’t have to work in higher education to know what I mean. If you’ve ever been to school, at all, you know what I’m talking about. Even thinking back to elementary school – everything has that new, shiny feel. The crayons, the chalk, the clean white boards, the desks scraped free of gum. It’s a time for a fresh start.

So, I’m translating that into all of us twentysomethings, right now, regardless of whether or not we are in school. But quick side note: PRAISE the fact that I am no longer in school. It feels great! I don’t have to worry about papers or projects or classmates etc. etc. But I digress. Basically, September cues all the first-day-of-school vibes, including a very literal clean slate.

But metaphorically speaking, this is also a great time to start anew. Set new goals for yourself. Start up that project you’ve been thinking about for the past few months. Go out of your comfort zone. Try something new.

These last few days in August symbolize the last few days of summer. And as the sun sets, the summer fades, and the leaves begin to turn, it’s a good reminder that we all need turning, in our own lives. In order to grow and flourish, we need to turn over certain parts of ourselves, just like the leaves, allowing us to turn a new color.

For me, I’m hoping that fall brings some really incredible things. I don’t necessarily feel like I need a “clean slate,” per se, but I’m always open to change for the better. And even if it’s not for the better, I know at least it’s a growth opportunity where I can develop and learn more as a person.

Specifically, in the coming months with my “new year” start, I am hoping to fill my slate with:

  1. Real, genuine, solid friendships
  2. Volunteer opportunities
  3. Outside activities
  4. Love

…in that order.

I’ll elaborate.

  1. Real, genuine, solid friendships
    • I think moving to a new city coincides really well with setting new goals, and following a clean slate. I want to make some new friends! I love all of the friends that I have in the city (they are why I moved here!), but I am also looking to meet new people with general common interests.
  2. Volunteer opportunities
    • Another reason why I moved to NYC. I want to start giving back. I walk around every day, and especially in NYC, my privilege is thrown back in my face. There are so many people here who are living such different lives than me because of the difference in resources. I want to start giving back.
  3. Outside activities
    • Typical advice for a first-year student: “Get involved!” Well, I don’t think that advice changes for twentysomethings. I want to get involved! Maybe join a community chorus, or a gay bowling league (even though I hate bowling). The goal is to find a community outside of work.
  4. Love
    • Don’t we all secretly move to NYC to find love? To find ourselves? Either way, although I’m not actively looking, it would certainly be welcomed.

How are you preparing for your own clean slate?

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