New Year, Better Me

New year means reflections like never before.

The New Year means reflections like never before.

While I understand making resolutions doesn’t have to only happen on New Year’s, there is that extra motivational push to do so when others around you are reflecting during the same time. By having so much free time this winter break to reflect, the new year is my chance to sit down and prepare a list of important actionable lifestyle changes I want to make.

In the past, I have always made a list of things I want to change in my life every new year. When I think about them now, I realize how materialistic those goals have been. I particularly remember 2012’s one where I wanted to do anything I can to get into a prestigious Ivy League and 2014’s one where I wanted that 4.0 next semester. Yes – these resolutions motivated me to do well, but I realize now how narrow-minded these resolutions were. Ivy Leagues. 4.0s. I was missing the point of life. I was not understanding the importance of happiness, positivity, and peace. It was always a rush to succeed and never about enjoying the process.

Not sure what has been so different about me when thinking about this year’s resolutions (maybe I’m just feeling 22 haha), but when I began jotting my goals, I realized it could very easily be summarized as leading a happy life. There was no specific achievement I wanted. Rather, it was to enjoy every day of my life. Maybe this is the after-effect of close family friends’ untimely deaths. Or maybe this is the senior college student nostalgia kicking in already. Or maybe this is just me being more aware of society around me. Regardless, I am beginning to see the world and my role here in a different light.

My resolutions may seem vague to many reading this, but to me, this is exactly how I want them to be. We have all been taught to make SMART goals with the S standing for specific. As you’ll see, my resolutions are not specific whatsoever. Rather, they’re just how I want to lead life this year and for years to follow. I believe these resolutions are the door to happiness and eventually, my perseverance to make my mark in society.

Read More.

The last physical book I read was probably over four years ago. I still read the news, but that’s not really the same. I always blamed lack of time for this, but this year I really want to start reading more. With the endless amount of perspectives and lives we can read about, books can give us an opportunity to have experiences that we haven’t had the opportunity to and still allow us to learn the life skills they entail. Through reading more, I hope to discover more about myself.

Live More [Fully].

Yup, you read that right. Live more. I want to live my life more fully. I will pursue to live every day on a fresh new start. I do not want to be and will not be held back by what happened yesterday, the day before, the week before, the year before, and so on. This also means to be true to who I really am. Unintentionally, we all try to be someone we are not to impress someone or want everyone to like us. While I made this change last year, I really want to continue this as it has made me a more confident and independent person. I’d rather be an original version of myself than an exact duplicate of someone else. And, the third change I want to bring about is to stop complaining. I never understood how I much I complain until a friend recently pointed out. Call it venting, b****ing, or whatever, but I tend to do this during stressful times, and I need to turn it down a notch. While it is important to share your feelings with close friends, over-complaining or criticizing brings them down too even if they don’t express it. So 2017, get ready for the more positive me!

Breathe More [Fresh Air].

This past year, I have been indoors way too much. Classes, meetings, meals, and assignments are all inside. I want to explore more Atlanta spots and take my reading, studying, and chilling there. I spend way too much time in my apartment and have always wanted to go outside to work on things, but I was never proactive. With my Fridays off this semester, I will have a great opportunity to explore the city I have spent practically my entire life in. Not only that, fresh air busts stress and increases happiness. Research shows that spending time in fresh air increases energy in 90 percent of people. This seems like a good resolution to me. 🙂

Give More [to Society].

In five months, I will have received my undergraduate degree from one of the most prestigious institutions in the nation. Why was it that I worked so hard to get this degree? It is honestly more the process and the four years of learning that has shaped me to be who I am now. Taking those fun courses that were outside the biomedical engineering curriculum was very honestly my secret to new ideas and passion. No matter how tough we think our lives are, there is always someone who has to face challenges that are even tougher than ours. Taking classes like sociology and leveraging social networks gave me a fresh take on how I can make a sustainable difference as opposed to volunteering at one holiday event. As a Girl Scout for 13 years and active member of various service organizations, I have kept my promise of giving back to society. However, this year I want to give more. I want to start an initiative myself going off my Gold Award project that I was and am still passionate about in 2013 — autism awareness. With the connections I have made these past four years, with the new advances I have learned about in my courses, and with the passion to lead and serve my community, I am really excited in launching this idea sometime the first half of this year.

