As 2016 drew to a close over holiday break, several students kicked off the new year with old traditions, new experiences and resolutions for 2017.
Sophomore Kenzie Minor celebrated the beginning of a new year from Disneyland in California.
Minor’s younger brother won the Grand Nationals in a band competition last year and as part of their award the band received the opportunity to play in the Rose Parade. Minor said her family decided to go to Disneyland as part of the trip.
“My family are huge Disney fans,” Minor said. “We couldn’t be in California and not go to Disneyland.”
This year was Minor’s first Disneyland experience. According to Minor, the trip was all she dreamed it would be and more.
“It exceeded my expectations,” Minor said. “All the workers here are so nice, and they make you feel so special. I also loved riding all the rides and being surrounded by all of the characters. The saying that it is ‘the happiest place on earth’ is definitely true.”
Minor said welcoming 2017 at Disneyland was a unique experience and made it her favorite New Year’s celebration so far.
“The New Year’s celebration in Disneyland was just amazing,” Minor said. “The best part was the firework celebration at midnight. It was more fireworks than I’ve ever seen in my life. This New Year’s blows all the other New Year’s I’ve experienced out of the water, because usually I’m just sitting at home playing board games with my family. I wish every New Year’s could be like this.”
On top of celebrating with fireworks at Disneyland, Minor also took time to make a few resolutions for 2017. According to Minor, her spirituality and health are at the top of her goal list this year.
“I really want to read my Bible completely through,” Minor said. “I have already started it, and it’s been such a blessing. I would also love to start working out more.”
For junior Darci Dean, this New Year’s consisted of old traditions with her family as well as a big surprise and another new beginning for her life.
On New Year’s Eve Dean celebrated a late Christmas at her grandma’s house with her family. Each year Dean’s uncle puts together a family slideshow from the previous year, and typically the presentation concludes with a family quote. However, this year the presentation included a twist involving her boyfriend, senior Bryce Pickard.
“Bryce came on the screen next,” Dean said. “He started talking about how much he loved me and how there was no one else he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. At that point I was definitely surprised. When Bryce’s video ended he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was the fastest and easiest yes I have ever said.”
According to Dean, family is a top priority, so Pickard involving both of their families was one of her favorite aspects of the engagement. Dean also said she enjoyed the element of surprise.
“I am a big family girl so having our whole families was a very thoughtful thing for Bryce to do,” Dean said. “My closest friend was able to come over too, which meant so much to me. Another part I really liked about our engagement was that I was totally and completely surprised. I had absolutely no idea it was coming, which made it really fun.”
Dean said New Year’s celebrations typically are not exciting for her, but this New Year’s is one she will always cherish.
“I don’t usually do anything special for New Year’s,” Dean said. “This engagement definitely made for a memorable holiday. It was the best New Year’s I’ve ever had.”
With the excitement of the engagement, Dean said she has a lot to look forward to in 2017 and she and her now-fiancée decided to make a resolution together.
“I’m most looking forward to marrying Bryce in 2017,” Dean. “It’ll be the best day of my life for sure. And a New Year’s resolution for 2017 is to be more health conscious. Bryce and I have both decided to eat healthier and work out more for our wedding in August.”
Sophomore Ryan Jackson kicked off 2017 in Oklahoma City. After seeing the movie “La La Land,” Jackson and a few friends watched the ball drop from downtown.
Jackson said this New Year’s he was thankful to be surrounded by people he cares about. According to Jackson, he normally spends each New Year’s with his family, so this celebration was different for him.
“My favorite part of New Year’s was spending time with my friends and just enjoying each other’s company,” Jackson said. “A lot of times my family goes out to my aunt and uncle’s house and we watch movies until midnight, but we didn’t go this year so it was unique in that I didn’t spend it with my family.”
Along with watching the ball drop on New Year’s Eve, Jackson also decided to make resolutions for the new year as well.
“My resolutions for this year are to just spend more time getting to know people and really investing in their life,” Jackson said.