Column: The Ins and Outs of 2023 (so far)

Mallory Pace, News Editor

The lifespan of social trends seemingly gets shorter and shorter every day— so instead of falling victim to the spiraling world of capitalism, I’m proposing a list of meaningful trends that are in and out for the (foreseeable) future. 

 In: Thinking before you buy

 Wasting money is out— this year we’re saving money for experiences and necessities. In this economy, splurges should be reserved for eggs and non-dairy creamer… you probably have enough clothes that you already hardly wear. 

 Just one blink and suddenly that fashion choice is so last year and there’s a brand-new product to buy before it’s replaced with the next best thing. We all know that material items don’t promise long-term fulfillment, but that second of satisfaction can cloud the inevitable buyer’s remorse that is soon to set in.  

If you’re like me and let social media convince you that the newest reusable water bottle will change your water-drinking game, it won’t. (I’m currently snarling at my $40 Stanley cup that leaks water if I hold it wrong.) 

Plus, dupes are a wonderful thing if you’re convinced that you need a certain product. Find more affordable, off-brand choices—I promise no one will notice. 

 Don’t come for me coffee lovers but unfortunately, it is possible to make delicious coffee at home for a fraction of what Starbucks charges you. It takes patience and an open mind, but it’s an unexpected and freeing feeling to stop relying on underpaid Starbucks workers to make your six-dollar iced coffee every day. Or brew some tea. 

Money spent on experiences and trips is money well spent. We’re making memories in 2023, not credit card payments.  

Out: Taking life so seriously

 As college students, we all know that familiar, dreadful feeling of burnout. We work ourselves to exhaustion and then wonder why the smallest acts feel overwhelming. This year, we’re changing mindsets from feeling like the world is ending with every assignment and shifting to taking it day by day.  

Of course, everyone is in different situations and experiencing individual feelings—but we can all benefit from taking a step back and enjoying each moment as they come and go. 

 I was given a piece of advice recently (I saw a TikTok) that said, “be where your feet are,” meaning be present in every moment, situation and feeling. Look at where your feet are and be there. Don’t focus on what tomorrow is bringing or who you’ll be in a year; let those feelings come when you get there, there’s no rush.  

Anticipation can bring anxiety, and what’s a life full of waiting for the next thing to happen? Tomorrow is promising, but it’s not promised—this year we’re practicing mindfulness and enjoying each moment that the culmination of your life brought you to.  

In: Focusing on movement over impact 

The life of a college student is a busy one and sometimes making extra time for an intensive workout at the gym just isn’t on the agenda, and that’s fine. That’s why this year we’re focusing on moving our bodies, rather than a 5 a.m. HITT workout. 

Obviously, if high-intensity workouts are your speed, more power to you. But if it’s not, moving your body in different ways is just as important. You could try going on longer walks, doing yoga poses in your room or even participating in recreational sports for pure fun. If the gym intimidates you—you are not alone—lifting weights isn’t the only way to feel an accomplished workout. 

(Kyle Glenn/UnSplash)

We feel enough pressure to look a certain way, but that mindset is overrated and simply unhelpful. I won’t sit here and lecture on the power of body positivity, (although I will at any time of the day) but part of giving ourselves a break is recognizing that we’re all doing our best.  

Just move your body, dance when you get the chance, go for a run when you feel inspired, get a group and kick a soccer ball around, or stretch! Exercise doesn’t look one way or another, all that matters is you get your heart rate up when you can and have fun doing it.  

Out: Being “cool” 

Lastly, this year we’re embracing individuality and celebrating uniqueness. Being “cool” is often equated with not caring, but it’s cool to care. 

There’s no one more miserable to be around than those who think they’re “too cool” for something, including school events. Having school spirit is fun, and so is being part of a community where even if everyone is different, you can all come together to cheer each other on and interact with new people.  

In 2023, we are no longer going to be embarrassed for enjoying “cheesy” activities or having quirky behaviors—we’re all different and that should be celebrated.


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