Point: Resolutions - Wasting Your Breath?

by Jilian Gundling | 1/9/09 5:43am

Writing an article in favor of New Year's resolutions seemed hypocritical to me, because after wracking my brain, I cannot think of a single resolution I have ever kept. I didn't get more rest. I didn't eat less dessert. I still procrastinate and, sadly, I have not yet learned how to cook, unless you count the microwave. I am a Microwave Goddess.

Let's face it, New Year's resolutions are basically a form of listing all of your flaws and then telling yourself and other people that you are going to fix them.

Yet, I still believe in making resolutions. In the same way that penance is performed with the prediction that you will soon sin again, most New Year's resolutions are made with the knowledge that, after another glass of champagne, you won't really try to keep them in the first place. As Oscar Wilde once said, "I can resist everything but temptation."

When shared with friends, resolutions have significant comedic value. The fact that I knew one of my friend's resolutions was "Stop going to Chi Gam" only made it funnier when she stumbled into Chi Gam a week later. It was ten times funnier still when a Chi Gam saw the "Stop Going to Chi Gam" sticky note on her wall.

Note: To avoid the public ridicule, never announce your resolutions, and do not leave a paper trail.

The key to successful New Year's resolutions is to make them as vague as possible. My personal favorite resolution is "Don't be a joke," a communal resolution made among my friends one New Year's Eve while in Montreal.

We made it after we found ourselves stranded in a club with a name that was too sketchy to recall, moments after my friend's ID was stolen from her pocket and my other friend fell off a stage.

The beauty of "Don't be a joke," is that it has no clear meaning, which meant that this was a resolution we could say we kept most of the time, because we never truly worked out what it entailed.

If you are worried that you will inevitably break any resolutions you come up with, go ahead and choose resolutions that are impossible to break. Here are some sure-fire resolutions for the Dartmouth student:

  1. Drink incessantly.

  2. Soberly ridicule EBAs, but order it whenever drunk.

  3. Send blitzes.

  4. Wear a winter jacket.

  5. Give yourself to mozz sticks.

If you can't keep these resolutions, leave Dartmouth immediately.

However, while these resolutions are all well and good, the older I get, the higher the stakes, the more a single resolution has surfaced in my mind: Get a job. The paralyzing realization that I need to figure out my life hit me after the following conversation with my grandmother at Christmas:

"What do you major in again?"

"Creative Writing."

Blank stare from my grandmother.

"Oh," she said. "Well who knows, maybe you can become a doctor."

I nodded politely and shoved a shrimp into my mouth. Poor grandmother. I will never become a doctor, but I have decided I finally need to follow through on one of my resolutions: Get a job. Get a job now.

After all, it never really mattered in the past if my resolutions came true or not. Avoid the frozen yogurt machine? Can't, it would miss me too much.

The job pursuit, however, is another story altogether: It's the difference between basking in the New York City nightlife and hanging out at the local deli, listlessly reciting the soups of the day.

For seniors, this New Year's is not just any New Year's. It's 2009, we're graduating, the economy is brutal and the bubble is bursting.

This year, you see, I don't even have to write down my resolutions because I've decided to be a resolution minimalist.

Please God, I just want to get a job. And now that I have printed this resolution in The Dartmouth, the pressure is doubly on. I suddenly feel nervous, the panic is rising, oh my God what am I doing sitting here writing for The Mirror? I have to go fix my resume and write some cover letters. Happy New Year.

Jilian is a deputy editor for The Mirror.