New Year’s resolutions are quickly made and broken

Tyrel Linkhorn

Though the winter holidays are over, one traditional aspect is still holding on.

Or at least trying to.

And no, it’s not the Christmas lights the next-door neighbor still hasn’t taken down.

Dating back nearly 4,000 years to the Babylonians, the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions is almost as old as the New Year’s holiday itself. The tradition was widely followed by the Romans and, subsequently, world-wide Christian cultures.

Today, health-related resolutions seem to dominate. Improving eating habits, quitting smoking or drinking and getting in better physical shape are among the most popular resolutions Americans make every Jan. 1.

Kent State students seem to follow that trend.

The Student Wellness and Recreation Center sees a definite spike in visitors after New Year’s, said Greg Ross, assistant director of recreational services.

“Typically we have some of our highest participation numbers the first few days of school,” he said. “We call it the New Year’s/spring break rush.”

For those beginning an exercise regimen, “the No. 1 mistake is expecting instant results. Then when they don’t see it, it discourages them,” Ross said.

Other common resolutions for Americans are attempts to become more financially solid, spend more time with family and friends and simply enjoy life more. Sophomore business major Collin Shammo chose one of this variety.

“My resolution is just to have fun,” Shammo said.

For Kent State students, resolutions relating to better study habits and improving grades were also prevalent for the coming semester. While many Kent State students share these typical resolutions, typical certainly isn’t for everyone.

“I made a resolution to behave myself,” said Richard Giles, sophomore secondary education major.

Motivation for resolutions is always different, and Giles explained that in his case, it stems from some trouble he found himself in with the police last year.

“So far, so good,” he said of his bid to stay out of trouble.

While not all resolutions are of the common variety, what is common is witnessing resolutions begin to crumble away. Students agreed individuals rarely follow through.

“It’s more wishful thinking than anything,” sophomore nursing major Maria Mihailovich said. “It’s one of those things that people say they’re going to do but they don’t.”

“I never take them seriously. Once it’s not the ‘new year’ anymore, you forget about them,” Giles said.

Shammo said he believes the reason so few resolutions are successful is people are just too lazy to go through with them.

And failing to keep New Year’s resolutions is not just an American phenomenon. Caroline Gudgeon, an English exchange student from the University of Leicester, said she did not make one this year because she never stays with it.

“There is nothing to make you do it. No consequences if you don’t follow through,” Gudgeon said.

Contact news correspondent Tyrel Linkhorn at [email protected].