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Helloooo UofC! We hope that you’ve had a restful break and that you’re ready for the semester ahead! The best thing about the New Year is that it’s ok if last year’s resolutions didn’t stick because you’ve got another shot at them! Didn’t follow through on your resolution last year to build a study schedule or to eat better? You’ve still got plenty of time to re-evaluate and decide how you want to enhance in your life. Here are some suggestions on how to make this semester the best yet!
There’s nothing like a new semester to get organized. There are lots of simple ways to do this like cleaning your room, buying a calendar or planner that suits your life, or putting everything you need to remember in your phone. For the phone people, the “My Study Life” app for phones is a free student organizer that is worth checking out. Everyone will have their own organization style. When in doubt do what Ted Mosby does in “How I Met Your Mother” and get out the yellow legal pad and use it for a “to do” list.
One of the most important everyday tasks is self-care. You know yourself better than anyone else so some of the best care you can get comes from you. Extra time in the mornings, a much-needed nap, or taking a night off to blow off some steam are excellent ways to make sure that your stress levels stay in check and you’re the best that you can be. You should always be your own first priority-you’re an adult, make good life choices!
Schedule your study time and go to class
This one sounds super obvious but if you write down a study schedule you’re more likely to stick to it. An added bonus: if you actually go to class and listen, your study time will be minimal in comparison to reading the whole course the week before the exam. It seems tedious but it actually saves you time. This could be the semester where you actually go to your classes!! We’ve all said it before and by the third week we were shamelessly curled up in bed having a Netflix marathon. So follow up on this age-old resolution of students everywhere and just get your ass to class!
Another long-standing resolution for many is a new exercise routine. Often admirable and well-meaning and yet it seems so unattainable with a busy schedule. Exercise is a wonderful stress reliever so the way to keep it up is to set an achievable goal when you are starting. Instead of saying that you’ll work out every day when you don’t even know where the gym is yet, start off with 1-3 times per week as you feel you can meet. Try starting with something fun like joining an intramural team or coming to Yoga in the Space. Remember that as a student you have a pass to the U of C Fitness Centre, make this the year you actually use it!
The final major resolution that we hear every year is the pledge to eat better. Like exercise, this mission is often failed because it is not started with attainable goals. Two-week diets and cleanses are short term when what is needed are small changes over time that contribute to your lifestyle as a whole. Again, it’s ok if this was a tried and failed goal because (presumably) you’ll be eating for the rest of your life, so try a new start now with simple changes like prioritizing proteins, greens, and fibre as well as eating home cooked meals as much as possible because it’s not only healthier but it’s cheaper too!
Connect with professors
Many professors have commented in the past that during their office hours they sit in their office going through emails without many visitors. Going to professors’ office hours just to say hello and connect over the material is a fantastic way to build on your university career. They will appreciate the effort and the chance to get to know you. Connecting with professors is helpful if you are looking for extra opportunities you may not have known about that could enhance your degree as well as finding honours supervisors and references. They’re people too so go chat with a professor that you find interesting to start the year off right!
Make an appointment with career services
Companies and internship positions are starting to hire for summer and beyond which means that it might be time to make an appointment with Career Services to tailor your cover letters, polish your resume, and get your interview skills on point. The best part of this semester could be finishing it off with an awesome job offer.
Make new friends
This is a simple one but it can make all the difference in how much fun you have this semester. University is a unique environment with people from all over the world. For the most introverted and the most extroverted people mustering up the energy to enjoy a short conversation with someone random can end up being the highlight of your day. A new year calls for new friends and new experiences! Again, welcome back to campus everyone! I’m so excited for another great semester on campus. Follow these simple steps and you can make the best of this year!
Originally posted on Jan. 12, 2015.
Andrea is a fourth year English and Urban Studies combined major, and currently works as an Events Coordinator for the Students’ Union. She is President of Amnesty International, President of the Scribe and Muse English Club, the English Representative of the Faculty of Arts Students’ Association, and VP Promotions for Queers on Campus. Andrea loves Doctor Who, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and architecture. Check her out on Twitter and Instagram @aoakunsheyld.