January 19, 2011

My Spring Semester Resolution

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I can tell from the second I walk in the door. Disgruntled and annoyed, I swipe my key card and scan the room filled with sweaty bodies and unfamiliar faces. In order to reach the locker room, I must maneuver past discarded towels, water bottles and cell phones. Every year the picture is the same, yet I refuse to adjust my self-concerning mentality. This is the scene at the gym immediately after New Year’s.

If I could predict other events with such exactness and accuracy, I would be spending my time as a weather man or at the horse track instead of applying to law school. Without fail, hoards of people decide to join the gym and pursue physical fitness as a result of starting a new calendar year. Though there is no better time to trim your waistline or burn off a few of those Keystones than now, it is somewhat ironic that the largest influx of patrons at the gym comes not long after a month filled with lounging around, eating and drinking (at least that’s how my holiday season usually goes down). You may argue though, that it is for that exact reason, to compensate for over indulgence, that people choose Jan. 1 to up and join a gym.

It is no surprise that getting fit and losing weight are included in the top 10 New Year’s resolutions year after year. Likewise, it is no secret that most people fail, if not fail miserably, at keeping their resolution after a few weeks. Trust me, I am not exactly complaining; there is nothing I can’t stand more than waiting 15 minutes for a squat rack. Nonetheless, there is an enticing aura and mystical uncertainly that surrounds New Year’s resolutions. Everyone can appreciate a fresh start, unhindered opportunity and the possibility that the future may be better than the past. If this much is true, then why do we wait until New Year’s to make resolutions in the first place? I guess “my President’s Day resolution” sounds lamely patriotic and “my Tax Day resolution” equally dorky. In reality, however, is there anything wrong with me setting a “Spring semester resolution?”

Since I am not a smoker (like my buddy Bill, I may have experimented once or twice, but “didn’t inhale”) and give most of my money to Cornell, traditional resolutions like “quitting smoking” or “saving money” aren’t going to cut it. I contemplated “becoming a better person,” but then I threw up a little inside, and decided I need to go with something less pathetic. “Getting better grades” is off the table, because even if grades were not relatively meaningless at this point, accomplishing such a feat is almost statistically impossible for me anyway. Going down the list of possibilities, skipping over a few resolutions I feel uncomfortable printing for the sake of any potential future political career, I really don’t have much left. I guess this is why Hallmark is such a successful company, it is indeed much easier to steal the words of others than come up with something yourself.

Though I may or may not have actually come up with a Spring semester resolution and it may or may not be as simple as “enjoy this college thing one last time before it’s gone,” I encourage you all to set a Spring semester resolution of your own. Resolutions are a beautiful thing. There really are no guidelines, and there is relatively no pressure to succeed. For those who are actually able to stick to a meaningful resolution, I’d be willing to bet there is a seat on Oprah waiting for you. For everyone who is less confident, I am going to break a little secret. The fulfilling aspect of a resolution is not solely accomplishing it but actually setting it as well. With a New Year, a new birthday, a new semester or a new anything comes hope and possibility. Though religious determinists may disagree, starting tomorrow, you can change in any way you want, or there at least remains the possibility of doing so.

Deep down, we all have aspects of our life we wish we could change. Some are more serious than others, just as some are more reasonably accomplishable than others. Regardless, I guarantee that a few weeks before Spring Break the gym will be overcrowded, just as it was on Jan. 2. So why not set a Spring semester resolution, there is no better time than now.

Shaun Werbelow is a senior in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. He may be contacted at swerbelow@cornellsun.com. Second Opinion appears alternate Mondays this semester.

Original Author: Shaun Werbelow