What are your hopes and dreams for 2013?

Taryn:  “A world full of less fear and more love, and everything that encompasses.”

Megan:  “Happiness, there is nothing more important, and nothing that I strive for more.”

Vegas:  “I just hope I get accepted into university.”

Julie:  “Wisdom – that’s for me. I need the wisdom of writing.”

Gabrielle:  “A productive and creatively fulfilling job.”

Jay, Grade 12: “It is at the beginnings of years that many people stand in awe at how they have let yet another year pass without much to show for it. It is from this space of mind that New Years resolutions usually come, and it was there where I found myself as I entered 2013 last week. Last year brought many changes to my life; I turned 17 and didn’t feel old enough to be so, I entered my last year of high school, I got behind a few classes, I got my driver’s license and bought myself a car, I lived in Germany for 3 months, and my dad died. Despite all of these experiences, now, a year later, I find myself feeling much the same as I did at this time in 2012. I’m about to turn 18 and don’t feel ready, I still can’t drive very well, I’m behind in some new courses, I still can’t speak German very well, and I still don’t understand why it was that I lost my dad. To me, it seems as if I haven’t really learned a great deal in 2012. At the beginning of last year, I knew that I had a lot in store for me in the coming months, in much the same way as I know that many changes await me in 2013. Yet my hope for this year isn’t to be better off a year from now, for to do so is to create an unrealistic expectation that I must have reached a certain level within this invented period of time called a year. Rather, all I hope for a year from now, or anytime, is not necessarily to be satisfied with what I have done, but to simply be happy with what I’m doing.”

Erin, Grade 11: “There is so much I would like to see in 2013, and it’s hard to put it all in one place. Hoping for world peace, or an end to war or hunger seems naive, while wishing for a new John Green book or an iPhone seems to disregard those things.

I guess I just want us to get better.

I want us, as a collective, to recognize the wrong. I want children to hear “I’m here” instead of “Go away”. I want Adam Lanza to be called what he is, not a “troubled loner”. I want to see young mothers cured of AIDS and middle-aged fathers cured of cancer. I don’t want the rights of Indigenous Canadians further abused by the government. There is far too much wrong with the world, and far too little is being done to correct it. Maybe this sounds morose and doesn’t do a very good job of ushering in 2013, but getting better also means recognizing the good. Every time a new piece of legislation is passed in favour of same-sex marriage, every time someone remembers to turn off their lights, and every time a new scientific discovery is made is a reason for a little celebration. That is what getting better is made of. In the words of one of my favourite poets, Shane Koyczan: ‘They say people are getting better. People are okay. But you see everything can be narrowed down into the truth behind you. You just gotta know where to look, you gotta know where to find it.'”

Sam, Grade 12: “What am I hopeful for in 2013? Well, I am graduating this year, so I’m hopeful that I don’t somehow managed to screw that up. I hope I get enough scholarships to help mitigate my student debts in the years to come. I hope I get into a school so I can have those debts to mitigate. These are all very generic things, I know, but years are usually filled with generic things. In the grand scheme of things, very little changes year to year these days. We’re running out of these kinds of years, I’m sure, as our oil dependency finally catches up with us, the US goes over the fiscal cliff (you think we’re done with the fiscal cliff?) and starts making products for China’s middle class to buy. I mean, this all isn’t going to happen in one year, but it will all happen in one of these years. 2015? 2020? Who knows when all of our problems will put us in a stranglehold? Plus, we’ve got a massive earthquake on the way. We’re overdue for it, just like the seismologists keep telling us. Did you know that there’s only about a three day food supply on the island? It could happen at any time. Like right…now…”

Crystal, Grade 12: “This year, 2013, I wish to pursue my dreams and achieve my goals. I will maintain a healthy lifestyle. I will stay active, focused and eat healthy food.

I hope to succeed in all that I do to the best of my ability. I will go on runs and do yoga as often as I can. I will train musically everyday by practicing my instruments which include the bagpipes, guitar, and my voice. I will meditate when I feel overwhelmed or am having a bad day. To me, meditation is allowing my mind to become still, drawing or listening to music.

I dream to rise to the highest level possible. I will manage my time very well and go to sleep and wake up at early hours. I will go the extra mile to become successful for I intend to stay focused in my schoolwork.

I will drink plenty of water and less coffee. I will make an earnest effort to avoid junk food and eat only what is beneficial in the long run, like wholesome food such as homemade bread and soup with organic ingredients. I will try to eat food that is grown on Vancouver Island or at least within British Columbia…with the exception of tropical fruits during summertime.

I hope everyone this year will make some positive changes in their lives and stick to their resolutions.”