By Morgan Walsh
The decade has come to an end, and soon students and teachers alike will be reluctantly trudging back into school. Some of them may be carrying along with them their New Year’s resolutions as symbols of the people they aspire to be in the new year. At EGHS, a good number of people fall into this category. After an advisory spent running around to different classrooms and a school-wide email sent with the help of Mr. Rath, this article has been created as a snapshot of student and teachers New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, not every teacher or student could be surveyed, but I am happy to say twenty-six teachers politely suffered through my questions and sixty-two students graciously took the time to fill out our survey. Without further adieu, here are the East Greenwich High School 2019 New Year’s resolutions:
Not only is it the most common New Year’s resolution in the United States (with 37% of people making it their New Year’s resolution) but it is also the most common for the surveyed students, with 69.4% of them having this resolution, with teachers seemingly following in suit for 2020. Mr. Podraza, for instance, is stepping into the next decade with hopes of exercising more regularly. While he may still be unsure if his resolution will truly “work out” this next year, Mr. Cobain is confident that he will lose 35 pounds by April 30th, his birthday. If anyone would want to make him a cake in celebration of his accomplishment, feel free! Mr. Lenox is going to be continuing his after school runs, even though he strongly dislikes running, especially in the cold. In the event he needs it, Mrs. Ayala will make sure to hold him accountable and offer him moral support.
Not all health-related resolutions have to be about working out, losing weight, or eating right. Mrs. Ayala has made plans to focus on hydration upcoming year. For her, drinking more water seems like an attainable goal. All she feels she has to do is carry around a water bottle. She feels she will be much more successful than Mr. Rath as he tries to consume less meat, though there is a chance he is unaware of this challenge. Mrs. Steveer dreams of getting more sleep. For her, improving her sleep habits will be more of a blessing than a struggle, being that she currently claims to receive only 4 to 5 hours of sleep each night. Though they are both relatively simple things, they are undoubtedly critical to human health and are achievable goals.
Getting Better Grades
This uniquely student based resolution took second place in our survey. Out of the students surveyed, 43% want to better their grades. Lucky for them, it can be assumed that their teachers want that for them as well, with some teachers making added efforts in the new year to aid their students in achieving this goal. Among these teachers are Mr. Levesque, who hopes to better budget his time to effectively serve his family and students, and Mrs. Eaves, who wants to improve her classroom and her day to day life by responding and not reacting.
Spending More Time with Family or Friends
Most people think of New Year’s resolutions as something that are done for oneself, which is why this one is a bit heartwarming. The 38.7% of students who choose this as their resolution seemed to coincide with the 21 people who plan on spending less time on their phones. Perhaps the 3.2% of answeries who will be asking out their crush in 2020 would also agree that spending more time with others (especially a certain someone) would be beneficial.
Unlike the students, it seems that teachers may need a vacation from family time. Mrs. Verducci, for example, wants to gain more time for herself, feeling that her life has become a constant tug of war between her students and her kids at home. Mrs. Garno similarly hopes to make family time less of a hassle by becoming “craftier with her kids.” With some extra free time, she wants to explore the world of fiction literature since she feels she is always stuck reading non-fiction books.
Learning to be Skillful
Learning a new skill or improving an old one can be quite the endeavor, so I wish the best of luck to the 18 students who are making it their New Year’s resolutions. Joining these students will be Mr. Parrying, who wishes to continue his training for the Mount Washington Bicycle Hill Climb. While that may seem to be a health-related resolution, the hill climb is one of the most challenging in the world, so Mr. Parrying will most certainly be working to improve his biking skills.
Sometimes learning a new skill is simply about being open to new things and accepting change. That is the philosophy Mr. Houghtaling would be sure to approve of. For his resolution, Mr. Houghtaling wants to be able to grow by becoming open to all possibilities and new ideas. That would be a positive mindset for anyone who wants to learn a new skill to have for 2020.
