While I think new year’s resolutions, the whole “new year, new me” thing is a complete load of bull crap, I always write myself one resolution that I aim to stick to. And these resolutions aren’t the “get fit” resolutions. I aim to try and change myself to make myself a better person. For myself.
In 2015, amidst HSC, my resolution was to rid myself of the anxiety surrounding who I was as a student. That failed majorly. Instead, in 2015, I cried over 90% marks, I asked to go to the bathroom in my english classes to ensure I didn’t freak out in class because I was so unsure of myself. I had days where it was physically impossible for me to get to school and be the person I usually am. I would use my period cramps was reason to stay home (truth be told though, my cramps are the worst things I’ve ever experienced. I’m usually unable to walk like a human or function with stability without the aid of numerous cups of tea, hot water bottles and pain relievers) so I wouldn’t have to face my teachers and see that “disappointment” and “judgement” I thought they were aiming at me. And this was only in 2 of my classes. I dreaded going to my english classes because I grew so anxious about a subject I loved with a passion. I went through times where I doubted my work so much, even if it was just a practice essay, that I would stay up until 3 am writing draft after draft, only to panic when my teacher said it wasn’t good enough.
Clearly, 2015 showed me that I need to man up as a student because if that was year 12, then uni isn’t going to be any easier.
But I guess some good things did come out of 2015. I think I used my feelings of anxiety to become a more open person to my family and closest friends. I became so much closer to my older sister, and by having times where I’d sit with my mum and dad, and tell them that I wasn’t feeling 100% about something, I became a lot more emotionally stronger. I learnt to reconcile with myself and hate myself less at the “failure” of not being able to get that 20/20 in an essay. It was a slow process, but it’s happening.
I also proved that I only need my own validation in my education. I did well in the HSC. I’m proud of the mark. I’m proud of my ATAR. It isn’t a perfect 99.95. But it is reflective of the dedication and perseverance I had in me to make sure everything I did was to the best of my ability, even with my chronic perfectionism. I proved to myself that I can face my personal battles and I do know what success is. I proved to myself that I really do not need to give a piece of shit about what anyone thinks because as long as I fulfil my goals and aspirations, I’m doing exactly what I need to be doing.
Looking back on the HSC, I think I have finally learnt to let my anxiety go about who I am in an academic environment. It could have happened at the beginning of the year. I would have had a happier HSC experience. But I made it.
I don’t think people realise that I doubt myself to such an extent, that my chronic perfectionism outweighs the fact that I am capable of reaching higher things; because I put up a face that only comes off to my closest friends and family. I don’t think the girls in my grade would have pinned me for someone who is so unsure of themselves. And I do feel pathetic about it. I was always taught, always shown, always guided by the motto that you are the only person who can control where your life goes. I didn’t take that to seriously enough in the HSC. Maybe if I had, I could have attained a higher ATAR. No I’m just joking. I am satisfied with that mark and I’m on my way to doing the course I’ve had my heart set on since I was 12. If I had heeded the advice of the motto, I would have had a happier 2015. Less doubt. Less anxiety.
So this brings me to 2016. Looking back on the personal side of things, I’ve realised that self criticism is both a skill and the biggest flaw you can possess. In 2016, as cheesy and fake as this sounds, I want to accept myself for who I am. And I’m referring to the way I perceive who I am. I know that I’m a strong, intelligent and assertive young woman who is fully capable of breaking down personal, physical, academic and emotional barriers to become the best person I can be. I want to start really believing in that. There’s a difference between knowing and believing. I want 2016 to be the year where I believe in the traits I know I possess.
So with less than 8 hours until Sydney rings in the New Year, I’m going to start dinner prep for the family party that’ll be getting underway soon.
I hope all of you have a wonderful and safe New Years. Party hard, stay classy and stay safe.
2015 was great, and I’m bloody keen for 2016.
signing off one last time in 2015,