Long ago, I made a New Year's resolution to stop making New Year's resolutions. You know the drill. Resolution: "Starting January 1, I will change my careless eating habits, get off the couch, and maintain a healthy diet while getting regular exercise, in order to lose 25 pounds." Sound familiar?
Then reality sets in. By January 7, a week after your resolution kicked in, you are so sore from your "exercise" that you can barely get out of bed and make it down the steps for your pathetic little bowl of Special K. Plus, your dog and cat find new places to hide from you because you're so cranky from being hungry and hurting all the time. That, in a nutshell is why I stopped making New Year's resolutions. I've found that making significant lifestyle changes work better when they kick in during the summer months. It might have something to do with the weather being more accommodating.
Anyway, for all you college students out there (or those of you who are about to become college students), I'd like to share some wisdom from a cool article I found that discusses ways to make the coming year a more positive and hopefully more productive time in your academic life.
These suggestions come from Kelci Lynn Lucier, who has nearly ten years of full-time experience working with and at colleges, in positions ranging from a college admissions adviser for teenagers in foster care to a Program Officer at a consortium of twelve colleges in the Midwest. So, she knows what she's talking about. Here are some excerpts from Kelci's article.
Good New Year's Resolutions for College Students
Learn How to Set Yourself Up for Success from Day One
January 1st: the start of a new year and, for many college students, a time to reflect between semesters. With the new year comes New Year's resolutions, too. How can you tell if your resolutions are good ones during your college years?
- Don't procrastinate. If you're like most college students, time is one of your most prized possessions. Promise to manage it with the utmost care so you aren't always feeling rushed ...
- Learn to say "no." College is full of amazing, exciting, fantastic things. But there are only so many hours in a day, and only so much you can reasonably expect of yourself. Learn to say "no" early -- and to be okay with doing so ...
- Get academic help, even if you don't think you need it. Sure, your paper will probably earn you a passing grade. But heading to the writing center, for example, for some helpful feedback just might make it an out-of-the-park-home-run paper ...
- Make healthy choices. Instead of setting weight-loss or exercise goals, for example, aim to start small and make healthy choices. For example, you can decide to eat at least 2 more fruits or veggies a day, sleep at least 6 hours (if not more!) a night, exercise 3 times a week, or drink only one cup of coffee a day ...
- Find fun, cheap ways to manage stress. Managing your stress may be one of the best resolutions you can make for the new year. Learn how to take your mind off of things -- without blowing your budget ...
Good advice, I think. Of course, the effect of what I call "psychological gravity" may set in and cause you to start rationalizing "exceptions" to your resolutions. Be aware of how how fast to you can go from being resolved and then headed into total apathy. Then, it's the old Brooklyn Dodgers' mantra: "Wait 'til next year."
Well, a next year is right on your doorstep, so why not take advantage of it? I resolve not to bug you about this again. Okay?
Be sure to check out all my admissions-related articles and book reviews at College Confidential.