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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Advice with the Arts Editor: My ins and outs of 2024

Dong Woo Im
A student walks along the Harbor Walk after class. Photo by Dong Woo Im / Mass Media Staff.

The New Year has arrived. New Year’s resolutions always seem to be strict and don’t allow any room for mistakes. That doesn’t really make sense. People would be more likely to follow resolutions if they were able to continue after having a bad day. Instead, try making a list of your “ins and outs” of 2024. Here’s mine for example. 

Walks are in this year. Take a little bit of time to move your body in the winter temperatures. Put on an audiobook or podcast while going for a little stroll in the fresh air. Last year, I feel like I didn’t move my body as much as I used to, which led me to feel lazy, so that is why I am implementing walks into my New Year’s habits. 

Smoothies are also in this year. Who doesn’t love a smoothie? They are also a quick and easy way to pack in all your essential nutrients. This “in” was inspired by the portable blender my aunt gave me for Christmas. 

Making coffee at home is another “in” for this year. Last year I spent a good portion of my paychecks on going out to buy coffee. Now, why would I do that when I have an espresso machine at my apartment? It makes better coffee than any coffee chain, and I can customize it with a bunch of fun flavors, without paying an extra 50 cents for two pumps of syrup. 

Last year I traveled internationally for the first time, which unlocked a love for exploring new places. An easy way to incorporate other cultures into my daily routine is listening to foreign music. This is another “in” for 2024. I can experience other cultures and languages just at the cost of my Spotify subscription. 

Reading nonfiction is in this year. As an English major, I’ve found myself enjoying mainstream fiction novels less and less. But this shouldn’t stop me from reading entirely. Nonfiction is the perfect way to introduce yourself to a new topic while also stimulating your mind. This year, I’m going to focus more on reading nonfiction for pleasure. 

Taking time for yourself is also in this year. Everyone knows the feeling of being over-worked by your job on top of the pile of assignments sitting on your desk. Everything seems overbearing and there is nothing you can do about it. Well, let me tell you, there is something you can do about it. Take time for yourself. Engage in intentional relaxation, where you aren’t checking your email notifications or thinking about the large amount of work sitting on your desk. You need time for yourself. 

Podcasts and audiobooks are another “in” for this year. Listening to other people’s perspectives should always be in, and these forms of media are a great way to engage in it. Find a podcast that fits a topic you’re interested in, and just listen to it. Hearing other people’s opinions is a great way to engage in critical thinking and reflection. 

Tired of spending endless money on makeup? Well, good news for you: Minimal makeup is in. This includes not buying products on TikTok that did great things for other people. Just stick to products that you know work for you, and don’t buy items on the internet just because someone posted a video about it. Wear makeup that makes you feel good and buy products that you actually need. 

Moving on to some “outs” this year, Starbucks is out. I spent so much money at Starbucks last year, and for what reason? They aren’t a good company. They are funding things that I don’t want my money going to. They don’t support their workers unionizing. Why am I putting so much money into a company that stands for nothing I stand for? It doesn’t make sense, and I could find much more productive ways to spend my money.

Uber Eats is also out this year. Uber Eats was my guilty pleasure last year. If I had a bad day or I didn’t feel like cooking, I would order food on Uber Eats. It’s time for me to grow a little and cook when I don’t feel like it, so this year I will not be putting my money into Uber Eats.

Another “out” for this year is putting energy into people who don’t reciprocate. Why am I spending so much of my precious energy on people who don’t care about me? Well, it’s about time to put a stop to that. 

I hope you can take some inspiration from this list of ins and outs of 2024, and create a list that works for you.

About the Contributors
Rena Weafer, Arts Editor
Dong Woo Im, Photographer