2023: The year of being kinder to your mind

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For me, the end of 2022 was bittersweet. As a finalist, the end of my studies is becoming increasingly clear, and the future ahead is fast approaching. I’m sure many final year students feel the same. Somehow, three years of laughs, lows, and growth is over unexpectedly soon. But with the end of my degree in sight, the possibilities for the future are incredibly exciting, and I, like many others I’m sure, cannot wait to start the next chapter of my life, whatever it may bring. 

My highlights of 2022 were some of the most wonderful times I’ve ever had. In a year where I entered my 20’s, I celebrated college balls, my very first trips abroad, and the love of those around me. A year full of new and incredible experiences, I certainly fell in love with exploring the world and sharing those adventures with those I care for. I have also achieved so much I am proud of, and the support of those around me fuels my anticipation of what lies ahead.

We may lose or drift from those we love, but making peace with ourselves is the most important lesson

For me, this year was also tainted by loss which challenged the positive course the year was set for. Unfortunately, I know 2022 was also unkind to some of my friends, and so I believe it is important to reflect on the strength we have shown through difficult times, as well as celebrating the good times. The major loss I suffered has undoubtedly left a permanent hole in my heart, and I have discovered that grief is not linear, nor is it kind. For me, it was incredibly important to take a moment to truly feel and process the emotions that come with losing someone you deeply love. Getting up and immediately powering through is not always the right course of action, as grief takes an unexpectedly physical toll, as well as an emotional and mental one. 

I know for my family, friends, and I, 2022 will be a complicated year to look back on. However, it is vital to keep in mind that the pain of grief is proof of immense love and a special bond. Grief has the power to bring us closer, and I know those I care for have shown me love, whether by giving sympathy or just being there, making loss feel not quite as daunting. As we enter the new year, we will remember those we have lost, and we will continue to honour and cherish their memory by reserving a place in our heart for them and by carrying their love with us into the years ahead.

Alongside remembrance, I will be entering 2023 with a resolution to maintain a healthy mind. Considering everything that happened in 2022, and everything that is on the horizon for the new year, taking care of myself and my mind will be my top priority, and I’m sure many others share this same desire. Managing personal challenges and stress this year are of vital importance as my workload increases and my future comes closer. After gaining a taste for exploring, I will be attempting to break free from fear and stagnation, and looking forward to those new experiences will be a valuable propeller through the next few difficult months. 

I fell in love with exploring the world and sharing those adventures with those I care for

I, like many others, am aspiring to spend more time with people who make me feel loved, and to value those moments we share. Similarly, I would love for 2023 to be the year of becoming the person I want to be, and to be comfortable in my own company. I’m sure many students are over-thinkers like me, and I know we could all benefit from taking time to slow down and to calm our minds. I will be reminding myself that as I approach 21 and as my university experience comes to a close, it is never too late. Growing from our past is vital when looking towards the new year, and so is being comfortable with your body and mind. We may lose or drift from those we love, but making peace with ourselves is the most important lesson.

I will leave you with a quote that I happened across not long ago: I feel it is perhaps the most important mantra you will read this year. “Happiness was always about being kinder to yourself; it was always about embracing the person you were becoming. One day, you will understand that happiness was always about learning how to live with yourself, that your happiness was never in the hands of others. It was always about you. It was always about you” – Bianca Sparacino.

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