After years of organizing and outlining as a student, crossing off tasks has become a regular necessity and, somehow, remained a small source of exhilaration. Despite its deja vu, I never tire of the click of a pen and the wobbly line that follows, sealing the accomplishment of a task. Today, while I reviewed my 2016 agenda, I recognized the intense significance I place on setting goals and making strides, even with undertakings as plain as "chem: pre-lab". With this in mind, I look to 2017 as a platform to seek new opportunities and attain new heights. Here are the stars I aim to reach in the new year:
i. savor moments
ii. read 100 books
In 2016, I read 54 books. I believe elementary school was the last time I read 100+ books in a year. Since 8th grade I have attacked this goal to little avail, however I remain hopeful that this new year will reinvigorate my reading habits.
iii. take time to be a transparent eyeball
My English course this year is easily the most beneficial English course I have taken to date. To be brief, it has revolutionized the way I approach, analyze, and discuss reading. Among other things, my class recently exposed me to transcendentalist literature. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and Sylvia Plath stand out as a few of my favorite creators from our most recent unit. Once I became immersed in passages of Emerson's Self-Reflection and Nature, there was no turning back.
Essentially, inspired by these readings, I want to dedicate time to reflection and consideration, preferably outside. (And, of course, I look for any reason to use the fun phrase "transparent eyeball".)
v. play piano
I love music. I find beauty in marked pages that manage to translate sounds. In my life, piano has served as a paradox; it is loyal and constant but sporadic -- as a result of my own actions and habits, of course. To clarify: I do not practice as often as I ought to, and when I do practice, I play only portions of old, incomplete songs I have already played over and over. When I seek soul-filling sounds, I still turn to pushing down the familiar keys of old songs, and they bring me joy. I appreciate the songs that emerge from my fingertips, but this year I will also strive to learn new, complete pieces.
I'm not sure exactly what I want to write. I do, however, know that I want to continue exploring my writing style and voice. I write academically often for homework, but rarely dabble outside assigned tasks. I have never considered myself a writer. I want to experiment with words.
vii. stay organized
As I work through sophomore year, creating study materials and remaining organized is increasingly important. Midterms loom around the corner and may be the first test of how effectively I have managed content so far this school year.
viii. keep touch
Growth elicits change. As some of my closest friends, teammates, and inspirations graduate this year, I hope to remain in contact with them.
viiii. stay with the news
To remain aware, better understand the world around me, and develop my own perspective, reading the news is essential, especially entering 2017.
x. absorb material
Through my academic endeavors, I've actually grown fond of creating personal study and reference materials. I have realized that I enjoy learning. In my efforts to maintain my grades, however, I have noticed I tend to simply glean information for an exam and spontaneously forget it following the test. This year, I want to not only consume material, I want to absorb it, and challenge and satisfy my restimulated love of learning.
Busy, I rarely dare imagination. I ought to try it more often.
xii. learn Korean
I am Korean-American, and I cannot speak a beautiful language rooted in my history. I can change this.
xiii. run a good race
To me, cross country and track are two seasons. Spikes and muddy courses accompany crunching leaves and quick loops summon blooming flowers. While I enjoyed these seasons in 2016, injury hindered my running. As I recover, I want to rediscover the love of running I found in my first cross country season-- bold, fearless, covered in mud and sweat and tears and satisfied.
xiv. make lists
I do love lists.