Atelophobia: the fear of imperfection, of not being enough.

In the past, I saw New Year’s at the opportunity to have a perfect year. I aimed to be put together (all the time), be well spoken (all the time), be amazing (all the time). I was shooting for perfection and this desire to be perfect is extremely present at Princeton. In part, it is a good thing, it pushes us to work extremely hard but it has a cost. Each failing, every deviation from perfection comes with a shame and disappointment.

I’m made an effort to not put too much pressure in regard to resolutions and I make small, meaningful, and achievable goals for the upcoming year.

1. Fitness: this past semester was the first semester (since freshman year) in which I have gone to the gym at least 3-5 times a week for cardio and to lift. I took one week off (the week after midterms no less) and I realized that I was far less stressed when I made time to go to the gym and clear my head.

2. Connect: I remember when I first got to Princeton and Shirley Tilghman gave advice to the class of 2014. She mentioned that Princeton would be hard (she was right), challenging (she was right), and a wonderful experience (again, she was right). She also mentioned that we should take advantage of our resources: not simply the books or the museums but also the rich variety of individuals on campus. I get extremely caught up with my thesis work, but I want to make an effort to keep in touch with loved ones and friends and give myself opportunities to make new friendships.

3. No: sometimes I take on too much. I juggle my friendships, my academics, and my extracurriculars. I think this semester (with the thesis deadline approaching) I want to pay attention to what I need to get done and make a better effort to not stretch myself too thin.

4. Pray: my faith has been a strong part of my journey at Princeton. Nonetheless, I have not really found a church community on campus. I jump churches. I go to Catholic mass. I go to Episcopalian masses. Sundays. Tuesdays. It definitely depends on my schedule. Prayer groups make me a bit antsy but it would be great to connect with individuals on campus who share my faith.

5.  Tutor: I had to step back from tutoring in Trenton this semester due to my traveling schedule and also my required meetings on Saturdays. This upcoming semester will be far more flexible and so I am really excited about reconnecting with the kids I have worked with in the past as well as fostering new relationships.

6.  Read: freshman year I managed to read a book a week. I don’t know how I did that but that completely faded away sophomore year (oh the toll of organic chemistry). This upcoming semester I don’t necessarily want to read a book a week again but I would love to read. Last semester I read quite a bit because I have been in mostly humanities classes (finally, I have the great Greek classics on my to-read list!).

7. Transition: it is sad but a beautiful thing to turn over the reins of a club. I am hoping for extremely smooth transitions of leadership for both Princeton Premedical Society (in February) and Her Campus Princeton (in May).

8. Dance: the dance groups at Princeton are phenomenal. I have always wanted to go to a diSiac or Body Hype or BAC dance workshop and plan to do so this upcoming semester!

I am so excited to see what 2014 holds!

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