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Students differ on resolutions for 2011

January 27, 2011

Graphic by Kelley Lyness

By Sara Bottinelli, Staff Writer

New Year’s is a time for celebration, excitement and anticipation for one year to end and another to begin. Not only does New Year’s mark a time where everyone gathers around their television sets to watch the ball drop in New York City, but it also captures a time where individuals around the world begin to make their New Year’s resolutions.

These resolutions can vary from flossing more, to the popular goal of losing weight. Many students from Young Harris College also have a variety of ambitions for 2011, while some prefer not to make any resolutions at all.

The act of making New Year’s Resolution dates back to 2000 B.C., when Babylonians would hold celebrations during the spring and autumn equinoxes. During those times people marked the new year often by paying off debts or returning borrowed goods. The tradition was later picked up by the Romans who began offering good behavior to a double-faced deity named Janus, the god of beginnings and ends. When the Roman calendar was formed, the first month of the year was named after Janus and January 1st was established as the start of the new year. Today, individuals continue to make New Year’s resolutions as the Romans did, however, the tradition has lost much of its appeal.

In a recent poll taken 100 students were asked if they had made any New Year’s resolutions and the results showed that only a little more than half the student body had made any commitments at all. Out of the 100 people asked only 56 percent answered “yes” to the poll, while 44 percent answered “no.”

Many of the students who made a resolution responded with excitement and looked forward to accomplishing their goals or at least attempting too.  Janelle Morris, a senior English major from Canton, shared her resolution for this year.

“My New Year’s resolution is to meet a new person every single day. This is my last semester at Young Harris, and I want to take advantage of every day I have left,” Morris said.

The students had a variety of goals which ranged from personal improvement to overcoming a challenging obstacle. Ky Hart, a freshman outdoor leadership major from Boulder, Colorado, made a resolution that not many people would commit too.

“My goal is to kayak the Green River Narrows in Ashville before the end of the year,” said Hart, who spends much of his time outdoors.

Nicole Schmidt, a freshman from Blairsville, also shared her resolution which she strives to accomplish.

“My resolution is to better myself in all aspects of life, to basically become a better person and ultimately become happier with my life and myself,” Schmidt said.

On the flip side of New Year’s were the students who decided that making a resolution was not for them.  A study made by the University of Washington in 1997 discovered that 47 percent of the 100 million adults who make resolutions gave up on their goals after as little as two months. The University of Minnesota has continued to research the popularity of this tradition and has found that as much as 80 percent of the population does not follow through with their resolutions.

Jordan Meeks, a freshman outdoor leadership major from New Zealand, shared her thoughts, which greatly coincided with study results.

“I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions because resolutions are always meant to be broken,” Meeks said.

Erica Neese, a freshman from Marietta, also expressed how she believes that making a resolution does not mean that it will help you accomplish your goal.

“If I haven’t done something already I just assume I am not going to do it at all. I don’t need to make a resolution if I want something to happen,” Neese said.

While many continue to follow tradition and make a list of goals for the upcoming year, there will always be those students who choose not to follow any commitments and see how the year unfolds. However, the tradition continues to be a popular trend regardless of its success.

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