Normally, we wait until December 31st, or thereabouts, to wish a Happy New Year to those in our world. However, in the academic world, the truth is that our new year begins on July 1st, which makes Happy New Year a perfectly appropriate salutation on campus. Actually, it is a much better time to be celebrating the New Year. Imagine if the Mummers were to march on July 1st, and their costumes designed appropriately, instead of rolling the dice on a January sunrise when the temperatures can be hovering around freezing, snow in the forecast, and there is always a wind with which to contend.
Here at Salem Community College, we get a fresh start every July. Most will think of September as the traditional beginning of the academic year, but the truth of the matter is that we roll over all of our records, our financial accounting, our contracts, just about everything, on July 1st. That makes June 30th our Academic New Year’s Eve. And with the New Year comes hope, aspiration, and possibilities.
Did you make New Year’s Resolutions on January 1st while watching the bowl games? How do they stand at this point? I know I made several, have achieved few, and am struggling with a couple. Why not make the resolutions now? This is a perfect time. Summer is usually a less hectic pace, a time rife for reflection, and attention to those resolutions we would like to address. Think about it. The most popular resolution is to exercise (and subsequently lose weight). When making this resolution in January, you are battling the weather, an overcrowded gym, early sunsets and late sunrises, along with the human sense of hibernation we all combat. By striving to keep this resolution in July, you have the weather on your side (as long as you go walking or exercising early in the day), daylight is far extended, the gym is sparse, and we just tend to want to do things in the summer.
Think of your learning resolutions. Did you spend January reading like you intended? Most likely, if you are at all like me, you napped through all too many of those reading sessions. Winter has that effect on us. However, in the summer, even when at the beach, we want to read. It just makes sense to make your resolutions in July, as they are more readily kept.
So, Happy New Year, and may 2017-2018 be our best year yet.