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Welcome to 2020

January 5, 2020

Here's to a brand new year!

To all of my current and future Obies (or ANY reader for that matter...), I wish you all a Happy New Year! This year is especially different, because a brand new decade awaits us. There are so many opportunities that will occur for so many of us this year, and while that idea is exciting, there may be stress that comes with those opportunities. In my case, I will be graduating in about five months. After I leave Oberlin, I will be experiencing my own brand new beginning.

There will be new beginnings for many others this year.

Perhaps you may be a prospective student who will be experiencing the "Obie life" within a few months. While that may seem scary, understand that thousands before you have experienced that exact same feeling. It is totally fine to feel nervous about the future and all the unknowns that come with it. I know that I was nervous when I first came to Oberlin. I had no idea how the experience was going to turn out for me. I went into it with an open mind and hoped for the very best, but I also understood that life happens and that everything that I was going to go through wasn't going to be positive.
 

Every positive thing that occurred in my college experience did not happen overnight.

I had to "take some L's" along the way, just like any other college student. If they tell you otherwise, they definitely aren't telling the truth! There will be nights when you are ready to pull all of your hair out. It does not matter what major you intend on pursuing, especially at Oberlin. The workload is just different from most other schools. While some majors are seemingly more difficult than others, all of them will require you to dig deep and work harder than you have ever worked before. I don't say this to scare anyone; in fact, one of the best things about Oberlin is that it challenges you to be a much better critical thinker. This way, you may be able to think your way out of difficult situations that may have absolutely nothing to do with the classes you take. However, it's the effort that you will place into those classes that ultimately guide you through those experiences. 

To the future Obies, these four years will fly BY, and they might be the most emotionally challenging times of your life (so far...). 

There may be times when you shed a few tears here and there, whether those tears come from sadness, happiness, or laughter. Tears might ensue regardless, depending on the type of person you are. There are a lot of extreme emotions that may come out of you during this wild experience. There are so many events that can occur while you are in college. After all, this experience usually takes four years or more to complete. A LOT can happen during that time period. Things happen in school and at home, and a lot of those things may be beyond your control. That was one of many lessons that I have learned over the past four years. It is totally fine, though. Life happens sometimes, and hard times may come with that. Luckily, there are resources such as the counseling center, the peer support center, and more empowering networks of people who do their best to ensure that your Oberlin experience is as beneficial as it needs to be.

As for the current Obies who are pursuing their New Year's resolutions...

We have already endured the struggle of being an Oberlin student. If we can make it through that, we can make it through almost anything else that stands in our way. Not to say that succeeding at Oberlin is impossible or anything, but it is definitely a difficult thing to achieve.

With all the coursework and extracurriculars that take over our lives, achieving our goals can be a huge challenge at times. With that challenge come stress, anxiety, and many other mental obstacles that stand in our way. Luckily for us, this school's admissions office selected us because of the fact that we seemed more than capable of handling everything that Oberlin has to offer and then some. 

Since this is a brand new decade, why not use this as an opportunity to elevate ourselves?

2020, what a special year... Whether you are an Obie or not, the time remains the same. We could use this year as the year to be even better at whatever we engage with, whether that's music, athletics, art, business, or anything else that is within our passions. What I learned at Oberlin is that being good and eventually great at something comes in the daily processes in which we do things. Perhaps there is something in our daily routine that we could do better.

For musicians, maybe another thirty minutes of practice wouldn't hurt for their upcoming performances. For athletes, maybe an additional thirty minutes in the gym may increase their productivity in their competition. If you notice, it doesn't require too much time out of the day to ultimately make more out of it, but it will make a massive difference by the time more and more of those sessions add up. It's all in the routine! This could even apply to our academics as well. While this may not be the most attractive approach, it could also be the most effective for many folks out there who are looking to improve on their grades.

Maybe an extra hour in Mudd or the Science Center (or wherever you feel most comfortable completing work) every day may help out more than you may realize. Personally, I have tried this with my writing this past semester, and it has worked pretty well for me. 

Hopefully, 2020 is your year to thrive more than ever!

This post is really to encourage those who are looking for some uplifting. The opportunities are infinite for you to do great things this year, so go ahead and take advantage of them! No matter what goals and resolutions you have, you got this, as long as you put the work in. I'm looking forward to this year and all the challenges that await me. I hope everyone reading this feels the same way!

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