A midnight kiss. The ball drop. Puzzling over the lyrics to "Auld Lang Syne."
The new year brings with it many traditions, but none capture the hopeful, fresh-start feeling that comes with the changing calendar quite like the New Year's resolution. Many of us will struggle to keep our resolutions past the first few weeks (or days) of the year. But those that do manage to keep them might just find themselves one step closer to their ideal self.
For Tom Howard, a junior environmental health and engineering major at Johns Hopkins, setting definable goals keeps him on the right path.
"My resolution is generally just to be happier," Howard said. "There are a lot of opportunities to improve different aspects of your life. I think a general metric is if you wake up and are excited or happy to be waking up, then you're doing something right."
To help you on your way toward a happier, healthier you in 2019 and beyond, here are five of the most common New Year's resolutions, plus tips on how to accomplish them on the university's Homewood campus.
The Student Health and Wellness Center isn't just a resource for when you get sick—it can be a preventive measure to stop you from falling ill, too. Alexandra Morrel, nurse manager at the center, said the start of the new year is a good time to schedule your health maintenance appointments.
The center offers vaccinations, health screenings, and physical exams, as well as free appointments with dietitians and low-cost massages.
If you're feeling stressed, or just in need of an emotional tune-up, the Counseling Center hosts drop-in sessions in the morning and evening every day during the week.
To help healthy habits stick, sign up for text message alerts from the the Center for Health Education & Wellness. CHEW will keep you up-to-date with wellness-related events on campus as well as general life and happiness tips.
Be more active
Navigating your way through a new workout regimen can be intimidating, but the O'Connor Recreation Center offers individual or partnered personal training. A 60-minute session, with guidance on what to do on your own, can set you up for success in the new year. The center also offers group fitness classes as well as F45 cardio and strength workouts.
Club sports are an option for those who prefer a bit of friendly competition. There's a wide selection, including table tennis, Krav Maga, and quidditch, so even those who dreaded gym class can find an appealing option.
We asked: Did you make a New Year's resolution for 2019?
Spend more time with friends
Tired of gathering around a laptop to squint at Netflix together? The Johns Hopkins Film Society hosts monthly movie screenings on 35mm for the genuine theatrical experience.
If you're itching to get off campus, the Homewood Arts Programs' Hop Events offer free tickets to Baltimore arts performances. Eric Beatty, director of Hop Art, said this spring they will offer their first major dance performance, with Alvin Ailey at the Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric. Other opportunities this spring include The Book of Mormon and Come From Away at the Hippodrome, and Fun Home at Center Stage.
For a more active outing, the school offers experiential education day trips, including rock climbing, backpacking, sailing, and kayaking.
To make sure relationships aren't being neglected while you're working on yourself, add your friends to a group chat, peruse the Hub's events calendar, and make plans to attend a campus event. The interactive resource sorts events by date, type, and location.
The Center for Social Concern offers volunteer opportunities with 75 different Baltimore partner organizations, embracing the idea that service with others has a unique value beyond service to others. Kelly Milo, the center's assistant director of operations, said students are always welcome to stop by the office to learn about volunteer opportunities.
Volunteer with programs like Baltimore First or Tutorial Project, or join one of the student groups currently working in the community.
You can also take part in Johns Hopkins' second Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Jan. 25. Registration opens Friday, Jan. 4, and four-hour time slots are available in the morning and afternoon.
"Volunteering and engaging in community service can be a great way to get involved with fellow Hopkins students who have a shared interest, while making a positive impact on our community and society," Milo said.
Learn a new skill
Want to shock and amaze your friends by busting out some new dance moves? The Homewood Arts Programs offer free noncredit ballet and modern dance classes that are open to both those with experience and absolute beginners.
For multimedia skills, check out the Digital Media Center. Director Joan Freedman said there are lots of ways to pick up a new skill at the center, including workshops, a podcast boot camp, and equipment rentals. Learn everything you need to become a self-sufficient media producer, including audio, design, animation, filmmaking, programming, and 3D printing.
For a specific skill, explore the university's many student organizations to find one that piques your interest. Learn how to cast a cantrip as a level-five bard with the Hopkins Pen and Paper Gaming Club, or learn to knit some warm winter socks with the String Theory Yarn Club.