Hello HC Cuties! Now that we’re back from what was hopefully a very relaxing break for all of us, it’s time to get our heads in the game and start the Winter Quarter off right. For me personally, New Year’s Resolutions never work out because I have no willpower to go to the gym every day or to stop eating fast food. Terrible, I know. That’s why I have learned that it is better to make short term goals that I’ll actually stick to instead of long terms goals that are scary and hard to actually follow through on. So here I’ll show you guys some small, non-threatening goals that you guys can take on for the quarter to help you improve your experience here at UCR!
1) DON’T PROCRASTINATE
Always at the top of my list every quarter. I tell myself to start my essays and projects early but my worst enemy Netflix always gets in the way. To help avoid this, set off a chunk of time every day (maybe one or two hours) with no distractions (Internet, social media, NETFLIX!) and start doing part of your assignments little by little. Even starting to study a week in advance for at least 30 minutes before finals is a HUGE help. If you don’t believe it, get back to me when you’re up all night cramming for your finals.
2) GO TO OFFICE HOURS/SI SESSIONS
This is one of those goals that seem super scary but when you actually do it, you’re like “Why was I so scared of doing this before?” Office Hours are extremely helpful, whether it be with your TA or your actual professor. Not only do they help to clear up any questions you may have, but when other people ask questions too it actually helps you understand things you didn’t even know you needed help with! Whenever you have a free hour here or there between classes, grab a snack and your notes and head to Office Hours!
3) GET TO KNOW YOUR PROFESSORS
This one kind of goes hand in hand with the previous one. If you attend Office Hours regularly, the professor will be sure to learn your name or at the very least recognize your face. Say hi when you see them passing. Ask them how their weekend was. They’re regular people just like you and me, so don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation on something that you’re passionate about! You never know when you might need a letter of recommendation and if you have built a rapport with some of your professors, this should be no problem.
4) JOIN A NEW CLUB
Whether it be for a hobby or for your resume, try something new! If you like doing volunteer work, join a volunteer club! If you like dancing join a dancing club (shout out to The Salsa Club at UCR which has helped me embrace my two left feet)! If you like LARPing, I’m actually not sure if there is a club for that but make your own! Find people with similar interests and passions! Even if it’s something to just add on to your professional resume, make the most out of it and get to know people who are in your same shoes.
5) MAKE A NEW FRIEND IN EACH OF YOUR CLASSES
When you have all your classes with friends, it’s hard to break out of that and actually talk to and meet other people. My first year I was in a Learning Community so I was used to having classes with the same 23 people. This Winter Quarter was my first time taking classes in which I knew no one. I was terrified to say the least. But I came to learn that even by just asking a simple question about the class or complimenting someone on their shoes or outfit is a great ice breaker. Plus having a friend means someone who can pass you the notes when you’re sick or who you can complain to about how harsh the professor is.
6) BALANCE OUT YOUR LIFE
Although this quarter I’m only taking three classes in addition to my on-campus job (which I know is nothing compared to other people’s super hectic schedules), I find myself with not enough hours in the day to get everything done that I need to do like work out, hang out with my friends or even just catch up with my family. To help with this, I’ve actually bought a planner. At first I thought I didn’t need one but it has been a great help, not only to keep all of my school stuff organized (mark down dates of tests and assignment due dates) but also my personal agenda (club meetings, HC article due dates, family birthdays, scheduling in time for hanging out/free time). I know this might sound a little obsessive to map out the hours of your day but it helps you to be so much more organized and less likely to lose hours on social media or the dreaded Netflix.
7) DON’T GET DISTRACTED BY ROMANCE
In high school, I was never one to get distracted by romance or boys. I was always focused on doing everything I could to get into college (plus it didn’t help that I had known most of the boys since their booger-eating years). But now in college, a whole world of opportunities has opened up and it’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of it all. I’m not telling you not to date or to dump your S/O, but make sure that they don’t become your main priority. Stay on top of your grades, keep in touch with your friends, don’t forget to talk to your family every once in a while. There’s so much more to the world than finding someone to hold your hand.
8) EAT HEALTHIER
Since the gym thing never works out for me, I have to stay healthy some other way. I’ve gotten into the habit of just taking chips to eat in between classes or maybe some leftover pizza for lunch, but that’s so unhealthy! If you’re lazy like me, try to find some healthier alternatives to keep you energized throughout the day. For snacks maybe try some almonds, pre-sliced fruit, trail mix, or some yogurt. For lunch you could buy some of those pre-made salads, some whole-grain pasta or even a sandwich. These options aren’t that healthy, but they’re good transition foods to help you get into a healthier diet than the one you have now. Plus, it’s been proven that having a healthier diet actually helps improve your concentration and mood.
9) LEARN TO BE BY YOURSELF
You won’t always have your best friend at your side. You won’t always have your S/O holding your hand. You won’t always have your parents paying your bills and fixing your messes. You won’t always have professors that spoon-feed you material. That’s just part of becoming an adult. Learn to depend on yourself and believe that you don’t need other people to do things.
10) DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY
Although this one sounds easy, it really is one of the hardest ones on the list. It’s easy to get lost in the expectations that people have of you, whether it be following what your parents want you to do with your life or basing your decisions on what people might think. Well in the end, all that matters is that you’re happy. Are they going to be the ones regretting having gone through medical school without having a passion for it and now hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt? No, it will be you. Are they going to be the ones stuck at a 9 to 5 job for the rest of their life? No, that will be you. Screw what people think. Major in whatever you want to major in. Travel. Spend your paycheck on that new XBOX that you want. Make yourself happy and figure the rest out later.
Obviously not all of these goals might apply to you or you might choose to only focus on a few but what matters is that you try and hopefully succeed at some by the end of the quarter! Let me know what some of your New Year’s/Winter Quarter Resolutions are and how you stick to them!