Stylish Academic’s Guide to: Making the End of the Year a New Adventure

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Hello, World.

I saw a few tweets recently that said something to the effect of, “90 days left in 2017, make them count.” This made me think about how my favorite time of the year is also the end of the year. I live for October, November, and December. As soon as the leaves change, the air gets chillier, and I need a jacket to go outside, I immediately get giddy. Still, everyone always acts like the only time you can have a new beginning is in January, when the magic of the holiday season is supposed to wear off and we’re supposed to go back to reality. I’m all for new year’s goals or resolutions, but I think we can work to be better throughout the year.

So, I wanted to share my thoughts on making the end of the year count! Although many people are very busy with school, life, and holiday obligations, we should make time for new things and new traditions. I think Serena van der Woodsen once said, “traditions aren’t traditions if they’re new,” and while I agree with the statement on face value alone, I do believe we can and should start new traditions. So, rather than simply go through the motions of the holiday season and the end of the year, one way to turn the end into a beginning is by actively pursuing new traditions and memories.

One thing I’ve always wanted to do is go apple picking – it looks so fun and seems like the essence of fall. My roommate and I are hoping to go in a few weekends! So, while I could easily not go apple picking and instead spend those hours working on law school-related obligations, I’m choosing to take a few hours to make memories and enjoy the season! The end of the year always goes so quickly – it makes the first few months of the year feel like they took forever. So, it’s important to slow down, enjoy the moments, and make sure you’re making the most of the time.

One of the tweets I saw recently said, “90 days left of 2017. Make the most of it!” So, if there are resolutions you didn’t complete or you wanted to do things this year you didn’t do, don’t wait and just add them to next year’s goals list. You still have time to make a change. Whether it was giving your two weeks notice, applying for the job you’ve always wanted, going to a movie alone, overcoming your fear of rejection and applying to the reach school, ditching graduate school plans, or taking the plunge and applying Oxford, etc. There are many things that we tell ourselves we will do come January 1, but by December 31 we somehow say, “Oh, didn’t happen this year. I’ll just have that goal roll over to next year…” until suddenly its ten years later and we’re wondering why we didn’t do it sooner because it’s too late now. So, do what you’ve always wanted to do! Do not let the “end of the year” be an ending. Rather, use the time that is left in 2017 to accomplish your goals, try something new, or continue traditions but make them better.

How do you make the most of the final months of the year?

Truly,

Callie leigh

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Becoming Your Best Self: Thoughts on Improving Ourselves

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Hello, World.

Most of us are striving to become the best versions of ourselves, and that’s really what life is about, isn’t it? Getting to a point where you can stand up and say, “I’m living my life how I want to live it and I like the person I am.” There are moments throughout our lives where we reflect on where we’re going, what we’re doing, who we’re surrounding ourselves with, and I think those moments prove pivotal. Reflection is what allows us to determine if we are doing what we want or if we’re hanging out with people who bring love and positivity into our lives or simply drama and negativity.  Today I want to share my thoughts on how we become our best selves.

I believe that becoming your best self is fluid and doesn’t really have a clear end point. It’s not mathematical. You can’t say, “at 25 or 31 or 45 I will be my best self if I add love subtract toxic friendship and multiply by career success.” Rather, it’s a fluid process that never truly ends. We can always be better and we can always grow more. While it’s not clearly mathematical when you will be your best self, I do think having more of one thing and less of another will enhance your life, making you happier and a better you. I am happier when I’m active. I like having people in my life who support me and who don’t bring unnecessary drama to the table. I think most people would agree such factors make them happier. However, happiness is just one aspect of being your best self. While happiness is crucial, I also argue that unhappiness also makes us better. When we experience negative things, it exposes us to situations that can make us stronger, more empathetic and more self-aware.

Some of the biggest learning experiences in my life did not come from moments of pure joy, they came from moments of heartache. Learning how you react to certain situations, how you handle stress, how you handle discomfort is a major step in learning who you are and whether that is who you want to be. I think in order to become your best self you have to take risks; you have to be willing to be let down or disappointed. In moments of frustration or moments of feeling defeated, we are able to begin again. We can reevaluate, understand any shortcomings, and bounce back stronger than ever. Or, we can simply crumble. I reiterate this theme a lot in my posts, but it’s because I feel it’s an important one: It’s not whether we fail, it’s how we respond to the failures.

I think a crucial part of being your best self is surrounding yourself with good people who make you better. I was recently out with friends and this rumor that circulated the law school during the first few weeks of the semester came up in conversation. I asked about its validity and the guy I asked essentially called me out. His face and demeanor said something like, “really? Are you serious or is this a joke? How immature are we?” I immediately froze, in part because I was caught off guard, and in part because I appreciated the moment. It’d been far too long since someone called people on gossip and talking about people. We’re all in law school, shouldn’t our conversations be a little more…elevated? Or at least not so immature in nature? In that moment I was thankful that someone reminded me that indulging in gossip isn’t worth our time and isn’t actually the norm in some circles. What. A. Breath. Of. Fresh. Air. So, my point in relaying this story is to say that who we surround ourselves with can greatly impact who we are. Did I spend my undergraduate days asking about rumors floating around regarding people I didn’t even know? No. So, becoming our best selves also requires us to be around people who make us better, and who encourage us to refrain from negative interactions (like spreading, even if inadvertently, rumors we hear).

When we know there is something we’re unhappy with or want to change, we should change it. We need to take active steps in making a change and moving toward becoming better. So, while it’s not mathematical per se, our best selves exist somewhere where we have better people in our lives, where we feel happy, and where we make an active change to the aspects of our lives that we feel are inhibiting our personal growth.

How do you work towards becoming a better person?

Truly,

Callie leigh