Interviewing UBCO students about their New Year resolutions and traditions.

Image by Jamie Street (Unsplash)
Image by Jamie Street (Unsplash)

It was 6:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. I am in Colombia with my parents. My mom just handed my dad and I a piece of lined paper in which we are supposed to write our goals and wishes for the New Year, in addition to thanking God for all the blessings we received during the past year. We each huddle in a different corner of the house and start our lists, which include things like health, love, wealth… the usual.

After we are done, my mom gathers the three of us in the kitchen for the ceremonious burning of last year’s lists. These have been hiding underneath a glass pyramid in our living room. I know… a glass pyramid. According to my mom, this is a symbol of prosperity and it attracts good and clear things, whatever that means. When she first bought it, I thought she was insane; however, as the years went by, it just became tradition.

After last year’s lists are read and burned, we neatly fold our new year’s desires and tape them to the bottom of the pyramid, which will remain hidden away in my mother’s dresser until next New Year’s Eve.

It sounds ridiculous, but New Year’s is a time that inspires superstition and different traditions. For example, I eat twelve grapes 12 minutes before midnight and make a wish for each grape I eat. New Year’s just feels like a universal countdown, like there are 365 new opportunities to become better and forget whatever happened last year. Of course, most of these are lies. We cannot change the past, as much as we don’t need a public holiday to start making some changes in our lives. Nevertheless, it is important to appreciate any time of year in which people feel more motivated to improve and change their outlook on life.

That’s my opinion. Very political, I know. Not very radical. That’s why I decided to interview three of my fellow students and gather their thoughts on the traditions surrounding New Year’s events. A lot of interesting thoughts came out of these questions and I thought it was worthwhile sharing.

Photo by Anthony Quintano (Flickr)
Photo by Anthony Quintano (Flickr)

Genevieve Caron, first year Science student

Do you make/believe in New Year’s resolutions? Why or why not?

I sort of believe in them. I think it’s a great chance to think about how you want to improve yourself. Unfortunately, it has sort of become a chance to give ourselves unrealistic goals that we are unable to achieve, but think we should achieve. For myself, I choose to reflect on things I can do better this year

Any traditions you follow surrounding the New Year?

Sometimes, if my family and I are at home, we’ll save one Christmas present to open on New Year’s. We also try to watch the ball drop in NYC on TV. We also usually have a nice dinner.

If you do make New Year’s resolutions, what are they?

My New Year's resolution this year is to keep a more consistent eating schedule. Last semester I didn't eat very much (mostly because I was too lazy to get food), so this year I'm going to try to eat three consistent meals every day.

Hannah Day, fifth-year Arts student

Do you make/believe in New Year’s resolutions? Why or why not?

I do believe in New Years resolutions because even though many people do not follow them for a long time, they do encourage people to try something new or do something better for their life. If it’s for a week, a month or a year, at least they tried. The New Year encourages people to try.

Any traditions you follow surrounding the New Year?

For my whole life, my family has celebrated [the] New Year with fondue, Martinelli’s, fireworks, and watching the ball drop. We usually also attend whatever local event is going on downtown.

If you do make New Year’s resolutions, what are they?

My New Year’s resolutions are usually the same: Exercise, eat healthy, and wear my hair down more often. Every year I always choose a food that I don’t like and work on eating it until I enjoy it. Last year it was sushi. This year I want to get used to pepperoni.

Photo by Angela Pham (Unsplash)
Photo by Angela Pham (Unsplash)

Azzah Farras, second-year Arts student

Do you make/believe in New Year’s resolutions? Why or why not?

I am actually very skeptical about New Year’s resolutions, contrary to the popular tradition. I think resolutions can be made anytime and can be started any day, without waiting for the year to end. We have chances to be better people in every second of our life. So, if I did something wrong, or something terrible happens on the first week of January 2020, why do I have to wait for another year to start fresh? Why do I condemn a year for being “the worst” instead of appreciating the little moments that have made me happy and appreciate life? Time is constructed, so I don’t see the point of waiting for change.

Any traditions you follow surrounding the New Year?

My family and I would go to the mountain in Indonesia and watch fireworks together. The past two New Years I have been spending time reading books in Canada and I really enjoy the peace, to be honest.

If you do make New Year’s resolutions, what are they?

Count your blessings, be happy with little, show compassion.

Whatever you believe in, make sure you are setting yourself up for success and that every day you are grateful for the small victories that you accomplish. I think, as students, small victories and one day at a time are the only ways we can approach life.