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Thursday, April 17, 2014 | Last updated: 9:03pm

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Columnists share thoughts on New Year's



By: David W. Mariotte

Staying up until midnight and watching New Year’s Eve become New Year’s Day is supposed to be this magical tradition. There’s supposed to be noisemakers and midnight smooches and Dick Clark. People throw parties with champagne and funny hats to experience this magical time and share it with their friends.

New Year’s Eve is the one last chance to embrace the comfort and familiarity of the old year while preparing for the resolutions and changes that will come with the new.

I’ve never had a New Year’s like that. My New Year’s generally ends at about 10 p.m. when I shrug, think, “It’s the new year somewhere” and go to bed. I haven’t done much up to that point. Maybe I watched “The Twilight Zone” marathon or a disaster movie, but that was it.

I’m not against New Year’s. I don’t hate it or think it has become too commercialized. I’m not bitter about never having anyone to smooch. I don’t think I’m so perfect that I don’t need to plan changes I could make to be healthier and happier.

My needs are simple and so is my New Year’s. I take a small part of New Year’s Eve to reflect on the past year. I remember all the awesome things I experienced and the tragic ones. I think of the friends I’ve met and the people I don’t get to see enough. I have a mini mental Thanksgiving.

Then, on New Year’s Day, I spend a couple of minutes thinking about how excellent the future’s going to be. I don’t plan my changes. I just know they’re going to happen, and I’ll have to roll with them.

It isn’t much, but it works for me, just as I’m sure doing the midnight traditions work for others. Maybe some year we’ll switch it up. Maybe I’ll try staying up for once. Maybe I’ll experience that magic. It won’t be this year, but if you know a party and invite me to it, it might be next year.

Follow David W. Mariotte @DW_DavidWallace

By: Katelyn Kennon

Our December holidays hold a long-standing kissing obligation, which I find a little detestable. There may not be mistletoe hanging around on the 31st, but there’s liquor and Auld Lang Syne: social lubricant enough.

But, self-righteous disgust aside, I’ll admit I’m still waiting for a New Year’s Eve like Harry and Sally’s, where, spurred on by a little lip-locking, I decide I want the rest of my life to begin as soon as possible.

Instead, I’ve mostly wanted it to immediately end – realizing I’ve chosen a pair of lips attached to a toad, disguised by a spangly party hat. There was the too-much-tongue ex, the ill-advised-in-retrospect three-way kiss and the death-by-rejection.

The third course will always be the worst. In those final moments of countdown, everyone is gearing up in anticipation, looking around the room, scooching toward their target. Some run for the bathroom, but not me – I’m going to get mine. Until … I don’t, and I’m left twiddling my thumbs for those agonizing few kissy seconds, exchanging bashful “what are you going to do” looks with anyone I’m unlucky enough to lock eyes with.

But finally, this year, with my (for once) kick-ass boyfriend, I thought I had a chance at the zinger. Imagine my dismay when I learned we’ll be states apart. Now, I’m in a new, slightly better predicament. What do you do when the one you want to life-begin with isn’t physically present?

Maybe, in the new age, Sally would have had to settle for a Snapchat and an emoticon. We’ll save the real thing for Jan. 2.

Follow Katelyn Kennon @dailywildcat

By: Nick Havey

365 days later and we’re here again. A party that you were invited to – yet seem to know no one at – wearing a suit or sparkly dress you bought for one night, surrounded by your friends’ drunk parents and finger food. Yup, that’s right: It’s New Year’s Eve.

For some, New Year’s means a fresh start replete with a long list of resolutions to accomplish in the year to come, but, for most, it means one week spent in the gym, thoroughly pissing off the people who are actually there all year, before we all dive face first back into binge eating.

Generally, the most common resolutions are general things like “Be happier,” and “Lose more weight,” but I like to define my resolutions as narrowly as possible before I break them. For instance, I want to read more books in 2014 than I did in 2013, which shouldn’t be hard because I only read 14 books for fun this year.

