“New Year, new me!” If I had a dollar for every time I heard that phrase, I’d probably be able to pay off my tuition for my next five incarnations. All of us want to change, but actually having the motivation and dedication to do so is a completely different story. We work out the first week of the semester, then fall off the wagon once we see free food on campus. We want to pay attention in class, but remain glued to our phones 24/7. We want to do everything all at once, but end up doing absolutely nothing. Even if you don’t like change, you have to admit that change, for the most part, is good for us. We aren’t perfect human beings, but aiming for little goals is just a little change that goes a long way. In no particular order, check out ten completely viable and doable resolutions for this spring semester!
1. Do better than you did last semester.
Right off the bat, academics and learning should be a major priority for you–after all, you are in college, where you’re trying to develop the knowledge and skills needed for your future. For some, fall semester was the worst experience you’ve had to go through so far (Anyone? No? Just me?). The great thing about life is that once we’ve hit rock bottom, there’s no way to go but up. Aim to pay attention in class, or not skip any of your classes. Aim to get all A’s this semester. Whatever your goal is, make sure it’s realistic enough for you to attain. After all, you’re here to challenged no one but yourself.
2. Embrace the learning atmosphere.
So many of us want to sleep in as soon as the alarm hits 8:00 AM, every single day of the week. You pull the covers over yourself and pretend you don’t hear the obnoxious sound of your roommate trying to wake you up. You want to stay snuggled in your warm, safe, cozy bed–and it doesn’t help that winter isn’t over either! This semester, embrace the concept of actually learning. Although this may seem redundant, your college education is completely what you make of it. If you’re struggling with a topic, drop by your professor’s office during their hours and ask for help. Can’t find your professor? Visit the learning center on campus for tutoring sessions. Form a study group with your acquaintances (read: people you won’t get off track with) and help learn the material with each other.
3. Find a mantra or daily affirmation to live by.
Things can get pretty strange in college–one minute you’re at a party, and next thing you know, you’re presenting your thesis to a room of professionals and experts in their fields. If you feel like you’re having the life drained out of you, come up with a mantra as a reminder of what it is that you’re doing. The last thing you want is to feel like you’re wasting your time in college, so find something to reflect on to keep yourself going.
4. Embrace the concept of “going with the flow”.
By now, you probably know what college is weird. It’s weird because it’s filled with ups and downs, highs and lows, the best and worst moments of your entire life. Sometimes, we can’t help but to look way too far into the future and think of the bigger picture. Why am I doing this? Why am I here? What will this help me with? What can I eve do with this major? WHAT DO I WANT TO DO WITH MY LIFE?!?! All these questions can overwhelm you and place unnecessary stress on yourself. Instead, try going with the flow and take things one step at a time. Of course, that doesn’t mean don’t study ahead of time for an exam , but rather, focus on yourself for the time being. Embrace the present, and you can worry about the future just a little bit later.
5. Visit the recreation and wellness center.
If you’re like me, you’re terrified of walking into the gym and being judged by everyone in the room. Going to they gym is a nice thought but actually going through with it….how about no? Well, it’s a new year and it’s time for a change. Face your fears and try visiting the rec to see cool exercise groups and events going on. Not into lifting weights? Ask about other event such as yoga, swimming lessons, indoor amenities, Zumba, and more!
6. Sign up to volunteer at The Admit Conference.
Completely shameless plug, but you know you want to. College students can volunteer for free here (plus you get awesome merch, which is always a great bonus)!
7. Remain optimistic through it all.
Life is filled with terrible, terrible things. Just look around and you’ll see plenty of things that make you lose faith in humanity. You may feel like your actions are insignificant in the grand scheme of it all; however, have hope. If you’re upset about something, pick yourself up and let that anger fuel productivity that puts you on the map. Demand change and make your voice be heard loud and clear. Even if this world is a horrible place, try to do something that will make it just a teensy bit better.
8. Start looking into internships and research opportunities before it’s too late.
Even though summer is still months away, it doesn’t hurt to at least have an idea of what you want to do. Some students study abroad, some intern at a company, and others just spend time at home, relaxing and taking a breather. Even if you’re just a teensy bit interested in actually doing something this summer, look into internship and research opportunities. Drop by your college’s internship or service learning center, or talk to your professor(s) about aiding them in their research. Are you a freshman worried about not being able to have these opportunities? Check out more information on how to catch a gig here!
9. For your sake and your roommates’, clean your dorm!
This is incredibly self explanatory but for the love of all good things in this world, PLEASE keep your dorm room clean. Being unclean can lead to unwanted bugs, insects, and illnesses that you probably would never been dealing with had it not been for your laziness when it comes to cleaning. Even if you only decide on cleaning once a month, clean your room well! Do your laundry! Make use of storage space and out things away!
10. Take care of your mental health.
Seriously, by now, I’m sure you’re all familiar with the infamous catchphrase “treat yo self”, coined by Tom and Donna of Parks and Recreation. One thing that no one ever tells you (or maybe we’re just not listening enough) is that college can be the most stressful years of your life. Despite being organized, despite going to the best college in the country, despite having a 4.0 GPA, you will at some point in your academic career be so completely overwhelmed and stressed out that you’ll have a mental breakdown. And by all means, please go ahead and have that breakdown. Let your emotions come running out, then wipe those tears off your face and get crackin’. If you’d like a better route instead of having a mid-life crisis every month, try staying organized and treat yourself to anything, really. If you can make it through midterms without completely wanting to fling yourself off a cliff, go out there and buy those shoes you’ve always wanted! In fact, if you barely made it out alive, still go and buy those shoes! What matters is that you made it through the tough times. If you can make it through it once, you can do it once again. So go out there and Treat. Yo. Self.