Welcome back! Off to work we go; once again into the breach, and all that. Here’s hoping we can all work together to make the second semester of the current academic year as two-riffic as possible (I’ll go ahead and start by never, ever making a pun that awful again).
I don’t know whether any of you have made a start on the dreaded r*solutions yet – or whether you’ve made them at all, for that matter – but if you have, fair dues, because I haven’t. To be fair, I, and many others don’t really make r*solutions anymore. The word itself has become so stigmatised in my mind that I’ve gone so far as to censor it in this very editorial. The thing is, I don’t really know of anyone who’s managed to stick to one of those clichéd “new-year-new-me” r*solutions that you have such high hopes for on the 1st of January, and then abandon halfway through the month once you’ve realised you might have been a bit too idealistic. That’s partly because very few people have the kind of iron-clad self-motivation skills to go from couch potato to marathon chip within a few weeks, and partly because people don’t tend to dramatically transform within a short period of time (even if that period of time is a whole year).
Anyway, it’s not about creating a “new” you, is it? It’s about realising the potential inside “current” you. I’ve found that oftentimes if we’re not too fond of ourselves the real problem is less about how we actually are and moreso about how we perceive ourselves. A low self-opinion is a very difficult thing to navigate, though, so we’d all be forgiven for letting it win over sometimes.
The closest thing to a r*solution I’ve come to this year is just to be a little bit nicer to myself. My plan is to do more of the things that make me happy, work harder to get what I want, and maybe be a bit more sociable (does anyone else, by the way, feel like this whole ‘Refreshers Week’ thing is a bit directed at them? Like, instead of having a hip ‘n’ happenin’ Freshers week back in September, you hosted one house party and were still in bed by 12? Just me? OK). I’ve always been the type to get frustrated if I can’t do something well the first time around, so I’ve had to reprogramme my brain over the last few weeks to make sure it knows that we’re going to have some work to do if we’re going to make this process happen.
The thing is, developing a good self-image is hard work, but so is everything worth doing. The deepest and most personal relationship you’re ever going to have is with yourself, and so I’d argue that learning to love that person is one of the most important things you can do. There’s no one way to do it, either: some rare unicorns of people do manage to wake up one morning with a new lease on life, but for most of the rest of us, we have to start small. Write down one thing you like about yourself each night, maybe, and keep expanding on that list until you start to believe what you’re writing. Surround yourself with things and people that make you happy. If needs be, seek professional help from a counsellor. Baby steps, my friends. After all the flack you’ve taken from yourself over the years, you deserve to be happy.
And as always, be nice to each other. Keep an open mind, be empathetic – oh, and don’t let fascism win. Again, welcome back to semester two; I hope it’s your best one yet!