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2015 Resolutions for Millenials That Better Our Reputation

Put down your smart phone. Talk to people at the dinner table. Take your parents' advice. And most of all, listen to yourself -- simply because that's the one person you are guaranteed to have until the very end.
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We know. You want to lose 10 pounds. You want to live a "healthier life." Maybe you just want to read more or spend less money on clothes.

Whereas these are all great, there may be some resolutions that can give back in their own way. Some resolutions that would show the world that millennials as a whole aren't as self-centered or as egotistical as Thought Catalog makes us out to be.

1) Please, please, please: Stop wasting your food. I know you are probably tired of hearing the phrase "But there are starving kids in Africa!"

Reality check: This is still happening. Not just across Africa. Everywhere. Kids go to bed hungry here in America. In fact, Feeding America reported in 2012 that over "15.8 million children lived in food-insecure households in the USA." So what does this mean exactly? Stop over-buying and over-ordering. There is no need to throw out anything from your refrigerator.

2) Unplug: I know. Easier said than done. Start small by carrying a book with you at all times. Whenever you find yourself in a situation that leaves you staring down at your iPhone, take note and read a few pages instead. This is especially perfect for the 20-something who has the resolution to read more.

3) Learn a new language: The world has over 7 billion people in it. Why seclude yourself with only getting to know English speakers? Besides, with apps like Duolingo you can access helpful tools for free.

4) Buy local: Spoiler alert: This is not just a hipster trend. Corporations and high-end companies have to sell their products in massive bulk. What does this mean? Less attention to nutrients, proper upbringing of livestock, and more preservatives. Not convinced? Check out this article that was trending a few weeks ago about my neighbor, Smithfield Farms.

5) Offer to baby-sit: You know how you haven't seen your best friend for 6 months and her child is not-so-ironically 6 months old? Offer to baby-sit. For free. Sometimes moms just need a night out in all of the chaos. Plus, you'll probably be sitting on her couch watching Netflix. AND you won't spend all that money on beer.

6) Make eye contact: Coming from someone that has been a waitress, hostess, nanny, barista, assistant, and had a brief 24-hour stint as a saleswoman, please be nice to strangers. Ask your waitress how his day is going. Make eye contact with your barista who is taking the time to make you your over-priced latte. And always tip. Yesterday I got a manicure to "relax" and started speaking with the technician. I asked her about her hours and when her day off was:

"I don't get days off. I just work every day. But it's okay because I don't have much else to do. My husband lives in Vietnam still..."

These people work holidays, Saturdays, Sundays, and some even work 12-hour shifts. Every person has a story, and you don't always know it. Please be kind.

7) Remember Your Parents: Consider sending more than just a text message to your mom on Mother's Day. Consider remembering your boss or someone who might not even be your father on Father's Day. Chances are that a lot of people had a hand at raising you. Sometimes, they like to be reminded of that.

8) Stop making jokes about mental illness: More than one-quarter of the U.S. population over the age of 18 experiences a mental illness in a given year. Please don't make jokes about killing yourself, being retarded, or acting schizophrenic. Maybe this sounds very politically correct of me, but the truth is, there is still a stigma behind mental illness. We may read about it in the media or whatever is trending online, but until we change our language -- a daily reminder of this stigma -- I doubt we will see any progress.

9) On that note, See a therapist: It is not weird as a 20-something to want to see a therapist after a break up, job loss, or post-graduation. The part of you that's saying "It's weird" is because of a stigma that society sadly embraced. If you don't feel well, take care of yourself.

10) Don't drink and drive: You've been warned since you were in the fifth grade for a reason. Yet despite this education, I still hear numerous friends admit,

"Yeah, I probably shouldn't have gotten behind the wheel last night."

My fiancé was hit by a drunk driver at 120 miles per hour into a median by someone that blew a .21. I received a call at midnight saying he was unconscious in the hospital, and two years later he's still waking up in pain. The sad thing is, you'll probably read this as your "average" drunk-driving plea. People have far more traumatic stories than ours and I think it's time to start listening to them.

And the bonus resolution for 2015?

Listen: Put down your smart phone. Talk to people at the dinner table. Take your parents' advice. And most of all, listen to yourself -- simply because that's the one person you are guaranteed to have until the very end.