The 6th and 7th most common resolutions were becoming more organized and saving money. These are both pretty broad categories as far as new year’s resolutions go and overlap a bit. Even though many resolutions from cleaning your room to starting a journal could be put in these categories, the teachers interviewed are doing just fine without the help of a maid or an accountant. The main concern with teachers seems to be the organization of their time. This can be seen in Mrs. Garneo’s, Mrs. Verducci’s, and Mr. Levesque’s resolutions. Students may decide to take inspiration from them to plan out and spend their time (and money) wisely.
New Year’s resolutions are different for everyone so obviously, each one is not going to fit into the very general categories above. A few students surveyed said they wished to become more positive and happier in the new year. They may find that Mrs. Cassenova is attempting to achieve a similar goal. By writing in her newly acquired gratitude journal she hopes to become more appreciative, which may make her feel happier as well.
The book club should be prepared for a few new members. Quite a few teachers have formed a new desire to read including Mrs. Garneo, Madam Taylor, and Mrs. Chef. Mrs. Chef is in the middle of completing Michelle Obama’s biography, Becoming, in order to kick start her reading in the new year. Madam Taylor is not picky about which type of book it is as long as it gets read. Last year, she made it her resolution to read 10 books, but this year, she will hopefully double that number to an ambitious 20. The idea of reading more may pose a problem to a few students, though. Seven out of the sixty-two students who filled out the survey said they are tragically allergic to reading so they should make it a priority to stay as far away from books as possible in the new year.
This year, environmental movements made a big impact and urged others to be more environmentally conscious. They also seemed to make an impact on one student’s resolution as well as Mr. Rath’s. Mr. Rath hopes to “eat less meat and eat more plants” in the new year. Normally, he never has a resolution, but this year he feels it is worth it. Being very disciplined, he is sure to stick with it (despite what Mrs. Ayala may think).
Even after making it this far in the article, you still may not have a new year’s resolution. If your in that situation, you’ll fit right in Mrs. Wolf. She still may not be sure of her resolution, but in her defense, she was doing about a dozen other things when she was interviewed and just might not have a second to think of one. If you’re not lacking the time to come up with a resolution, maybe you are more like Mr. Knerr who is so perfect he doesn’t need one. After all, you can only have a resolution if you have something to fix.
If you do want a resolution but still don’t know where to look, Mrs. Harvey has one anyone could live by. Her goal for next year is simply to make it to spring break, which is, by far, the hardest resolution of all.
New Year’s Resolutions are a waste of time
While it may sound like a rather pessimistic view to have, who can blame them? After all, if people can’t keep a promise in the middle of July, then what is a New Year’s resolution going to do at the beginning of January? Perhaps it is because they have experienced the soul-crushing realization that no one follows their resolution after the first two weeks, and chances are they won’t either. Whatever your reason may be, if you find yourself a part of those who are certain New Year’s resolutions are pointless, don’t worry, Mr. Pertucci has you covered. In 2020 he plans on starting a “revolution against resolutions.” If you wish to join just stop by room 134 to pick up your free information booklet and enter your email to be notified when the revolution will begin. Mrs. Gilden, Mr. Carniaux, and Mrs. Higgins also do not believe in resolutions, though it is uncertain whether or not they will be joining the revolution. Mr. Meyers puts it best, asking, “Why change on January 1st when you can change today?”
The intent of this article was to gain some insight into how people plan out their New Year’s resolutions and what the key is to accomplish them. Although I still cannot say whether or not your new year’s resolutions will work out in the long run, I do know that the original purpose of a new year’s resolution was not to get people to buy gym memberships. For starters, resolutions aren’t terribly new. They first debuted in Ancient Babylonia when people hoped to receive luck by promising their gods they would pay off any debt they had at the beginning of each year. Since then, they have shown up in Ancient Rome and have been part of the traditions of early Christianity. Surprisingly enough, resolutions have become more self-centered over the years, which actually makes them more of a struggle. Changing yourself is hard, especially when you only have a vague idea of how to do it. So while it may seem like accomplishing your resolution is a bit like winning the lottery, having a well planned out, perceivable goal that you could achieve with other people may help you be that lucky 8% of Americans who actually succeed in their resolutions. If all else fails and your resolution just seems to flop, don’t worry. There’s always next year.