It seems like every New Year I hear the same few things: “Wow, how is it 2015/2016/2017 already?”, “New year, new me!”, and of course something along the lines of “I hate new year’s resolutions.”
The New Year brings about the opportunity for a fresh start. There is something about the start of a new year that makes you want to take charge of your life and get yourself together. You should be evaluating your life year round and making changes to better yourself; it is good to step back, look at your previous year, and figure out where you want to be at the end of the next year.
It is pretty shocking to look back at 2016 and see how much my life has changed in a year. In the grand scheme of things, a year is such a short period of time yet so much can happen. Last January I was starting my 2nd quarter of school, was a member of SCNAVTA, and did not know my classmates (since I tended to always have my headphones in before class). Last year my main resolution was to be more open to new experiences, friends, challenges and opportunities. I decided that “NO” should not be in my vocabulary.
Over the past 12 months I continue to advance in school; I am now starting my 6th quarter and continue to learn every day. My passion for veterinary technology grows stronger with each class I take.
I stopped wearing my headphones before class and started paying attention to my classmates, I have made some truly amazing and like-minded friends. The girls in our vet tech program are unique, quirky, and have so much to offer; I feel so lucky to have gotten to know them. (If any of you girls are reading this I love you all so much, thank you for being you!) The next step in my growth was to help guide the program, so I also became the president of SCNAVTA rather than simply a member. Leadership is an important trait to develop. Being able to work on those skills with the people I love and in the program that defines my passion has helped me become more than I was before. The SCNAVTA group did some pretty neat things last year; including Spirit Valley Days, a small roadside cleanup project, and a medallion hunt. This year SCNAVTA has quite a bit planned and I’m excited to start getting things moving in the next few weeks! On February 7th we have having a presentation on Service Animals. You are all welcome to attend.
Looking forward into 2017 the biggest thing I want to do this year is spread kindness, it seems like there was a lot of hate in 2016. I have been internalizing the saying “Be kind: for everyone who meet is fighting a difficult battle you know nothing about.” It has already impacted my interactions with others. It is only 17 days into the New Year and I was given the opportunity to put my resolution into practice.
The other day, I was rear ended at a stoplight yesterday. I’ll be honest, I screamed – I was frustrated. After collecting myself, I took a deep breath and reminded myself of my resolution – I was going to be kind. Making sure to smile, I stepped out of my car and looked at the damage to both vehicles (the only thing wrong with my car was a small crack in my plastic bumper), then went to talk to the driver of the other car. We called the police and then pulled off into a parking lot where we exchanged insurance information. She was shaken, but I reassured her that everything was going to be okay and that accidents happen. Her husband arrived before the police and pulled me aside, he explained that he had forgotten to pay their car insurance bill when the New Year began and that they weren’t covered.
I thought, you have got to be kidding me – I wanted to scream. Remembering my resolution, I took a deep breath. I checked the time and I realized that if we waited for the police I would miss class, lose major points, and miss a really cool field trip. Again, I looked at my car and I decided to call off the police, get the other driver’s phone number and get to school. They also gave me the contact information for a friend of theirs who does body work, and they said they would pay for the new bumper out of pocket. I told them I would call that evening to discuss the plan for getting my car fixed.
As the day went on I kept thinking about my car, the accident and my resolution.
I called her up and told her that I wasn’t going to pursue having my car fixed. I explained that the damage was cosmetic and since they would be paying out of pocket I would not feel good about making them fix it. She was so grateful and asked if there was any way she could repay me. I simply told her about my resolution to be kind and that she should use the money that she would have had to spend fixing my car to fix hers – and pay for insurance! The relief in her voice made it worth it. I ended my day feeling the best I have in a while.
The resolution to be kind is very broad, but it’s a good one. It’s a resolution which directs me to every single day to act with kindness and understanding – no matter how large or small the gesture of kindness is.
Rachel is the President of the DBU Chapter of SCNAVTA (Student Chapter of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians of America), an eclectic vet tech student, and Jade’s and Jessi’s mama.