Every year, people all over the world commit themselves to countless resolutions. No more junk food. Exercise three days a week. Be more organized. Be less scatterbrained. People write long lists of broad generalizations that they never have any intention of keeping.
So this year, I suggest you skip the clichés and instead focus on these three realistic resolutions, crafted specifically for university students.
I will not leave my homework until the last minute.
We all do it. We put things off. We procrastinate. We spend three hours watching a How I Met Your Mother marathon, but we just can’t seem to find the time to start that five-page paper in advance. And then, inevitably, we’re stuck writing the entire thing the night before it’s due. Procrastination is a cycle that can only result in stress, panic attacks, all-night cram sessions, and some really bad outfit choices.
So this semester, make a vow to try and avoid the vicious cycle of procrastination. Keep track of all of your deadlines (they’re conveniently located in your syllabus) and make an effort to start things in advance. If you have two papers due the same day, start one the week earlier. If you have to read an entire novel by Friday, start it before Thursday night. Getting things done early will help you to avoid all-nighters, which will improve your grades, your mood, and your clothing.
I will clean up my online identity.
If used properly, social networking sites can be a great asset to university students, but they can also be your worst enemy. The woman interviewing you for an internship does not need to see those tweets you were sneaking during your three-hour lecture. Your professor does not need to know every detail of your night out, as chronicled in photos on Facebook in album after album.
So this year, do something about it! Adjust your privacy settings. Protect your tweets. Make your Facebook “friends-only” (don’t check the boxes that allow your profiles to show up in searches). And if you’re feeling really brave, you can even Google yourself and see what shows up. Cleaning up your online identity will make it that much easier for future employers to see you as a conscientious, well-respected individual.
I will not stress the little things.
Okay, so this may seem like a bit of a contradiction after the last two serious resolutions, but you’re just going to have to trust me—this is probably the most important one on the list. No matter how many resolutions you make or how precisely you schedule out your time, nothing is ever going to go exactly as you plan it. You’ll finish papers five minutes before class. You’ll lose your favorite shirt. You’ll change your major many times.
The key? Don’t let this stuff bother you. As university students, we spend a lot of time focussing on the details, the little stuff that seems big. None of this stuff will seem nearly as important when you’re looking back. So remember to enjoy yourself, and embrace the chaos that accompanies university life.
Perfection is highly overrated. So are perfect resolutions.