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One third of a year: Reflecting on my New Years goals

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APRIL 16, 2023

Last December, I bought a new diary (again). You know, buying a new diary is an annual tradition. We celebrate the arrival of the new year with family, lovers, friends and a new diary. I’m always full of excitement and delight to fill out the diary with new stories. But my poor little diary. I stopped writing by the end of January. At least I accomplished writing a diary for one month. Recently, with one third of a year gone by, I reopened my diary to remind me of January life. Then, I faced the first page: 2023 is here, my New Years goals. I was shocked. “When did I write this? Who wrote this?” “Past” me (just like the Ghost of Christmas Past from “A Christmas Carol”) wrote down New Years goals on Jan. 3 (I postponed writing it), and just after three months, my goals feel like they were written by a stranger. Time to reflect! Let’s see if I’ve accomplished the goals set by “past” me or not. 

Value every day, especially the time in Berkeley

“Past” me put this goal first in the list. I see the reason why she wrote “especially the time in Berkeley” in the sentence. Studying abroad is an invaluable experience and opportunity that comes only once in a lifetime. You’re investing your time and, importantly, money to study abroad. It costs a lot. I always wonder, “Would I be financially established enough to send my own children to study abroad?” Also, studying abroad means that you have a limited time there. Time flows extremely quickly. If you spend your time doing nothing, what’s the point of coming all the way to the opposite side of the Earth? Everyone back at home is watching you, whether or not you made the best days out of Berkeley.

Well, all of the statements above are right. None of them are wrong. However, now, I’m burned out. Valuing every day is wonderful, but it puts you under the obsession that “You have to do something.” Now, I don’t want a lot from my daily life in Berkeley. All I want to do is to visit a cafe in San Francisco, drink a hot latte and take a rest. 

Stop procrastinating

Well, this goal comes every year. It is a fixed goal, an unsolvable mystery. See, I postponed writing the New Years goals. I love procrastinating. I used to justify myself thinking that “Procrastinating promotes efficiency.” This statement is not 100% wrong, but I know that I can’t always live like this. Well, “I can’t always live like this” is a regular comment, too. Unfortunately, I’m so sorry, “future” me. You have to set this goal again in the 2024 New Years goals, too. 

Draw and paint again

I loved drawing. If the violin was a “forced” hobby, drawing was a hobby that I loved and cherished with my free will. But, drawing requires a lot of time and effort. When I was in high school, I spent all of my study hall sessions and free time for drawing. When the school bell rang, I ran to the art classroom and expressed my imaginations and senses that only “teenage” me had. After I came to college, I didn’t have enough time to draw. Yes, it does sound like an excuse. Back home, there’s a huge canvas left in my room that I bought when I was a freshman. Now, two years have passed and I’m a junior. My mom always asked, “When are you going to fill that canvas?” 

But the SFMOMA left me stunned. People there had their own sketchbook and a pen, sat down in the corner or bench and drew. They looked so happy. I remembered that I used to draw like that too, and felt an eagerness for drawing again. I walked into the store to buy a new sketchbook and colored pencils but unfortunately, I haven’t filled out that sketchbook yet. Maybe it’s time to really accomplish this goal. 

Have a relationship with someone

I’m so sorry, “past” me. I know that you were looking for a romantic relationship with a new person (especially in Berkeley), but, well, these past months have made me stop thinking of a relationship. My heart doesn’t pump. Please stop telling people that your utmost goal for study abroad is to find a lover. That is not going to happen. 

So, do you remember your New Years goals? Open your diary or notes again and reflect: Did I achieve any of the goals? Am I moving forward with my goals? Is there something that I disagree with at this moment? If you’re like me, you might also feel awkward while reading through your goals. But, do give it a try!

Contact Sojeong Mun at 


APRIL 16, 2023