There's something about the beginning of a new year that makes you want to shed all of your old, terrible habits, and adopt new ones that will make your life better and easier. Or at least it makes you want to talk about all of the new things you're going to do. This year, though, you really should attempt to follow your New Year's resolutions for more than one whole week, especially if you're a college student. When you're in college, living in a squished dorm surrounded by your closest friends, it's insanely easy to fall into patterns of unproductive behavior. And while you should absolutely spend your college years having fun and making memories, you should also do things that will benefit you in the future.
Not to sound all corny on you and all that, but college really is the perfect time to become more independent and learn the life skills you'll need for a successful career, social life, and happiness in general. If you want to make the most of your last few years as a student, then read on for these 16 New Year's resolutions every college student should make. And don't worry — these aren't cliches like "eat healthier!" or "don't procrastinate!" Although, you know, do that stuff too if you want. Can't hurt!
1. Do Not Trust Jungle Juice Ever Again
When is it ever a good idea to drink from a vat of random, mixed liquors in a fraternity house full of guys who still laugh at penis jokes? Do yourself a favor — get your own drinks.
2. Try to Make a Friend in Every Class You Take
This isn't just to try and make new besties all over campus — though that possibility is an added bonus. Making at least one friend in each class is sort of like a backup plan. If you have a friend who you can text or message when you miss class or need help with an assignment, you'll have a better chance of passing and/or not making a mistake. Plus, then you won't have to reach out to your professor with every question you have, which will just make you look better.
3. Organize Your Dorm Room (And Keep It Clean For More Than a Week)
If you live in a dorm room, then you already know that it's small and cramped, which doesn't make for the best living situation. Over your winter break, try a few DIY projects to keep your room more organized and neat. It will make you feel less stressed to walk into a clean room after a day of classes, and it will also be easier to find items you need for class if they're all in one place.
4. Stress Less about Finding a Relationship and Just Enjoy Yourself
Of course, college is about learning, but it's also a time when many people couple up. Some people go to college with the intent on just having fun; others go to college with the hopes of finding their one true love. I'm not going to tell you which is best for you, but what I will tell you is this: if you're single, make it a point to make 2015 the year you're not actively trying to find a significant other. Just enjoy yourself! If it happens, great. If it doesn't, whatever.
5. Find an Internship
Don't wait until the second semester of your senior year to start searching for an internship in your field of choice. Get one earlier than that, and try to get more than one throughout your time in school. Internships are so important for networking and gaining experience — if you don't have at least one during college, chances are you're going to have a harder time finding a full-time position.
6. Learn Some Basic Recipes to Make Yourself
If you're living in a dorm room, try to figure out some easy recipes you can actually make in your room so that you can save some money on food (unless you have a meal plan), and have a few more healthy options when it comes to late night snacking. If you're in an apartment, house, or still living with your parents, then you should DEFINITELY set aside some time to learn how to make yourself dinner.
7. Set Aside Time to Do the Reading
I know it sounds so lame and everyone says it, but seriously... do the reading! It will make such a big difference on your grades! For 2015, vow to set aside at least an hour every night to read the assignments from your various classes. You'll feel so much more caught up, which will make you feel less stressed, which will allow you to have a truly great weekend that doesn't end in a Sunday night scrambling to get everything done.
8. Actually Make Time to Visit Your Friends from High School
Whether you're commuting or going away to college, make solid plans to visit your high school friends at their school — don't just talk about it. It's a really fun way to catch up with the people you miss, meet people you wouldn't have otherwise, and do something different. Plus, your friend will love that you came to see them, and it's nice to reconnect with someone who knew you when you were in high school.
9. Avoid Morning Classes at All Costs
Or, if you're a morning person and you hate night classes, avoid those. Just avoid classes at the time of day when you know you're the least productive. Of course that's sometimes impossible, but promise yourself that in 2015, you'll make your schedule right away so you can sign up for the best class times possible.
10. Stop Using Your Bed as an Excuse to Miss Class
Every college student misses class once in a while. But failing a course because you missed one too many classes is just a complete waste of money. Promise yourself that in 2015, you'll stop telling yourself things like, "But it's raining. I can't go to class if it's raining." Just do it. Unless, you know, you want an extra semester of classes?
11. Attempt to Wear Something Other Than Sweatpants Once a Week
I fully support being comfortable in class, but try to wear something other than your yoga pants and hometown sweatshirt, at least once a week. It will make you feel more professional.
12. Think Twice Before Posting That Drunk Bathroom Picture on Facebook
I realize that I sound like your mom, but embarrassing drunk Facebook pictures can and probably will come back to haunt you at some point in life. Do you really want to post that picture of yourself downing shots so that everyone can think of you that way for the next few years to come? I mean, do you boo boo, but just think about it for a second first.
13. Take Advantage of Office Hours
If you're looking for a way to pass a class, this is it. Taking advantage of office hours is one of your best options when it comes to showing your professor that you care, and that you're worthy of a passing grade. They're also the best way to get the answers to any questions you might have. You don't need to give up your social life to attend every session, but make an appearance once in a while.
14. Save Up to Study Abroad
My personal biggest regret about college is not studying abroad. Everyone who does it only has amazing stories to tell. If your parents won't pay for it, work your butt off to pay for it yourself. It will be worth it, and I promise you'll never have the opportunity again.
15. Join a Club. Any Club.
If you've never joined a club or a group on campus, do it in 2015. It's the perfect time to start! It will look good on your resume, but more importantly, it will be a way to get free snacks. Just kidding — it will also help you meet new people. (But really, free snacks.)
16. Stop Complaining About College
Seriously, just stop. I realize that classes can be incredibly stressful, and that juggling schoolwork with a job is really hard. But honestly, college is the best. Every graduate who is sitting through their full-time job counting down the hours to the weekend is jealous of you. Enjoy it while you're there, and take advantage of every opportunity you have — it goes by too fast.
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