Jan 202011
Authors: Jonathan Kastner

With many of us still writing 2010 on checks and homework (or, for the less sober of us, 2009), the New Year still feels as fresh and full of promise as crisp hotel bed sheets. Yet, the comforting lies offered by said bed will soon bring a world of disappointment, horror and questionable stains upon us.

Some of you, to combat this horror, will make resolutions you cannot keep. You have unrealistic expectations, like weight loss or spending fewer than 50 hours in front of your television. Hence, the crisp bed of life is lying to you.

Naturally, my advice: Don’t lie to yourself by sleeping in the bed. The floor is visibly filthy –– sleep there instead. The only way to have a non-disappointing new year is to start out with incredibly low expectations, so that when you succeed, everything is awesome. It’s why I always pretend doorways are limbo-bars, and that I am some kind of tiny limbo god.

If you’re reading this, you are probably a student. Students are never satisfied with their grades because people are incapable of being satisfied, so one of your resolutions was probably higher grade scores. You could try extra hard and earn those grades, but wouldn’t you rather get the same amount of happiness with less work?

Instead, resolve only to text while making eye contact with the teacher. Wait until they ask a question, then raise your cell phone and begin to click-type away as loudly as possibly. Inevitably, when you chicken out of this one and your grades don’t suffer an insolence penalty, you will have accomplished your resolution.

It’s a bit more awkward to hold a laptop up in class, should you have one, so if you’re on Facebook in class, resolve only to browse while the monitor is facing the teacher. This will involve some clever contortions, which will only increase the spectacle.

For bonus points, always be on the teacher’s Facebook page.

Now that you’re guaranteed to fail at doing worse academically, it’s time to give the same attention to weight gain. This is a common New Year’s resolution, as we are constantly surprised that sitting inside drinking and eating cake makes us fat. The only real answer is a practical lifestyle-changing diet and exercise. Again, this is hard and means you can’t deep-fry any Twinkies at all.

Instead, try to resolve to eat an entire cake. Don’t get a nice one –– get a double layer, frosting smeared cheap thing. If it doesn’t have enough frosting to make you sick, buy a tub and just mash it in there yourself. When you fail to eat the whole cake, think of how many calories you are saving! Also, you may put yourself off cake for a while.

Speaking of wasting money and food, you may have sworn to do something about your crippling debt (again, student). But as long as that credit card lurks in your wallet and Apple continues to slap tiny ‘i’s on everything, you are doomed to poverty. So, why not go gentle into that huge debt?

A great way to do this is to make sure not to vote again next time they ask if we want to increase taxes to pay for our education. There’s no swifter way to exclaim that you don’t mind the debt than with total apathy. But, if you’re feeling proactive, there’s also signing up for a Bachelor of Arts.

I jest on that last one. Hail my alma mater.
So remember, a lot of people try to change their lives for the better and fail, and statistically speaking, you might be one of them. If you set your sights as low as possible, even the smallest defeats seem like glorious victories.

Johnathan Kastner is in his second year of his second bachelor’s degree, majoring in computer science. He has an English degree as well, since he referenced that this time. His column appears weekly in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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