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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

Starting college at the height of a pandemic meant starting college with an insane amount of unknowns and uncertainty. Nobody had experienced anything like it before, and as much as I tried to roll with the punches, it left me feeling defeated. I would say that sophomore year was more successful, but it was still like getting thrown into the deep end.

These past two years it felt basically impossible to envision how my time at UMass would go, and it felt silly to have any expectations for myself or the year due to the uncertainty of the pandemic. And although COVID-19 isn’t completely gone from our lives, I feel like now is a good time to visualize my goals for my upcoming school year and to set some expectations for myself.

learn how to grocery shop

This one may seem oddly specific, but it might be my biggest goal for this year. I’m living in an off-campus apartment for the first time, so I can no longer rely on dining hall food (or my parents’ cooking) for survival. This is my first time having to grocery shop for myself and it has not been going smoothly so far. This year, I want to learn how to really shop and cook for myself in ways that are easy and inexpensive. By the end of the year, I want to have grocery lists that have me completely covered for the week without feeling like I’m repeating meals or not eating healthy enough.

improve time management skills

Although I am not the worst at time management, I would consider myself to be a bit of a procrastinator. I also would consider myself to be a person who likes a lot of downtime. However, I also know that my schedule this year is packed. Along with my usual classes and clubs, I also have to factor in getting to and from campus, as well as other household chores I didn’t have to worry about when living in a dorm. I’m hoping to get myself into a routine that puts school work and home routines ahead of lounging around and doing nothing. I know that I will still have time for myself to relax if I do this and that I will be able to relax without looming deadlines. Over the past few years, I have put a lot of effort into keeping a planner, and I want to continue that this year.

meet new people and try new things

I feel like the further you get into your college career, the more you may tend to fall into routines and find yourself doing what you may do every day or every weekend. I want to make sure I’m experiencing as much as I can, as my time in college is already more than halfway over.

I’m looking forward to this year, and I’m very excited to see where my new goals will take me.

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Brynn Geary

U Mass Amherst '24

Brynn is a senior and a communication and sociology major at UMass Amherst. Aside from writing, Brynn spends most of her time dancing, going to concerts and searching for the perfect iced oat milk latte.