We are all familiar with the phrase, “New year, new you.” The tagline is attached to emails and magazines, but it is most popular with gym memberships, athletic clothing brands, and diet books. It is evident that our nation is obsessed with weight loss during the first few months of every year and while some are successful in their weight loss resolution, most lose more hope than they lose weight.
While it will be great if you can achieve the goal to lose x amount of pounds in the next few months, we should remember that our physical appearance is not all that matters. As college students, and as women, we have more to improve than what we would like to admit. Here I have compiled a list of a few things we can improve during the year that deal more with the “inside” and that can help improve our moods, relationships, and hopefully, our grades, as well.
1. If you are anything like me, this too is your number one resolution this year: lower your rate of procrastination. I claim to do my best under pressure (something that has only been tested by procrastinating) and swear that those all-nighters were absolutely necessary to shine through papers and finals. As much as I enjoy living the motto, “party hard, study hard” (“party” actually referring to napping and reading 19th century novels), I have realized, as I get closer to graduating, that sleepless nights are becoming less of an option. If that sounds like you, I suggest buying a planner (or dusting off the one you bought last quarter) and setting goals for when you want to finish certain projects. Cutting your assignments into small chunks is easier than cramming an entire 13 page paper the night before an 8 a.m. class.
2. Be kind. Do you ever notice those people throwing fliers at you on Library Walk (or your respective crowded walkway, if you are a non-UCSD student reading this)? Maybe it is about time you take a few of those glossy little advertisements, and make someone’s day. This small act of kindness will show your fellow student orgs that you care enough not to pretend like you are conveniently texting someone, just to avoid eye contact. To make this suggestion more appealing, remember two things: 1) free food could be somehow involved and 2) you can use the fliers as bookmarks!
3. Meditation is the best medication. If you ever feel stressed out about what is happening with school or your friends or if you are just bored, take some time to breathe and meditate. Don’t empty your brain or anything, just be more observant of your surroundings and then reflect a little on what is bothering you and how you can change your perspective (if you can’t change the situation). Make it a goal to be mindful of your mental wellbeing and remember that UCSD has resources like CAPS to help!
4. Organize your dorm/apartment. Think of how much time you will save if you don’t have to hunt for your books every time you need to sit down and study. Keep that desk clear of clutter, that closet color-coordinated (it seriously helps), and that homework booked in your planner. All these things will help you to keep your space clean and as a result, keep your productivity high.
5. Learn how to feed yourself to avoid unhappiness and an empty wallet. You are away from home, but you still need to eat something other than ramen every night. At some point you will realize that going out to eat every night will catch up with your expenses, so why not learn to make your own food? Cooking dinner yourself will not only save you money, but it will also save you time if you make enough to have leftovers for your next meal! It doesn’t hurt to learn if you are dependent on dining dollars (you will eventually have to learn anyway), and it will help you get through those “Meatless Mondays.”
As with any resolution, pace yourself and don’t expect miracles to happen. Remember: Rome wasn’t built in a day!