New semester, new year, new goals for AU freshmen

Looking for challenge, happiness and change in 2021

New semester, new year, new goals for AU freshmen

Photo of 2021 calendar.

With the new year well under way, American University students are embracing the fresh start by goal setting. These students decided to share how they’re looking forward throughout the rest of the year.  

For Isabella Martinez, a freshman in the School of International Service, New Year’s resolutions are a tradition. Last year, she made the resolution to become a pescatarian, which meant that she would no longer eat land meat. This year, she’s challenged herself to become a vegetarian, cutting all meat out of her diet. This has been no easy feat though, explaining that eating seafood has been an integral part of her diet throughout her life.

“My culture eats a lot of seafood, so it’s hard to be a vegetarian,” Martinez shared, referring to her family’s Cuban-American diet. 

She’s holding herself accountable because, as an environmentalist, she wants to limit her impact on the Earth by not partaking in the meat industry’s pollution. The world’s livestock industry is estimated to generate around 14.5% of all human-caused global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way some students go about setting goals. 

Kenny Ambiso, a freshman in the School of Public Affairs, has always set intuitive goals through periods of self-reflection. 

This year in particular, he’s had a lot more time to self-reflect through periods of quarantine, helping him recognize areas of self-improvement. When asked what his goals are for this upcoming year, he shared that he wants to focus on being kind to others, especially given the volatile climate surrounding the events of 2020.

“Happiness is number one for me,” Ambiso said.

Noah Silverstein, a freshman in the SPA, said that the pandemic changed his outlook on his social goals. 

For Silverstein, socializing has always been an integral part of his day-to-day life, and quarantining has given him more time to self-reflect and focus on himself. For this semester, that means maintaining the friendships he already has and focusing on his grades.

Goal setting is a longstanding societal tradition, offering individuals fresh insight and a new start. But never has it been more important than now during a global pandemic, when most people are stuck in the house and time seems to be at a standstill.

“You’re always changing, and especially during the pandemic it’s hard to notice the positive changes unless you’re actively noting who you want to be, and what you want to become,” Silverstein said.

This year may be unlike any others preceding it due to the coronavirus pandemic, but AU students are embracing the challenges and looking forward to the rest of the year with an optimistic mindset. Setting goals and pursuing them doesn’t have to be hard. Sometimes all it takes is a little self-introspection and determination.

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