Satire | Top 10 resolutions you can actually keep

By Alex Dolinger, Staff Columnist

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — the beginning. We are now staunchly in the ’20s, and it’s time to go through the age-old January ritual of trying to completely change our lifestyles and subsequently failing. Every year there’s a vicious cycle — you vow to yourself that you will not live like the tired, sad college student that you are, you fail to do this and live to meet the needs of a tired, sad college student, and then you become disappointed in yourself, which makes you even more tired and sad. 

I know that things look bleak, but I come bearing solutions, i.e. 10 small and easy resolutions that are exactly what you need to have the best year ever.

  1. Experience Pittsburgh

I am about to finish my third year living in Pittsburgh and all I’m really familiar with are the sights and smells of Oakland. After all the pain and suffering we incur within this neighborhood, why do we never escape her confines? It is quite common to barricade yourself inside this noisy patch of land with poor air quality. Why don’t we go breathe diseased air somewhere that has a cat cafe and a 7-Eleven? If you go downtown, you can find the Colony Cafe, a 7-Eleven and a whole bunch of other cool stuff. The best part is that you can take a bus there for absolutely zero dollars. I think a lot of people don’t know how, which brings us to resolution number nine.

  1. Learn how to take the bus

I’m sure that a great deal of you know how to navigate the endless blessing that is the Port Authority bus system. For zero dollars (but also thousands of dollars if you think about it) we can get on a bus and go anywhere. We can go to the theater, go to a mall, we can even go into a sinkhole. All these opportunities at our fingertips, yet many people don’t know how to grasp them, and by that I mean use a series of apps — Google Maps, Transit, TrueTime, screaming on Facebook Live — to calculate when the bus is actually coming. Alas, most bus schedules, through no fault of their own, are notorious liars.

  1. Download Touch Tunes

Let me paint you a picture.

You’re sitting in Stack’d trying to have a nice meal with your family. Ambient pop music is playing softly in the background as you eat the most delicious fried pickles you have ever encountered. A song by Post Malone is playing quietly, until it fades out. You have only a second to be confused before the intro to Celine Dion’s “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” begins to play at full volume, and the song continues for all of its six minutes.

This is a true story, and I was there. I clapped. I was also the one playing the music from the glorious app, Touch Tunes, which allows you to play music of your choosing in several Oakland venues. My personal resolution is to use this app to ruin as many vibes as possible. I once played Joni Mitchell’s discography the entire time I was at a restaurant. The vibe was abysmal. Power is power.

  1. Go to Student Health at least one time

The best thing you can do for yourself and others is stop going to class with the flu. I’ll never understand how we all never go to class but also always go to class when we’re sick. I’m most certainly guilty of this, for some reason, but imagine how much easier all our lives would be if we just bit the bullet, got a doctor’s note and were miserable in peace. The best part is that if you go on a Monday, there is usually a beautiful angel in the form of a therapy dog to offer support in trying times. However, you don’t need to go to Student Health to see therapy dogs. This is a segue to number six.

  1. Go to Therapy Dog Tuesday

You may notice that there’s a running theme of hidden gems here, and this one might take the cake. Did you know that almost every single Tuesday, we can all go pet several licensed therapy dogs? For free? In Cathy? It’s more likely than you think.

A resolution that I encourage everyone to add to their list is to go pet these dogs. On holidays, they sometimes wear cute outfits. It’s most certainly the greatest thing to ever happen to me, and I know it will bring a lot of joy to your New Year as well.

  1. Learn a new skill

This is a classic resolution, but I don’t advise it in the classic sense. As lovely as it would be, do any of us have time to learn how to knit, take up photography or even read a book? The answer is no.

However, there are lots of practical skills to learn that take no time at all. For example, you can learn how to prepare a meal that’s not ramen, or learn the best way to clean your shoes after stepping in vomit on Forbes — if you learn how to do this please tell me so my Reeboks can once again step into the sun. My personal goal is to learn how to navigate the Cathy stairwells after they switch around on the third floor so I can stop taking the elevator from three to five and feeling really guilty.

  1. Clean your laptop screen

It’s so quick and easy, yet so, so satisfying. Are you doing it right now? You should. I bet you didn’t even know how dirty it was. Isn’t it so much clearer now? You’re welcome.

  1. Clean out your social media

While you’re at it, take a gander at your socials and make sure people are only seeing what you want them to see. That sounds insidious, but think about it. How many people from your high school can still see your finsta? How many people from your high school do you want to see your finsta? The numbers are probably different. It may not seem like a big deal, but think about all your transcribed breakdowns that caption unrelated memes. It’s time to clean house.

  1. Get a Sorrento’s personal pizza

I have wonderful news. Sorrento’s Pizza sells small versions of its iconic large pizzas that are just the right size to eat entirely by yourself. The best part of this knowledge is that the cup of ranch you get is still the same size and you can get it delivered to your house through Grubhub. My resolution last year was to eat one of these pizzas whenever I wanted to, and now the delivery people from Sorrento’s know my name and face. It’s a beautiful thing. 

  1. Do the reading

I’m just kidding. None of us are ever going to do that.

Alex Dolinger primarily writes satire and columns about entertainment. You can write to Alex at [email protected].