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New Year's Survey Meme: Your Thoughts on 2010, Ambitions for 2011

What stood out most for you in 2010? What are your resolutions for 2011? To answer the Question of the Week, we delved into the world of memes to look at one of the most loved and hated internet memes – the new year’s survey.

How did our bloggers and other young bloggers around the world respond? Hopefully you’ll have as much fun reading this as we did researching it.

What was your biggest achievement of 2010?

Beginning the year 2010 I was already in college in Bolivia and I can safely say that the change from school to college in any place changes the person, I felt myself more mature than I was before. But life gave me a second opportunity and I was able to apply for colleges in America by that time, since I failed to start my studies abroad in 2009 due to not enough financial aid. This second chance I had gave me the opportunity to live a whole universe of new experiences. The fact of living by myself for the first time was a live changing event by itself, the cultural shock (that evolved to be the cultural lessons I got), the people I met and the whole lot of places I have never seen before. All this events made me a bigger person, more mature and wise; and in fact all of this also made me grateful for the extra year I spent home, for now I know that probably I wasn't ready for all this changes the first time.

But now I am, and I'm ready to embrace even more experiences and lessons life has for me with the only goal this year to live life to the fullest. Quoting my friend Alex Busingye, "Whats up 2011? Ready or not, here I come."

Sebastian Sanchez

Probably the great score on my GRE. Also surviving comps studying, comps, this semester, and PhD apps (that prof who hadn't turned in my letters of reference yet turned them in on the THIRTY-FIRST. The apps were due on the first. O_o Is it any wonder I panic?)

"Artekka," graduate student

Knowing that I can survive living in a different country and adjusting well.

"rfswitch," Manila

Achieving highest marks in my class at Vega. It proved (to myself) that I can do copywriting, and pretty much anything creative, as long as I just get down and do it.

Martha, South Africa

2010 wasn’t so much of an achievement year. Surviving it was enough

"crushedglass," New Zealand

What was your biggest failure?
I just can’t get organized or disciplined. I survive from chaos to chaos.

"spbroad," late twenties


"slackerninja," Mumbai

What do you wish you had or did more of in 2010?

One of my New Year's resolutions is to see more foreign movies--we have a great art house movie theater right near our campus that offers student discounts, but I never seem to find the time to go. While I'm not fluent in other languages besides English and French, it always gets my brain going when I watch a film with subtitles. I love how foreign movies offer a window into different cultures, and recognizing words that have the same roots as familiar English or French ones is always a thrill. It's a small thing that helps me get out of my college-focused mindset and think about the bigger picture, and it also lets me treat myself to a night out at the same time.

Julia Bumke

More money obviously, but doesn’t everyone? But I think I would like to be more adventurous in 2011, we were very restrained this year.

"oohsomethingshiny," "Americanized Brazilian Uruguayan"



What do you wish you’d done less of?

My efforts did accomplish good results but at the same time I was torturing my mental and physical health. It was a wrong strategy I picked up right at the beginning of the semester, namely that I needed to excel in everything. I realize now that I need to maintain a fine balance between academic life and social life. And this is exactly my new-year resolution.

For this coming semester, I am going to worry less about school work because the stress is too detrimental to risk. I need an exhilarating mind to function in a long term, especially to get me through the busiest parts of the semester. Also, I am going to make time for extracurricular activities, something like taking a small role in the coming musical. I am going to try to sleep for at least 6 hours a day. I am going to…

Nick Hoang

More of nothing – literally. You know those days. They’re rare, but they happen.

Chris, UK

Comparing myself to other people

Allison, Idaho

What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
Applying for being the US correspondent of my newspaper. And failed.

Jennifer, Belgium

Finished coursework for my PhD! Presented a paper at an academic conference.

"janatig," graduate student in Kansas

dropped out of college.


What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A weekly massage. It almost seemed like my dream could become a reality with this massage parlor in California that only charged $15 an hour. Sadly, none of the employees were actually licensed and it got shut down.

"Mads," 20-something Minnesotan

If I had gone out more often with my friends.

Larissa, Brazil

If things went according to plan. But I guess that’s the beauty of plans. When they go wrong, they redirect you to something even more beautiful.

Aliya, Philippines

What are you most looking forward to in 2011?

I usually don't make formal New Year’s resolutions, but my big project this year is to develop the Organization of Asian Studies here on campus. I was elected president at the end of last semester, and I’m pretty excited about taking more of a leadership role. I’d like to play my part in creating more opportunities for students in our discipline to engage with each other outside the classroom.

Chris Wong

2011 is going to be a big year for me, in that I am going to graduate from St. John's College in May. I guess the natural new year's resolution is to not get kicked out of the college before then. Seriously, though, I hope to make the final semester a worthy one, and also to take the right steps towards graduate education, i.e., a master's degree.

Nareg Seferian

Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I made ONE –to read all of Paradise Lost. I’m still on book 3. Every time I open it I think of brilliant Milton was and of how much it oppressively reminds me of homework. So I guess my resolution this year will be to actually finish Paradise Lost.

"Krysteene," University of Virginia

I pretty much did. The grad school goal was the most important, and I achieved that, so the rest is cake!

"Updates From the Field," American grad student in Scotland

I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. I find them restricting. Why wait for January to change what needs to be changed?

Aliya, Philippines

What valuable life lesson did you learn in 2010?

During the year of 2010, I have been extremely busy. Besides my school work and my college applications, I have been doing many other activates like exercising Yoga and playing Guitar. I have also been running the International Club at Kent School, doing an internship for VOA and many other things that would make a long list.

Even though, I have been busy, I have learned how to make a balance between all of the things that I did. I want to grow as a leader in the future, and I think the year of 2010 was a good start to give me a feedback about the life of a motivated leader.

Farima Afaq

The most important thing in life is to just “do you.” Don’t try to be any one else.

Allison, Idaho

Life is unfair. You do not get what you deserve all the time.

"rfswitch," Manila

There is no such thing as being too prepared

"couturerin," political science student

Think less, do more. Stop being a spectator and participate

Ankit, mid-20s Indian

When in doubt, Travel!

Aditya, India

sometimes changes arent bad :)

Faiqah, 17

It’s never too late to learn anything.

"spbroad," late twenties

Try as hard as you can and at least the little things are possible.

"mommanaging," US student

believing in others does not make it easier to believe in yourself.