I have always had an interesting relationship with New Year's Eve. Despite my love of all things nostalgic, New Year's Eve has always seemed like a kind of odd holiday - after all, January 1st is just another day, it's not inherently more important than any other day of the year. It's always seemed arbitrary to me to choose the beginning of the year as a time to look back on our lives and to set new goals. After all, shouldn't we assess our lives more often than every 365 (or in the case of 2012, 366) days? Shouldn't we always look towards the future and plan ahead? Some people think that NYE has to be meaningful, some people think NYE means partying until dawn. Some people feel the need to look ahead and others to look behind and wallow in the past. There's just too much pressure all around, and I'm not into it.
On the other hand, January 1st is my birthday, and like pretty much every kid, I love my birthday simply because it's my birthday (Harry Potter is the exception that proves the rule). The added bonus of being born on New Year's Day means that I'm not the only one celebrating. Plus, I was born at 2:08 AM, which made me the first baby born in 1993 in Schenectady County. Even though I wasn't in the paper (my parents didn't choose my name in time for an article to get to press), I'm pretty proud of that - plus, it's fun fact for ice-breaker games.
Another perk of being a New year's baby? When my friend Juliana (the host of the party I went to) told her mom that it was my birthday, her mom got me a cake, which she surprised me with at midnight.
However, I don't think I would like NYE if my birthday didn't happen to be at the end of the night. I'm not into making New Year's resolutions. Thinking back, I can only come up with one year when I made New Year's resolutions, and that was only because I had two close girlfriends sleeping over and they convinced me that I needed a list. I am more inclined to make short-term goals, such as the goal I made at the beginning of senior year, to face the college application and admissions process with optimism (I'll get back to you on how that went). I prefer to work with shorter periods of time because I know from experience that when I allow myself a lot of time to do something, I procrastinate, no matter what it is. For whatever reason, though, I chose to throw that rationale to the winds and I decided to make just one New Year's resolution. So in 2012, I, Emily Wilkerson, resolve to experience life more, to say "yes" to new things, and to not hide in a corner when a new opportunity comes my way. I have essentially been working on this goal since I was high school, but there is only so much you can do when nearly everyone already knows your name and that embarrassing thing that you did in sixth grade. In college, there are so many more opportunities to try new things and meet new and interesting people and there's the added bonus that compared to the post-college world, the risk factor for making mistakes is relatively low.
Anyway, I've decided to make it my resolution this year for two reasons. Firstly, because I've always been a bit of an introvert. When faced with the choice to either socialize or remain in solitude, I will almost always choose solitude, simply because it requires less effort on my part and because I have always been comfortable being alone. One plus in living in a dorm, even without a roommate, is that I've become more used to near-constant stimulation and socializing, but I think it's time for me to be more active and seek out new experiences instead of taking my usual route and waiting for them to come to me. Secondly, I feel like I if I ever want to become a great, or even a good writer, I need to experience more, to make more mistakes. It's my understanding that most really interesting and compelling writers have lots of interesting life experiences to draw from, whether they were positive or negative. While I'm not completely boring, my suburban, introverted existence isn't exactly fantastic material for the next Great American Novel, or even the next Great Blog Post, which is probably a bit more my speed.
Well, that post got pretty introspective pretty fast. But seriously, I hope that everyone rang in the New Year in their preferred style! On New Year's Eve, I went to a party with some friends that I did high school musicals with, many of whom are college seniors, and of course, I had to ask them all about where they're applying and how applications are going. I hope that all of you high school seniors are finished, or nearing completion, with your applications, but if you have any last-minute questions about anything, feel free to comment on any of my posts or e-mail me (all student email addresses are just firstname.lastname@example.org).
And since I am loath to publish a post without music, here is 2011's DJ Earworm United State of Pop mash-up, which was on heavy rotation at my NYE party. Happy New Year to all!