Making a resolution can improve your life
By Tess White
Many students and adults make New Year’s resolutions each year at the beginning of January.
A New Year’s resolution is a commitment one makes for one or more personal goals or projects or to reform a habit. The big difference between a normal resolution and a New Year’s resolution is that a New Year’s resolution is one that is made in anticipation of the new year and is dedicated to be completed for the entire year.
The tradition of making a New Year’s resolution began with the ancient Babylonians, who made promises to their gods that at the beginning of the new year the people would return all the goods the gods had given them. The Romans similarly made promises to their god Janus, for which the month of January is named. In the medieval times knights took the Peacock Vow at the end of Christmas to reaffirm their promise to chivalry.
There are religious similarities to the tradition, mostly in Catholicism and Judaism. During Rosh Hashanah, the Judaism New Year, people are to reflect on their wrongdoings of the year and offer and receive forgiveness for them. During the Catholic period of Lent, the concept is annual self-improvement through sacrifice.
The practice of New Year’s Resolution has been done for many years. By the time of the Great Depression, a quarter of all adults participated in creating a New Year’s resolution. At the start of the twenty-first century, 40 percent of all people made them.
If you haven’t created a New Year’s resolution, there is still time. Some of the most popular resolutions are to improve overall well-being, as in physical well-being and mental well-being; improve finances; improve education; take a trip; volunteer more; have better social skills; spend more time with family; make more friends; and be more spiritual.
Despite deciding to make a change, 88 percent of these resolutions fail according to a 2007 study. Out of all these people, 52 percent of these people were confident that they would complete their goal. In this study, men achieved their goal 22 percent more when they engaged in goal setting with very specific goals. Women achieved their goal 10 percent more when they made their goals public and had support from friends.
Some people don’t make a new year’s resolution; instead they choose a word to live by for the year. For example, if you choose the word optimism for the entire year, you could become more optimistic.
I don’t necessarily have a resolution, but I am trying to become a better, happier person.
Community service builds a personal profile
By Nicole Eberhart
Many high school students are interested in participating in community service activities – also known as volunteer work. Community service can impress college admissions officers, as well as scholarship organizations that often prefer investing in students who have similar humanitarian kinds of values.
There are many opportunities in the Loyalton area for community service. Some are listed below.
Assembly of God: Pastor Joel Armstrong said his church always needs help with secretarial work, gardening, cleaning and snow shoveling. He would like to meet with students in advance: (530) 993-0709.
The Community Church of Loyalton always needs help cleaning, helping out in the summer with its Vacation Bible School and with secretarial work, gardening, cleaning the church and other projects. Pastor Tom Russell would like to meet prior to these activities to make arrangements: (530) 993-4411.
The Holy Rosary Catholic Church always needs help with anything that goes on in the banquet hall — help setting up events and staying through them to clean up and put tables and chairs away. See teacher Barbara Jaquez for more details: 993-4366.
The City of Loyalton can use help doing sidewalk jobs and park projects, depending on the student’s age and the time frame. See Mayor Brooks Mitchell for more information: 993 4012.
Food Bank: Leadership typically helps but this opportunity is open to other students as well. The Food Bank is open the first and third Fridays after school. It’s located in the Family Resource Center on Main Street: 993-1110.
Loyalton High school needs help with special cleaning projects around the school. Students could even organize a campus cleanup day. Other ideas, according to Principal Marla Stock are to helping Toribio Ramirez out, help the teachers out before or after school, organize a tutoring program, assist Booster Club with concession during basketball, help in the office, assist with setting up for basketball games and clean up afterwards. Students can join clubs and propose service projects. You can propose project ideas to Stock or through a teacher or adviser. Stock advises that students plan ahead.
Parents often need students to tutor their children. For example, Kelly Haywood needs someone to tutor her son Connor. The tutoring can occur after school, either at the high school or elementary school – and payment is a possibility. Contact her via e-mail email@example.com or 993-4850.
The Sierra Schools Foundation could use student help for its fundraising efforts that fund many of the special, extra programs that benefit students such as field trips and the music class. The foundation meets each first Tuesday of the month in Room 6 at Loyalton Middle School. Contact teacher Megan Meschery, who founded the organization, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Academic advisor Janet McHenry said that rather than sporadic, short-term projects, colleges and scholarship organizations prefer to see a student’s initiative to start a special community service project – and that that project be one that the student has been involved with for a long time, preferably years, with many hours dedicated toward a successful outcome.