I feel so old. I’m 21 and supposedly in my prime, but I feel terrible. There, I said it, I feel absolutely awful. This doesn’t mean I’m not happy with my life, but it does mean that I’m not afraid to admit when I just don’t feel good. I’m old enough to know that I’ve overbooked my schedule, that I say “yes” too much, and that I don’t know when to quit. It’s safe to say I’ve never had a New Year’s resolution to be more “open to experiences”. 

I’m old now, so I know that stress accumulates, and over the past three years I’ve accumulated a lot. I know that the habits I’ve formed my entire life are not all bad, but they’re not all healthy. I know that I want to be healthy. This brings me to the resolutions I’ve signed an unwritten contract to complete by New Year 2021…my senior year, and last semester at Coe College.

1. Gratitude

Thank your mother and your brother, your sister and your mister if they’ve been there for you when you need them. I’m a polite person, so I say thank you, but I’ve always had a problem with truly feeling grateful for what I have. Have you seen Hamilton (the musical)? Me neither, but my favorite song is Satisfied because I resonate so much with Angelica.

I always want more, I want to do more, and feel more, because I’ve tied a lot of my self worth to what I’m able to accomplish. I am thankful for being blessed with loved ones who always push me to be my best, but I accept that the mindset I developed was very unhealthy.

I spent my 2nd year here at Coe, focusing on my mental health and training myself to cope in more productive (realistic) ways by putting a leash on my perfectionism. I made significant progress, but failed to accurately assess the time my commitments required of me, and towards the end of my first semester as a junior, I broke down. 
I am old now. Over winter break, gone from my new home for a month – the longest I’ve been away in years- I aged a few years, so I know that I am grateful for my past self, who despite her cycle of acute stress was able to pull herself together and accomplish so many of her goals.

She made accomplishment posts for the blog, to hold herself accountable for her promise to the world – to no longer diminish herself and to no longer hold expectations that required far too much sacrifice in mental health.

I am grateful for the adults around me who mentor and support my ideals and constantly encourage me to fight for my dreams. I am grateful for my loving family. I am grateful for my friends. 

2. Patience

It takes time to reach your goals. I set many, lose track of them, and constantly look towards the future – forgetting to enjoy the journey. I felt too rushed when I came back to campus. I didn’t expect to be so busy…so quickly, and this is only the beginning!

I enjoyed winter break, I really did. Lounging around the house, playing Sims, doing crafts, et cetera, are all fun, but, I always go too far. I didn’t just lounge around the house. I biked around the neighborhood in the cold, looking at houses for design inspiration, and built my dream cottage from scratch, in the Sims.

I challenged my imagination and made my Sims roam the streets adopting strays, and marry sims to murder them and steal their money (it happens). I knitted three scarves, worked on my scrapbook, made door decorations, and tried vegan recipes. Winter break was nothing but free time for me to finally go through my list of things I couldn’t do during the school year. 
Now, I’m swamped. I think back to freshman year, and see myself playing in the lobby, reading books by the giant windows. Those were good times, that are gone.

The fact is, I’ve trapped myself in a trick room, where the clues to get out are hidden in plain sight. It will take time to find my way out. There are numerous paths I can take, and it’s up to me to decide and move on, when I’m ready.

This is the reason I choose to practice patience as my second resolution for the year. I’m overwhelmed now, but with time this will pass. 

3. Boundaries & Calculated Risks

A lot of students learn by now to let go of “non-essential” commitments and to limit themselves to one or two, outside of classes. But, not this woman! This 21-year-old (still energized from my birthday) thinks it’s fun to be busy. I mentioned earlier that I have no problem saying “yes”, which contrasts the resolutions of millions of people everywhere, who challenge themselves to be like me.

I have a “no” problem, where I talk myself out of stopping myself from doing something. Since I’m practicing patience, I’m not going to try to kill this habit, which would mean leaving all of my officer positions in clubs. Instead, I will be taking calculated risks. 
For me, this means not accepting a challenge unless I know I can do it. This means that before I say “yes”, I will compare it to all of the other things I’m currently doing, and could be doing instead. This means that I may make a few people mad or disappointed when I tell them that I can’t devote the same time and energy that they do.

This means that even when I really want to do something, I must accept that I simply have more important/urgent things to do. It is not easy to set limits on myself, and I’ve spent most of my life making decisions based on how other people may feel or think.

This is the difficult, yet immensely powerful perk of being an adult. I know that I am in control, and I’m taking back the power that I too loosely gave others. 

4. Physical Health

Physical Health

I prioritized most things in life (academics, work, clubs) over my health. I’ve recently focused on my mental health (my perception and feelings) because I believe that by changing my thoughts I can change my behavior.

Now, I’m ready to prioritize my physical health as well. The aches and migraines, pains and shin splints can no longer be ignored. If I am supposedly at my prime, the future of my body looks bleak.

Over the next year, I will be integrating healthier eating habits and develop my own fitness routine to ensure that while I am at Coe – with access to a crazy awesome fitness center and surrounded by a strong support network – I make necessary changes that can only benefit my future. 


Junior year has been the worst year of college, so far. Junior year has been the most impactful, informative, and inspirational year of college, so far. I have never felt as secure with myself nor proud of my accomplishments than I have this year.

I’m constantly stressed, overworked, and overwhelmed. I’m consistently glad to be here. I’ve learned that life is full of paradoxes, and that my future is looking bright. I feel that the resolutions I’ve set for myself are attainable, and already I have made great progress towards these ideals.

I’ve set goals and milestones to reach as incentives, and have now told you, so that you can help me hold myself accountable.

Let’s destigmatize mental health by normalizing discussing both our wins AND losses, joys AND stressors!!!

2020 turned into a completely different year than I expected, but here I am in 2022 (Feb 19), still working towards my goals and dreams. I believe in myself, and I believe in you!

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