The resolutions are made, the calendar is back to January and another 365 days has gone by. 2011 has ended and made way for 2012 to start its engines.

2012 is a fresh start, and there are some small and major events that are happening this year throughout the world. For example, the Olympics will occur this summer in Australia, the nation will vote in the presidential elections again this November and, along with all of that, we all get one extra day in February because 2012 is a leap year.

With the right attitude, there can be a lot of fun and exciting things to look forward to with a new year. Personally, I’m looking forward to graduating with my bachelor’s degree in journalism, starting some new adventures after graduation and maybe taking a cruise at the end of the year.

There is one thing that I’m not looking forward to, however. That one thing is approximately 12 entire months of people talking about and repeating bad jokes about the supposed end of the world on Dec. 21.

I imagine that the next 12 months will just be filled with radio deejays playing “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine)” by R.E.M. and all-day marathons of the 2012 movie starring John Cusack. Late-night television shows will be rife with Mayan jokes, and my dad will make fake excuses to not do stuff because “why bother? The world will be ending anyway!”

Admittedly, I’m being little dramatic and facetious, but I’ve been bored with the end-of-the-world topic for quite some time. No matter how fresh the joke is, the topic is still stale. Ever since Y2K never happened, people have been talking about Dec. 21, 2012 and the end of the world.

Don’t get me wrong, I love topical humor, and really, not every single 2012 apocalypse joke is terrible. The biggest trick to nailing topical humor is to not beat a dead horse, and the 2012 horse died in 2010.

If you’re the designated witty friend, take a minute to skim the headlines, watch the news, log on to social networking sites and see what’s going on. Defaulting to a Mayan calendar joke is lazy, especially when there are so many politicians on the campaign trail and reality television stars writing books.

Whether you believe that something catastrophic will happen in December or not, take the year to focus on other things. Maybe we really do only have this year left, so instead of sitting around talking about it and repeating old jokes, go out and do something else to make your precious time count. Go skydiving, kiss a stranger, eat a whole can of frosting or do whatever tickles your fancy.

I’m going to make a bold prediction and say that the world will carry on into 2013. If the human race hasn’t ended by then, perhaps we can all work on cutting out the Chuck Norris and “that’s what she said” jokes eventually. (Baby steps, I know.)

Either way, I hope everyone has a satisfying and happy year.

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