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OPINION: A New Year’s Present

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By Favour Udezue

New. There’s something the word stirs up in the mind of man. It refreshes and awakens the eyes of hope, speaking volumes of freshness, of a beginning, an opportunity to change the old and create a different experience.

This New comes to different people, through different ways, wearing different masks and at different times. Birthdays, weddings, new academic heights, new jobs and business opportunities. However, a common ground for everyone to access the New is the New Year.  The gifts of time and life have always offered the privilege to experience the New Year.

The Gregorian calendar which came to use in 1582 is the general standard calendar in the world. It acknowledges 12 months in a year with January 1 being the first day of the year.

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Following this Calendar, year 2023 just ended and 2024 has rolled in like a curtain. This New Year, like previous years, was associated with great jubilation, great singing and dancing, shouting and eating, new clothes and of course, new expectations.

The truth is: not everybody who has entered the New Year will enjoy its newness. Not everybody. Only few. Once again, the New comes to play. It highlights the opportunity to develop new ideas, to think in new ways, to do something new or do something in a new way. With the year, equally comes a chance to create a better version of oneself. The list does not end there. In fact, the possibilities rooted in the year are unlimited. Unlimited, but can be limited by the decisions made by an individual.

Many challenges may have been associated with the previous year (at individual, family, national or societal level). These problems may be financial, medical, mental, academic…. To worsen matters, it is possible that these challenges never found their solutions. There may also have been dreams birthed which never found expression in reality. However, as 2023 has bidden “Goodbye” and 2024 has been welcomed, it is necessary to let go of the Old and embrace the New.

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It is a New Year. It is a new dawn. New doors to new levels have been opened- New levels which cannot be accessed without deliberate decisions and actions. People often come up with resolutions at the beginning of a new year, and most times, these resolutions remain dormant throughout the entire year. Now, this is not to encourage laxity in the New Year, but a cue to set goals intentionally and work towards them too.

Have dreams for the New Year, dreams which can be attained. Have a strategy to achieve these goals and write them out. Also, consider areas where changes are needed. Gain new knowledge, learn new skills and hone old skills. The doors to mistakes and corrections must never be shut. Discipline should be a focus as without it nothing worthwhile can actually be achieved. Never forget to make God the centre of all dreams and plans for He is the author of good success.

If anyone must make the best out of the New Year, one must take into cognizance the present which the year offers. And that is… New – that chance to close old doors and open new ones, to leave the past behind and begin a fresh start and though the year may have its hurdles, it promises to be a fulfilling adventure as goals are set, discipline is imbibed and God is put first.

Happy New Year!

The author, Favour Udezue, is a final year student of Mass Communication at Delta State University, Abraka. Email: favourudezue@gmail.com

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