Love More.

If you can learn to love yourself and all the flaws, you can love other people so much better. And that makes you so happy. ~ Kristin Chenoweth

Enough said. Bringing more happiness and positivity to not only myself but to those around me is exactly what I will be doing starting now.

Smile More.

One smile can make all the difference in the world. One smile has the power to release stress, calm you down, make you attractive, make someone else happy, and can cause happiness. I want to continue smiling through ups and downs and see more positivity in any situation. After all, I do think smiling more is the way to mastering the art of positive thinking.

The Importance of a Name

There would be no significance of each person; a person cannot live without a name.

One’s name is crucial in the representation of reputation. A name is one of the most valuable gifts a person is given by his or her parents. A name can only be given once, and a person just as not getting another name in life cannot have another life. People all have one chance, and their name is the basis of the genesis of life. The names of people are like the star ratings for a restaurant or hotel. It could be good or bad, and the way that people distinguish each hotel is by the name and if it is 3-star or 5-star. On day to day basis in this society, names are the only way each individual human being on earth is recognized.

The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller, is heavily name based. For example, at the end of this play John Proctor, a local farmer who lives just outside of town, is accused along with several women of witchcraft. The irony here indeed however is the fact that people who are corrupt are not hung, and the people who are not corrupt are hung. John Proctor hates hypocrisy. He did not want to lie to anyone about being a witch even though he knew it would save his life and more importantly his reputation. He was worried that if he committed to witchcraft, then his innocent name in the community will be ruined. He doesn’t want his name on the church door and consequently to ruin his entire family reputation. He hesitates in front of Judge Danforth to give the false confession and crumples the paper he had and welcomes his own death. He considered his reputation and his name in society was more important than his life. Arthur Miller was unequivocally critical in writing this play. Moreover, he felt sympathetic towards some characters, such as Rebeca Nurse and John. The latter preferred to speak honestly so he wouldn’t have to live with a horrible reputation, which to him is equivalent of a death itself, in the community. The name of John Proctor was a noble one. It was an innocent one. And most importantly, his name was an honest one. He couldn’t bear ruining it further.

Likewise to the chaotic nature of the Salem witch trials in The Crucible was the Red Scare. The Red Scare was when people were unnecessarily being accused of being communists. In Majestic, a movie about the Red Scare, John Appleton was accused of being a communist. The most important evidence the court had in possession was his name signed on a document relating to communism. It was concluded that all the names in that specific document were linked with communism in general. Sadly, the court wanted the false truth from Appleton. Appleton had a statement ready to read in front of the court, but he hesitated and stopped at the last minute. He crumbled the paper and told the audience that he couldn’t lie anymore just to avoid going to the jail and that he indeed was a not communist. He wanted to save his nice reputation and name in the community. He did not want everyone going around society staying away from him because he himself said he was a communist. Like previously stated, he didn’t want to be living while dying; his life was in a limbo. He could tell a lie, save his life, and have a bad reputation tagged onto his name or he could tell the truth, save his reputation, and be put into jail. If he had lied, it’s true that he would still be living outside jail, but he wouldn’t have received any job opportunities or means to start a new life. No one would want him because his name is labeled as a “Communist”.

Generally speaking, getting honored and getting recognized in front of a big audience is a treasurable moment. A person is given a name to be recognized and to be unique. I have experienced such moments where my special name was celebrated for winning first place in the State Science and Engineering Fair. The moment they announced my name, the entire audience applauded and cheered for me. That one special moment changed my life and my reputation in society dramatically.  Now whenever I go out into that audience, most of them recognize me by the name and as the girl who won the grand prize at the competition. In this scenario, my reputation was as an intelligent and young girl. This positive reputation and the intelligence tagged onto my name motivates me to pursue greater heights to maintain my reputation. Moreover, this makes my family proud to have a child that is reputed to being “famous” at least in a state platform.

Names are the most prestigious aspect of one’s reputation. Names are the definition of people. A name belongs to one specific person and cannot have another. It attaches to the reputation of one self and it is crucial in the representation of reputation. Without names and without a certain identification of who each individual is, everyone would be like particles of dust. There would be no significance of each person; a person cannot live without a name. Names give the soul of a person and leave the audience with a mark of how and why the person is significant.