Goodbye 2018, hello 2019. It’s the start of a year, a new beginning, and for a lot of college students, a new semester. And with a new beginning, now is the chance to start the year off the way you want, and that’s where New Year resolutions come in. Every year people make impossible resolutions to better themselves, only to give up on them half way through January and feel depressed it about later on. But I have noticed that when people make a resolution within their capabilities, they are more likely to stick with it and achieve it. So for my fellow college students, instead of setting such high and pressure-inducing goals for our New Year’s resolutions, this year, let’s make them easy and doable.
1. Try healthier practices
Your best bet is to be specific about your health goals; make them tangible, whether it’s for your mental, physical or emotional state – do it. If you pull all-nighters, set a goal to get a specific amount of sleep so you are more likely to reach your goal, since adding a specific amount of time makes it more achievable. Same with exercising; set a specific goal about how often you want to work out or how long you want to work out if you want to exercise more. Goals and resolutions like this will benefit your mental health too, because when you take care of the body, you are also taking care of your mind and your emotional state. Treat yourself with value and the utmost care.
2. Get out of your comfort zone
Even in college, it can be really easy to get complacent in your routine and with your environment, but the point of college is to explore and grow as we become a new person. We can’t do that if we become content with our comfort zones, so try something new every once in a while, even if it’s a small step. Explore parts of campus you’ve never seen or the town around campus, join a club or team, meet new people, talk to a stranger, try reading a new genre of books, get a new perspective, try a new recipe, try a new look, or be spontaneous for an hour and see where it takes you. Make specific dates for these plans so they are more concrete and you’re less likely to back out. You will never know what you like and dislike if you never experience anything new. And trying something new could lead to new discoveries about yourself.
3. Find a balance between your social and academic life
For some, this is like a cake walk, and for others it’s like walking a thin, fraying tightrope, but regardless of the perspective it is doable. Being in college it can be overwhelming, and it is easy to prioritize one aspect of college life over the other while neglecting its counterpart. But to avoid this, the best way is to find a balance that works best for you. For instance, try setting aside days for assignments and studying, while other days could be for hanging out with friends or going out. If you need more time for assignments or to study, set aside some time for it, or push back going out until you’re available. But don’t get so wrapped up in the academics that you forget that we need human interaction. If your classes are keeping you busy, create a compromise like creating or joining a study group so you can still socialize and get work done, and you may even make new friends.
4. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself
From freshman year to senior year, college can feel like an overwhelming, pressure-filled experience. Between keeping up your GPA, not failing classes, avoiding academic probation, figuring out your major, trying to finish as fast as possible, trying to keep your student loans as low as possible, finding internships, and just essentially feeling pressure to figure out your life in the next four years is enough to take a toll on any person’s mind and body. It’s ok to take your time and to make mistakes. So as a resolution this year: don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself. Relax, take your time, and when you mess up, don’t hold it against yourself – just do better next time. And when you start to feel that overwhelming pressure, take a minute to breathe or talk to someone about how you are feeling.
5. Make time for yourself
Another good resolution to make this year: make time for you. Between your busy schedule of classes, organized clubs and events, and having a social life, you can start to forget about you. So this year, cut out some time for yourself, even if you have to cut back on some extracurricular activities. Whether it’s an hour a day or every other weekend, take the time to disconnect and do something for yourself. Do something you like: read that book you’ve been meaning to get to; treat yourself to a dinner date; see that movie; try that pottery class; meditate; enjoy a bubble bath; beat that level in a game you’ve been stuck on. Whatever you do during your “me time,” let it be something that conjures positives feelings and thoughts and recharges you so you can take on the world the next day. Because we all need time away from responsibilities, assignments, drama, breakups, partying, and school sports and clubs, so we don’t forget ourselves underneath all of that