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The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

KIM: This Just In (Or Out) For 2024


We barely made it past Jan. 1 before the first trend of the year made itself known: Ins and Outs. It’s fun, it’s pithy, and I’m here for it. 

For those of you who weren’t rotting on X, formerly known as Twitter, the last week of winter break, here’s the rundown: “Ins and Outs” are a quicker version of New Year’s resolutions which have taken the internet by storm. It’s a fun way for people to decide what’s here to stay or ought to be burned at the stake in the name of the new year. Here, I’ll start with a few I think all our lists should include: 

IN: Gratuitous pauses in conversation. Those who know me know I hate awkward pauses. I’ve always thought that a “good conversation” first and foremost needs to flow. There’s something so utterly charismatic about someone who doesn’t even need a second to mull things over before hitting back with a reply — it sparks something that just feels an awful lot like chemistry. Recently, though, I’ve had a revelation about whether this “flow” is actually something that should be idealized. After experimenting for a bit, I’ve realized that steady eye contact and a drawn-out pause at the right moments puts you in control of the pace of conversation and lets interesting things slip through. If nothing else, it makes you seem like a more confident and compelling person than someone who’s always biting into the ends of people’s sentences, trying to make sure there are no “awkward” silences. If you want to get real, unexpected value out of conversations with the people you’re trying to get closer to, give it a try. 

OUT: The bare minimum. Let’s get the obvious out of the way — no more being in the trenches over a long-term, long-distance, low-commitment casual situation (unless that’s your thing). What I’m more interested in talking about is not doing the bare minimum for yourself. We know how things go here — the expectations of forsaking yourself to do better. But being stuck in that loop is grueling and unsustainable. There’s a level of sacrifice needed to reach your goals, but a step I’ve taken this last year is learning to admire those who have a life outside of “the grind.” I don’t just mean having a robust social life. People who pointedly pursue “unproductive” side quests like randomly picking up beekeeping, earning a bartending license or even ritually nurturing produce from the Leavey terrace have all my love and respect. Ultimately, taking back control of your life by indulging in low-stakes enrichment takes you out of the constant stress of productivity.  

IN: Handwritten letters. In light of my decision to take a gap year after this semester, I’ve reflected on the best ways to keep in touch with the people I’ll miss most while I frolic over to wherever life takes me. Here’s the thing about handwritten letters — they’re kind of terrifying. You should have seen me break a sweat trying to write out the jumble of emotions I was stewing in on my Amtrak back to school. But at the end of the day, my absolute most treasured gift is a handwritten note from a friend who can be charmingly stoic in her affections. There’s something about being able to hold a physical snapshot of someone’s single-minded efforts to convey something to you (and just you!) that’s touching like few other things are. If you decide this is the year to start writing letters again, I challenge you to take it a step further and send the first draft, scribble-outs, imperfect wording and all. Don’t even read it over again. Just sign it off, seal it with a kiss for good luck and hand it over. 

OUT: A screen time of over four hours. Maybe even three hours. Look, we’re all in different places. The point is to take whatever your current status quo is and lower it. A word of warning — in my experience, it’s easy to default to spending all that extra time doing more work or mindlessly hanging out with friends. Lowering your screen time is really just the first step. The crucial point is to take ownership of the time you’ve earned back by being intentional with how you spend it. Whether I choose to spend this “bonus” time (girl math) by taking my mornings slow or by getting my hair dyed at five in the morning, it feels all the more special because the time spent on these activities is intentional and imbued with more meaning. Anyway, stick with cutting the fluff, keep an open mind and if all else fails, write to me for some tips. Asking for a friend, of course. 

If a friend, loved one or pet has a concern you think they should get some advice on, don’t hesitate to shoot me an email at [email protected] or keep a look out for the next advice poll on The Hoya’s Instagram (@the_hoya). I’m looking forward to hearing from you lovelies.



Diane Kim is a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences. This is the first installment of her advice column “Asking for a Friend.”

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