Quite Frankly

Hey Frankie,

Just kidding. No one asked me a question this week, so I’m just going to shout into the abyss and hope it shouts back.

Sincerely, Frustrated Frank

Dear Everyone,

Quite frankly, we all know New Year’s resolutions are utter malarkey. But even so, I think most of us enjoy feeling like we get a fresh page every time the Earth laps an arbitrary point in its orbit, or on the day which the powers that be decided four years ago would be the optimal time to start a new semester. Whether or not you subscribe to these markers of temporality, the question remains: What ink are you going to smudge across this unit of time?

Maybe you want to resolve to actually do all the assigned readings for your classes, or at least skim them. Perhaps you’re the type to initiate better health habits, like actually dragging your sorry husk of a body across our ice-encrusted campus to the gym on a regular basis, or eating a vegetable every now and again. Both admirable goals. Maybe you chronically overwork yourself, so you actually want to put in less effort this time. More power to you.

No matter your goal, I want to use my platform here to impress one thing upon you all (and, of course, myself): telling yourself that this arbitrary date is when you’ll change everything about your life and get it together just sets you up for failure. None of us—or no one I’ve met, at least—can simply flip a switch and make everything match up with our idea of “good.” In fact, there’s no switch to flip.

We’ve got dimmers, and they’re quite temperamental. If you slam the little piece in the middle up and down wildly like a toddler learning how electricity works for the first time, you’ll burn out the bulb altogether. Changing anything about yourself, whether it’s a habit or a mindset, takes more effort than just writing it down. When we resolve to make sweeping change and jump in head first, oftentimes we push ourselves to breaking points. By slowly, carefully bringing up the dimmer, we can keep ourselves healthy, and hopefully achieve our endgoals.

No matter what your goals are for the semester, the year, your life, I hope you won’t be too hard on yourself. Subtle changes implemented over time will be more effective than sweeping reformations. In my humble opinion, a Rorschach test is way more visually appealing than a blank page.

Best Wishes,

Frankie

P.S. If you have a hard time with any of your spilled ink, send your problems and questions to me, and we’ll print some ink in the Misc to answer them. All submissions retain anonymity (even I don’t know who’s written to me) and will be answered thoughtfully.

Bottom line: Ask me questions! Go here to do that: http://bit.ly/2RFnXfk

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