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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

“New Year’s Resolutions”

McGowan holds a water bottle, representing her New Years resolution.
McGowan holds a water bottle, representing her New Years resolution.

By: Essence Buckman, Staff Writer

Every time New Year’s Eve rolls around the corner, the excitement for the beginning of a new year is off the charts. Family, friends, food, fireworks, partying and watching the ball drop in New York City serve as traditions for bringing in each New Year. One tradition, however, is one of the most commonly practiced, or claimed to be, for each beginning year. That tradition is New Year’s resolutions, practiced around the world but most commonly in the United States.

Starting after the Great Depression in America, these resolutions consist of a person making a vow at the beginning of a new year to change something about themselves. These changes could be as simple as being nicer or more courteous, or they could be as challenging as going to the gym regularly or changing a diet to a healthier standard. These resolutions have some religious correlation dating back to the Babylonians, Romans and currently to some Christians making promises to change during the Watch Night service, another common event held in churches during the New Year’s celebration.

What makes this interesting is that many people, not all, wait for the New Year to make changes only to find themselves changing their mind by the middle of January and giving up on their “vow.” So then that leaves the question: Do people truly believe in these resolutions or just make some because it is common in society to do so?

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Sophomores Peter Harbert and Olivia McGowan gave their opinions on the seriousness of resolutions. Harbert has not made up any resolution this year, but McGowan has made up one to drink more water and claims she is so far successful. They were also asked if they have made resolutions up in the past.

“Yes, I have made many, but only one has ever stuck with me and has helped shape who I am today,” Harbert says. “During my senior year, I decided that I could not call myself a Christian and continue judging people the way I did, so I decided in December to try and quit and used the New Year as an opportunity to force myself to. It has helped me so much and made me much happier.”

In contrast, McGowan was unsuccessful in her past resolutions.

“One year I made a resolution to stop procrastinating with schoolwork,” McGowan says.

Harbert and McGowan both agree that resolutions being taken seriously depend on the person and can happen at any time during the year.

“I think it is more of a bandwagon thing,” McGowan says. “Most people make New Year’s resolutions and give up on them within the first few weeks of the new year.”

“It’s a nice idea to think that you can change yourself ‘this year’ and be better than you were in the past, which is why I believe it is such a popular tradition,” Harbert says. “The main issue is that it is more of a joke than anything else, and it is expected for you to fail instead of receiving positive support in the media and from loved ones.”

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