It's a new year. OK, so I'm kind of behind on this "New Year's Resolution" thing, but I think resolutions are healthy, no matter when you start them! Plus, I just turned 20 yesterday, so it's like I'm setting goals to obtain before I turn 21.

Right? Yeah, OK. Let's do this.

1. Maintain a blog. I'm not into this whole "tell-the-world-how-your-day-went/your-feelings" thing. I have a Xanga when I was in middle school, and I have no idea how I kept that going. I've never been able to maintain a diary either (believe me, I've tried). But I think I could keep a photo blog going. It will keep me accountable for random pictures I take. Oftentimes, I'll take pictures, but if they aren't going to be used in a publication, I never look at them, edit them, or show them to anyone, and how will that make me any better? No, I will keep a photo blog (here, at Word Press!) and hopefully that will make me a strong, more accountable photographer (I'll even try to get names of people!).

2. Branch outside of journalism. I think journalists live in a journalism world. We have so many conversations about the news, AP style, ethics, voice, etc. that we get trapped in this bubble. Don't get me wrong; conversation in this industry, especially the way it's going now, is important, but I have found it is hard for me to talk to people who aren't journalists or think in terms of the general public. So I'm going to try to make non-journalism friends, get non-journalism hobbies and be able to talk about non-journalism things.

3. Become a better cook. I have picked up one non-journalism hobby - cooking! With my new apartment that I've been living in since August, I've explored the world of cooking. I've tried my hand at lasagna, brownies from scratch, meatloaf, stir-fry, you name it! However, sometimes my cooking doesn't turn out as well as I'd like. I never knew my mom was such a good cook until I tried to recreate her recipes! My meatloaf fell apart, my lasagna was bland, and I continuously set the fire alarm off (Whoops!). So, I'm gonna keep cooking from scratch, get a few dishes I'm really good at, and explore this cooking world!

4. Keep in touch with family and friends. Going off to college last year was hard. I was so wrapped up in making friends and building a portfolio that I left my family and friends hangin' back at home. Being home for a month has really reminded me of how much I love my family and that I don't want to lose touch with this as I get older. I feel like my parents aren't close to their brothers and sisters, and I really want to make sure that doesn't happen! So, I'm going to try to call more, send more letters, or at least text. I think I can attempt doing this at least once a week. The people included in this goal are my mom, dad, sisters Annie and Mollie, and my two best friends from high school Sam and Jessica. I think I can do it!

5. Create a storytelling piece. Last spring, I put together a multimedia piece called Transition about a transgender named Dakota Raynes. I really had a great time doing it. I researched the topic, did lots of interviews and spent a good amount of time with my subject. I tried to do another project this summer on a girl with cerebral palsy, but just did not have the motivation or the resources to put it together. Before 2011, I would like to have put out two good storytelling pieces, preferably multimedia, that I've done in-depth reporting on. I think that's a fair goal and hope that I can really get behind something and become passionate about it.

I'm really looking forward to this next year. I've got a great semester lined up ahead of me where I won't be taking 18 hours and will have a life, and already have an internship lined up for the summer with the Sun News. I hope during my second (and third) year of college, I can grow more as a person, become better prepared for my career and just have a lot of fun.

Wish me luck!