The last ten seconds of the year can be one of the most stressful moments of the whole year. Sitting in the living room, surrounded by family and friends, anxiously watching the perfectly snuggled reporters counting down the ball drop in New York City can set in some panic.
In a Cuban household, one can take these ten seconds to mentally prepare as when for the clock strikes midnight it is the time to scarf down twelve grapes — while making a wish on each one — and making rounds in the house to kiss every family member on the cheek.
For others, the simple notion of “New Year, New Me,” holds a daunting feeling and the realization of having 10 seconds to come up with new habits and new traits.
Mikael Garcia-Dominguez, a senior majoring in broadcast journalism, has decided to take a different approach to his New Year’s Resolutions.
“Well, contrary to previous years, my New Year’s resolution actually has to do with other people more than it does with myself,” Garcia-Dominguez said. “As soon as the clock hit 12, I promised myself that I would love and help others as much as I can in any way possible.”
In a country that faced an intense year of strife between two political parties, Garcia-Dominguez is looking to appreciate others more.
“This doesn’t necessarily mean feeding the homeless or helping an old lady cross the street, but rather something as simple as complementing a stranger or paying for someone’s food if I can,” Garcia-Dominguez said. “I figured that with all of the chaos going on in the world, I could make someone’s day or even life much better. I genuinely think that the smallest gesture can have the biggest impact on someone’s life. That’s the kind of person I’m striving to be in 2018.”
Sometimes, in those last ten seconds of year, some lucky ones out there feel a sense of peace.
Jasmine Sanchez, a freshman majoring in public health, normally doesn’t put pressure on herself to reinvent in the new year.
“Honestly, I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions because a person shouldn’t convince themselves that the beginning of a new year should instantly change their mind-set or initiate a change in their lifestyle,” Sanchez said. “A change should be something that you think of constantly and that you’re putting into action day-by-day.”
To Sanchez December 31 closes out 365 days of experiences and welcomes 365 more.
“If I were to have any New Year’s resolutions, it would be to grow as an individual,” Sanchez said. “I want to become more open-minded and give more love to others around me. I grew up in a town that gave me a constricted way of viewing many things. Once I came to USF, I learned that not everything has to be one way. This has been a new resolution that I have learned to do over the past couple of months, but I will put more effort into doing so since the new year has started.”
Then there are the times when as one watching the sparkling disco ball descends, it resonates that now is the time to do better and to not repeat last year’s mistakes.
Kevin Castro, a freshman majoring in information security, made a pledge to be a safer driving in 2018.
“My New Year’s resolution is to stop texting while I’m driving,” Castro said. “I saw a commercial about a man who was driving, started texting and ended up killing a kid. I don’t want to hurt anyone or myself because of a dumb mistake like picking up my phone.”
With any resolution, if a plan is not made to change the behavior then the goals continues to be just a goal.
“So instead of leaving my phone on my lap, I have been putting it in my glove compartment, Castro said. “Out of my reach, I don’t have the urge to grab my phone.”