Happy New Year and welcome back to campus! In the spirit of the New Year, I mined our student newspaper archives for New Year’s resolutions from students back in the day and found some fun and informative annual goals to share.
The Bullet in 1947 – when UMW was Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia – saw students hoping to break the tradition of the junior class benefit always being a beauty pageant. “Traditions are a wonderful thing as we students have made them, and we only can change them when a change is in order.”
The following decade, the Bullet staff were encouraging students to stay on the sidewalks in the New Year and “be on guard against trodding down the grass!”
The late sixties brought a lighter New Year’s touch with such humorous goals as: “The administration has resolved to abolish all grades and dress regulations. As an added attraction for all the campus heads, Chancellor Simpson has resolved to emulate the chancellor at Berkeley and grow exotic plants in his garden. The Bullet has decided to assume a name more reflective of its attitudes, perhaps the Dove? In sympathy with this move, the Battlefield is renaming itself the Flower Garden.”
The seventies saw resolutions focusing more on personal improvement with a sample below from the Mary Wash Wonders column:
“I resolve to make less use of the ABC store.
I resolve to loose thirty pounds by next week (or, for that matter, any week) – no more “big stuffs!”
I resolve to study harder during T.V. commercials.
I resolve not to sing in the shower anymore while other patronizers of the lavoratory are utilizing its facilities.
I resolve not to make any more than 8 stops at the P.O. during my normal working hours. Finally, I resolve to break all these stupid resolutions!! Welcome back and good luck!!!”
Mary Wash Millennials had their own take on New Year’s resolutions. The Bullet reported in 2004 that, “This year, Mary Washington College students are making New Year’s resolutions of all kinds in hopes to improve their own lives or someone else’s.” Exercising, giving up chocolate, getting organized, living in the moment, not procrastinating, reading more books, tuning out Hollywood gossip, and being more assertive all made the list. But my favorite was junior Miguel Laygo’s goal “to make at least one person smile every day.”
I’d add to that a resolution to come visit Special Collections and University Archives in 2017 if you have yet to use our wonderful collections. Come for research or stop by for a quick tour. You’ve got 12 months to complete your goal!