New Year’s is also a time when I’m reminded of how fast I’m aging. Each year, I’m impressed with how quickly and how early I fall asleep on the Eve; I haven’t made it all the way to midnight in years. But New Year’s is also a time for reflection: out with the old, and in with the new, but not before seeing it one last time.

Some 2013 phenomenons I’d like to bid farewell to are twerking (I hope that people take it upon themselves to develop some better dance moves), “Breaking Bad” (I don’t want to say goodbye, but I have to), anything a Kardashian did and, of course, selfies.

In all honesty, I probably can’t say goodbye to any of these things except “Breaking Bad” (cue crying into my organic chemistry textbook), but I still look forward to 2014 and whatever new and horrible fads it produces.

Follow Nick Havey @nihavey

By: Shelby Thomas

I cried a lot in 2013.

My eyes welled up when I said goodbye to my mom after she dropped me off for my second year of college. I thought those tears were reserved for homesick freshmen, but as I quickly found out, it doesn’t matter how much you think you have it together: If you feel like crying, even a little, a mother’s hug will coax every last drop right out of you.

I cried tears of both sympathy and joy during every single episode of “Parenthood,” my go-to show for late night study breaks. It is my favorite show, and I have absolutely no shame. Of course, after each dramatic episode, I called up my best friend and sisters to pour over every detail.

Tears spilled from my eyes and onto my smiling cheeks during Family Weekend when my older brother came to visit. We didn’t go to the football game or tour the school, but we spent the days sharing stories in my dorm room, eating Chinese takeout and laughing until we cried. I’ll admit, one or two of those tears were because of how lucky I am to have him as a brother, but don’t tell him.

Slow, slippery tears escaped from wide, unblinking eyes when I heard the news of yet another school shooting in my home state of Colorado. I knew my younger sister was only a few miles away from where it happened, and my heart ached for the horror occurring in yet another high school. The news reports were numbing, and I didn’t notice those tears had fallen until they had dried on my cheeks like temporary tattoos.

This year was one of warmth, love and growth as well as controversy, uncertainty and tragedy. I have crossed paths with people who have undoubtedly made me stronger and more well-rounded, while others have led me to doubt myself. I have been ecstatic. I have been scared. I have been disappointed. 2013 had it all. But one thing this year doesn’t have any room for is regret.

As the last seconds of 2013 slip through our fingertips, many begin to reflect. Perhaps you spend a moment or two pondering the relationships and friendships that bloomed and thrived more than you ever imagined … or maybe your glance falls to your feet as you remember the ones that didn’t quite turn out the way you had hoped. A smirk slowly forms when recalling the bright red A scrawled neatly at the top of that chemistry midterm … or maybe you’re still cringing, trying to escape the ominous cloud that lurked above you during finals week.

Whatever happened during 2013 is just that: an occurrence, a moment that will forever remain unaltered in time. Our only choice is to learn from these events and move on. I hate to echo every seventh-grade girl’s Facebook posts about how 2014 is “your time to shine,” but there is some truth hidden beneath the corniness. To me, the new year is a time to learn from the bad memories and cherish the good – to remember how absolutely wonderful you are while still being honest about what aspects of your life could be improved.

In 2014, I hope that you are confident.

I hope that you remember that you deserve to be treated with kindness and respect.

I hope that you get out of your comfort zone.

I hope that everyone you meet can feel the love within your spirit.

And I hope that you cry.

This year has taught me that tears are just tiny little reminders – reminders that something special is happening in that moment, so slow down and take it in.

I’m not going to lie. I will probably end up crafting a new workout plan and vowing to drink more water, but the changing calendar is just an excuse to remember what is truly important. My true New Year’s resolution is to breathe life in as it happens, to be open, to be warm and to be present. What’s yours?

Follow Shelby Thomas @shelbyalayne


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