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Four Years at the Mount

Freshman year

 To a New Year

Sarah Muir
MSM Class of 2018

(1/2015) So, the New Year has begun with its usual display of tumbling confetti, dazzling lights and unbridled hope for the coming months! This is the time of year resolutions are made, divisions are healed, and everyone is looking forward to what happens next. Everyone feels, in some way or another, the sense of a clean slate; all of last year’s mishaps and blunders have been washed away, and someone, maybe the New Year’s Baby, has hit the reset button. This is also a time of reflection and remembrance. Around the world, people raised a glass to dear friends and loved ones who were not present; whether separated by distance or disagreements, they are remembered. Friends come together to reminisce about the past and share hopes for the future. This may sound infuriatingly optimistic, all of this talk of bright futures and fond memories of past mistakes, but this is the time of year to be optimistic, because the future is unknown. This thought of the unseen times to come may seem daunting and a bit more than terrifying, but there are so many possibilities that can happen. The future is infinite, filled with unfathomable opportunities.

Every year my family enjoys New Year’s Eve together. We eat, we laugh and partake in overall merriment. Christmas decorations are most likely still up and whatever cookies have made it to this point are eaten. Happy memories are shared about family and friends and past mistakes, which at one time seemed so serious, but are now laughable in retrospect. There is a certain feeling surrounding New Year’s Eve as people wait expectantly. Everyone, even the world itself seems to be holding its breath, waiting for that brilliant ball to fall and signal the beginning of something new. This feeling is shared by thousands upon thousands of people, going back generations. Everyone smiles, raises a glass, shares a kiss, and exhales with cheering and song and laughter. People realize that the troubles of the past year are far behind and all that lies before them is the unknown potential of the New Year.

New Year’s Day has always been my favorite, I feel as though the air becomes a little cleaner, the snow a little whiter, and the sun a little brighter, and I am filled with the feeling that this year anything can happen. It feels as though this will be the year I will finally learn that language or finish that book or travel unknown lands. A lot of people feel this. They sense that they can become something else, not a different person, but perhaps a better version of themselves. We sometimes achieve the goals we set, but sometimes we fall short and become discouraged and wait for that New Year mood to strike at us again. The truth is, if you are less than successful at achieving your goal, pick yourself up, brush yourself off and start over. Begin a new year even if it’s in the middle of the current one. I have had the opportunity to have already experienced a new start this year by being a freshman here at Mount Saint Mary’s. Being a part of the Mount family is a kind of new start, a way for me to become that better version of myself with other people striving for the same purpose. Here I am, on my way to learning that language (German, if you are curious), attempting to finish that book, and my future is taking shape and shining brighter than ever.

This time last year I was in my senior year of high school, counting down the months until I graduated. I was waiting patiently to see whether or not I was accepted into the colleges to which I applied and was filled with nervous expectation at the prospect of the thought of starting college. I would like to think I have grown more since then, and looking back, I know I have. Everyone is a different person than they were last year. We have become older and, hopefully, wiser, and we have better advice to give to the youth to prevent repeated mistakes. We have experienced our share of life’s joys and sorrows, and we know that there is more to come. So we face the joys and the "slings and arrows" with our head high and our eyes ahead. This is also the time of year to look back and think of all those people who have made you the person you are today. The friends, the foes, the mentors, and parents. Everyone who pushed you and helped you and convinced you to keep on going. Even those strangers who you met in passing, those who did something or said something that made you look at life a little differently. We are a compilation of people we have met and decisions we have made. But who we are is by no means set in stone. There is still time for experiences and decisions that can turn your life around and mold you into that better version of yourself.

So this year I raise a glass to friends old and new, to fresh starts and new beginnings, to reminiscing and new memories, to my family at home and my family here, at Mount St. Mary’s University. Happy New Year to you all!

Read other articles by Sarah Muir