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Just outside Morgan Hall on UT's Ag Campus.

The start of a new year is always full of hope and enthusiasm. Champagne is poured, a kiss is given for good luck, confetti poppers are popped and excitement fills the room. A new year comes with expectations of change and better things to fill the coming months.

Every new year, people in society set personal goals to better themselves in one form or another. Eat healthier, lose weight, save money, the list goes on and on.

After the tough year everyone had in 2020 most people have gotten a new sense of living life to its fullest, taking every small success and magnifying it.

Throughout the course of last year, people across the globe were put into quarantine in which many gained unwanted weight, spent time away from loved ones and learned how to live without unnecessary spending habits.

Carragan Fields, a freshman at UT, is one student among many others that experienced the changes that came along with the pandemic. High school graduation, prom, college orientation and much more were put on hold. Little did Fields know that this newfound free time would be perfect before moving for college.

“I am hoping people set a goal centered around family because they realized how much quality time they were missing before quarantine,” Fields said.

Fields herself does not set New Year’s resolutions as she sees the new year as just a continuation of her life. This is a more realistic view of the new years in comparison to others, but unique as she has set them before and achieved those previous goals.

Fields has learned that sometimes life is going to drag you down; that is just how life works sometimes. She chooses to focus on the positive things in life and to continue striving towards success.

New Year’s resolutions are something that many people set, yet rarely ever achieve. As the newness of the year wears off, many people start to become discouraged.

Justin Crowe, the Director and State 4-H Program Leader for 4-H Youth Development for the state of Tennessee, is one goal-oriented faculty member that sees the new year as an inspiring time for many.

“I see the new year as a reset button. … People are exhausted from this past year, and I think they will set more goals to achieve success and positivity,” Crowe said.

While many people feel as if these resolutions are cliché or unattainable goals, Crowe makes the decision to set them for himself as they can be seen as a fresh start.

Dr. Randy Brewton, a biology professor at UT, is one who strives to set at least one or two attainable goals every new year. Brewton sees these resolutions as a commitment to make a change.

“We can all stand to reflect on our lifestyles and try to develop better habits – New Year’s resolutions can be a tool to help reach that end,” Brewton said.

Brewton himself has set these resolutions for numerous years and feels it is rewarding to set a goal and then complete it. 

All in all, the coming of a new year is a time to reflect on the past year. While you may not be a goal setter, everyone can do something to better themselves or others around them.

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