The Daily Illini

2017 was an opportunity for growth

By Delayne Weston, Columnist

Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven. Six. Five. Four. Three. Two. One. Happy New Year! This year started with the promise of being unlike any other year. You could change your major, add a minor, get an internship or decide to work out at the ARC every day.

The thing about putting so much pressure on the new year is that it doesn’t work. Many people make New Year’s resolutions, but most fizzle out once February hits. Wanting a change in your life and setting unrealistic standards at the new year can disappoint you later on.

People make New Year’s resolutions or sometimes bash the old year and comment on how they want to forget it ever happened. 

L. Robert Kohls wrote an article about how American values are different from others in the world. He mentioned future orientation as something Americans act on.

“Valuing the future and the improvements Americans are sure the future will bring means that they devalue the past and are, to a large extent, unconscious of the present. Even a happy present goes largely unnoticed because, happy as it may be, Americans have traditionally been hopeful that the future would bring even greater happiness,” Kohls wrote.

I was four days into 2017 when I broke both of my wrists snowboarding. I had to go through two surgeries and physical therapy in the past year. After breaking my wrists, people asked me about my plans or if I was even planning to go back to school. I said school started in January so that’s when I would go back.

I was honestly confused by their questions until someone told me no one expected me to go back to school. If I didn’t, I would have missed out on all of the memories that semester gave me.

Being in Champaign was not easy. I couldn’t perform basic day-to-day functions. Brushing my teeth or picking up my backpack was a struggle. I later had to drive myself to physical therapy during the semester.

But, there were positives as well. I accepted an internship at the Office of Communication for Enrollment Management and I became a coach for Atius, which is a Greek life event for Moms Weekend. I went to sorority events and achieved all As for the semester.

It was difficult, and I had to learn new things like what the Disability Resources and Educational Services building was because I didn’t need to use it before. After the semester, I had a second surgery and I juggled an internship, physical therapy and JOUR 200 over the summer.

My friend told me she wanted to throw away 2017 and begin the upcoming year with high expectations. No year should be thought of as a waste. When I asked her about it she was confused on why I wouldn’t want to scrap 2017.

I didn’t know what she was talking about. Although it set me back, breaking my wrists was not what I thought of when looking back on 2017. Honestly, it was easy to forget about.

When I thought back on the year, I reminisced about the stronger connections I made with others. I remembered the amazing people I met and the events I hosted with friends.  I recalled the internships I was fortunate enough to receive and to learn from. I thought of living in an apartment and how fun it was to attempt cooking. I thought about my excitement of getting into the business and public relations minor programs and about my acceptance to study abroad in Rome next semester.

For me, this past year was a success. There were ups and downs. I succeeded and failed, laughed and cried; I lived my life and gave my all.

Every year is unique, so don’t go into the new year with an expectation. Remain positive and look at all of the memories you have.

If you want something in your life to change, then change it today. Try every day and not in the aimless future.

I don’t know what the next year will hold for me, but I know I will take every setback in stride and try to remember every positive moment because that is how people should live their lives.

Delayne in a junior in LAS.

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