2011 was a year of tremendous change and growth. As we reflect on another year passed, we collectively create resolutions to better ourselves for the coming one. In undertaking these resolutions, we hope to improve upon our current lives, but we often encounter a problem with these resolutions — their transience.
Much like the promise of a new semester to college students, the start of the year is hopeful and filled with possibility. However, as the year continues, we get lost in the stresses of our everyday lives and are worn down by the tribulations we may face. The resolutions we vowed to ourselves to keep are weathered down and diluted. With our busy schedules, coursework, pressure, and uncertainties, it becomes more difficult year after year to stick to these goals.
I have decided upon a few significant resolutions that can be broken down into manageable and attainable steps. With commitment, focus, and self-accountability, I hope to make my goals a reality and achieve true change and success. I will attempt to track my progress and provide updates throughout the spring semester.
1) Maintain balance and manage my time well: College is challenging. It requires adjustment, responsibility, and a lot of studying. I learned early that one of the top tips for succeeding in college is managing your time effectively. My goal is to complete all of my work without distractions (cell phone, Facebook, news articles, etc.) every night, so I will be able to maximize the time that I do have. A calendar is a must-have. I have depended on Google calendar because it keeps me organized and prepared. I will also set priorities for myself and will not be afraid to cut back on a few things if I feel that I am spreading myself too thin. Having a support group of great family and friends will help a lot too when the semester gets especially stressful.
2) Be healthy: We see signs all the time and hear it from our parents: get this amount of sleep, don’t stress out too much, keep a balanced diet, and so on and so forth. How can this even be possible with an insanely busy schedule? The answer is we have to make time. Being healthy isn’t about losing a certain amount of weight or eating little calories — it is about eating healthy and having a well-balanced diet, exercising, getting adequate rest (an impossible feat for many of us), and taking advantage of the health resources the University has to offer. My goal is to work out at least four days a week whether this is a quick run on the treadmill in my downstairs exercise room, a trip to Gregory Gym, or a class at Lifetime. I may try for five or more. It will keep me feeling good mentally and physically. And then there is sleep. For a while, I wasn’t sure what a consistent sleep schedule even looked like, but I will aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night and go to bed by midnight so I can establish a routine.
3) Volunteer more: I came into UT wanting to make positive, considerable changes at my school and even in the community. Performing service work both on and off campus has been extremely rewarding and valuable. Volunteering is one of the many ways to get involved and capitalize on all of the opportunities that college has to offer. The Volunteer and Service Learning Center provides numerous service activities, and my goal is to take part in as many as I can. It really is empowering to see how ordinary people can come together to make a true impact in the lives of others or in the community.
4) Spend more time with family and friends: The connections we make in college and the friendships we form can last a lifetime. I have been fortunate to meet many wonderful people who have influenced me in some way. When you are no longer living in the dorms, it becomes more difficult to hang out and make plans with friends. When you have multiple exams several weeks in a row, it is tough to find a time to go home and visit family. However, I am planning ahead this year to find the time to spend with the people I love and care about.
5) Enjoy life: It is important to appreciate the time I do have in college. UT is a fantastic school, and we get to live in one of the best cities. Life as a Longhorn can be exceedingly hectic and tiresome, but there should always be some time set aside for fun or social events. Reading books, watching sports, going to the movies, playing a game at the gym or at Zilker Park, grabbing a bite to eat downtown with friends, and many other activities will be integrated into my schedule. I also want to continue exploring my interests and finding my passions.
Thank you for reading. Happy first week of classes to all of the Longhorns! Hook ‘em!