Evan Hatfield is a sophomore journalism major and writes "Never Being Boring" for the Daily News. His views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Evan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Time is strange. I’ve been gone from my dorm for three weeks because of winter break. As I write this, I’ve only been back for a few hours — and yet, it already feels like I never left.
I’ve been going on with my life as normal; it's almost as if Christmas and New Year’s didn't happen.
It's not unusual for me: New Year's Eve seems to mean less and less as the years go on. What was once a major celebration has become just another day that happens to have a countdown at the end of it.
Part of it, I suppose, just comes with getting older — more and more, I tend to feel like the days, weeks and months of my life are just blending together into one semi-coherent whole.
It's also the matter of time just feeling like it's going faster than ever. It feels like we went through all of the festivities that came with 2017’s new year just days ago, and yet, here we are.
But as I sit here with a new year and a new semester on the horizon, I wonder: should I feel how I feel?
All things considered, the past year has been probably the best year I’ve ever had. I got the fresh start I was after when I came to Ball State. I found the first real group of friends I’ve ever had. I’ve gotten involved on campus in more ways than I can count.
Why then, am I so indifferent about the new year that lies ahead?
Then I look at the year our country — and our world, for that matter — has had. It's been a turbulent year in so many ways, from the effects (whether positive or negative) of Trump’s first year as president to the massive aftereffects of the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, and that's barely even scratching the surface.
To say the least, 2017 has left many of us weary. This in itself, however, is not bad. It speaks volumes about how connected we are to the world, and how our society is progressing.
And even in spite of the weariness, we’re still carrying on. For all the talk of the end of the country (and maybe even the world) that came with Trump’s election, here we still are.
There's no doubt some perseverance will be needed in the year ahead; it’s not like everything in the world completely resets to a blank slate on Jan. 1.
Even so, it’s not like the year was just one bad event after another. The economy is still growing. Australia achieved marriage equality. Cancer deaths have gone down by 25 percent since 1991.
Again, that's just barely scratching the surface.
The point is, there’s still plenty of goodness going around in the world, even if it may not always seem that way. So many good things happened in 2017, and there's potential for so many more good things to happen in the year ahead.
The new year is not going to be the perfect year by any means, but what year is? The impossibility of perfection shouldn't stop us from trying to make the most of the opportunities that lie ahead.
That's not to say we shouldn't look back. By all means, take a look at what the last year has brought for you. Whether good, bad, or somewhere in between, it's worth taking the time to reflect on the year just gone so you can take those experiences into the year to come.
And even if the new year’s not a completely blank slate, it's still an opportunity to start making changes for the better.
In the grand scheme of time, the new year (and the new semester, for that matter) may seem like just a rollover from one number to another. But it could be so much more.
It’s been said that the new year is a time for reflecting on the days just gone, as well as starting to make the most of the year to come. Let's make it so.