I’m finding it really hard to believe that 2018 and my first semester as a PhD student is coming to an end. As I reflect on this past year it’s hard to believe how many things in my life have changed. This year I left my teaching job of 6 years, moved 6 hours away from home, and just completely stepped out of my comfort zone.
As this new year approaches, I’m ready to set some new year resolutions. Although I set new resolutions every year, I’ll admit that sometimes it’s really hard to follow through with them. However, one thing that I did while I was a teacher was make an area in my classroom where myself and all of my students wrote our resolutions on a post-it. Seeing it was a daily reminder of what we promised ourselves and what our goal was. I can tell you that this small visual reminder propelled me to actually following through with mine. This year my resolution will be posted on my bathroom mirror.
My resolution for 2018 was to try and be less shy and step out of my comfort zone. These two things were both really hard for me to accomplish. I’ve grown up in a place where I’ve known the same people almost my entire life. Most of the people I’m friends with I’ve known since my freshman year of high school, which let’s just say was a long time ago. I’m also a creature of habit. As a teacher, every year was sort of just a cycle for me. Every year I started the school year teaching the same stories I taught the previous year with some minor tweaks and changes and followed my usual normal routine. Leaving teaching was hard. I still remember packing up my classroom in tears questioning whether I was making the right decision to pursue another degree. Changing your life and routines is scary and fear can be crippling. Moving to College Station this year was huge for me and I’d be lying if I said it was easy. This year has been one of the most challenging but also one of the most rewarding.
If I hadn’t set these two resolutions for myself at the start of the year, I really think that it would have made living in College Station more difficult. Really pushing myself to speak up, introduce myself and talk to people has helped me meet some amazing individuals this year and form new friendships. In addition, pushing myself out of my comfort zone and getting involved on campus in different ways has shown me some truly wonderful things that A&M has to offer.
Setting a new year resolution can seem cliché, however I truly believe that committing to something can have huge positive affects on your life. Your goal doesn’t have to be something big or dramatic like trying to lose 100 pounds, it can be simple. Such as joining at least one organization on campus, doing more kind things for others, or even just saving money to go on a trip. I challenge anyone who reads this to set a least one goal and stick to it throughout the year. I promise that you will feel a sense of accomplishment as you see changes throughout the year.
Jessica is a PhD student in the department of Human Resource Development