How to do “New Year, new me” right

Madeline Diamond, Editor-in-Chief

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I’m all for New Year’s resolutions. I’ve made some positive life changes by sticking to resolutions, but I’ve also regretted making lofty goals that I couldn’t realistically meet. While we are still less than a month into the new year, you may already be questioning the resolutions that seemed so promising a few weeks ago. In the meantime, here are some resolutions you can actually follow.

Get some sleep

Exercising and eating right are certainly worthy resolutions, although along with goals associated with health, adequate sleep is a must. Many college students joke that out of good grades, a social life, and sleep, only two of the three can be achieved at once. While there is some truth to this triangle of college life, I’ve found that getting enough sleep has helped me become more engaged in my classes and has given me more energy to improve my friendships. There is a trend among students of glamorizing sleep deprivation in order to justify their grades. Sometimes it’s necessary to stay up late to finish a project or edit a paper; still, I have found greater success when I get enough sleep and use mornings as a fresh start to be productive.

Get organized

Being involved on campus—whether in academic groups, campus jobs, social organizations, or community service—makes it easy to feel overwhelmed by commitments. Sticking to a calendar and actually writing down events and due dates is infinitely helpful. If you can see all of your obligations in front of you in an old-fashioned planner or online calendar, you’ll have a better sense of just how busy you actually are. The fear of missing out (FOMO) is constantly debated among college students. Is it worth it to stay in, study, and miss a potentially fun night with your friends? Will you regret not being more social after frequently turning down opportunities because you feel overwhelmed? There’s no surefire way to cure the anxiety that comes with FOMO, but actively checking in with your academic, extracurricular, and social obligations, and being realistic about how much you can handle each semester is worth it.

Stop comparing yourself to others

With the presence of social media, it is easy to compare ourselves to our peers. Constant Facebook statuses about new projects, Instagram posts about exotic travel, and even LinkedIn updates can make students feel inadequate compared to their peers, even if they have just as many accomplishments. Thanks in part to social media, we have so much information about our peers that we often make snap judgments about their lives. In reality, the social media user has complete control of what they choose to post, so chances are they only share the positive events in their lives. Admittedly, I check Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat far too many times a day. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying social media, but it can become toxic when overused. Social media is a great platform to share life updates, although I am actively trying to avoid comparing myself to my peers.

 

Committing to New Year’s resolutions is easier said than done, but making a few small changes at a time is less daunting than grand, life-changing transformations. If you can at least commit to getting more sleep, staying organized, and avoiding the negative side of social media, I think you’ll be able to conquer just about any other resolution on your list.

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