8 New Year's Resolutions for Your Spring Semester

By Lorena Roberts on January 5, 2018

It’s almost here: that time of year when you sit down and think about how you can improve yourself and your life over the next twelve months. While some of us just think about how we can improve the quality of our lives, others of us make lists, planning out our resolutions down to the month, week, or day. Some of us set deadlines, and make pacts with accountability partners. Some of us hang sticky notes on our bathroom mirrors. And while it’s beneficial for you to make resolutions in every area of your life, it’s easy to “forget” or overlook your academic goals sometimes.

Maybe during the fall semester, you didn’t study as much as you should have. Maybe you weren’t as organized, and that planner you bought in August is still empty. Maybe you didn’t make as many friends as you wanted to; instead, you buried your head in your books and were completely anti-social for five months. Regardless of what your fall semester turned out to be, there are always ways to improve your academic life, including the social side of college. If you’re gearing up for making your New Year’s resolutions, here are some suggestions as to how your spring semester can be drastically better than the fall.

via Pixabay.com

1. Get more sleep.

You might feel like this is impossible, but I promise it isn’t. You should be getting between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. But, unfortunately, it’s rare that college students sleep this much at night. Which is why we tend to seek naps during the day. There are a number of reasons why you might be craving a nap, only one of which is that you aren’t sleeping enough at night. It could also be your daily nutrition that’s making you feel like you’re in an afternoon slump. Aim for long-lasting snacks like granola bars or protein filled lunch items that will keep you going past the 3:00 hour.

If you start getting enough sleep, you’ll be more productive during the day. You’ll feel better and have more energy to do the things that are good for your body, like going for a walk. If you’re looking for answers as to how to plan the perfect nap, here’s a solution.

2. Tackle assignments in chunks.

Don’t get overwhelmed, and don’t challenge your brain to keep skipping around from one subject to another. Multitasking can be great, but probably not multitasking between significant assignments. If you tell yourself you’ll spend 20 minutes on your math homework, and get problems 1-10 complete before you move on to biology, you’ll get a good rhythm going and accomplish more overall.

3. Plan ahead for larger assignments.

Do not wait until the night before to complete a project or study for a big test. Procrastination is one of the most challenging parts of college. You have to learn how to manage your time efficiently to make sure you’re well-prepared when midterms roll around. Using a planner will be your best weapon in this fight. (See below).

4. Laugh every day.

Make a point to watch one funny YouTube video every day. Don’t get sucked into a funny cat stream, though. That becomes a very dark hole very quickly. Laughter is the best medicine to prevent depression. If you find yourself feeling low, read some jokes or watch some funny videos. They’ll easily get you out of your “funk.”

5. Use your planner like it’s your personal necessity.

Don’t go anywhere without it. Write everything down. Keep track of it like you’re keeping track of your life for a stranger who knows nothing about your daily habits. Plan out when you’ll eat and sleep. Plan your naps, your personal stress-free time, and the time you’ll dedicate to studying. You’ll have no excuse for falling behind in your studies if you map the semester out hour by hour. One of the best planners I can recommend is the daily planner I use. I found it at Target, but you can easily find it on Amazon for under $30. It lists the day hour by hour and includes a “to-do” list.

6. Read more.

I know what you’re thinking: but I already read so much for my classes, I don’t have time for leisure reading. Yes, okay, we get it. You have to read what seems like thousands of pages every night when you’re in college. But your brain never gets tired of reading. Just because you’re reading academic information doesn’t mean you should shove leisure reading to the side! If you’re looking for some good books to dive into during your spring semester, research New York Times’ Bestseller list. You won’t be disappointed.

7. Be more organized.

Besides using a planner, there are several categories of life where you can become more organized. Simply living in a cleaner room and doing laundry on a certain day will help you feel more productive. If you keep your life organized in all aspects, you’ll feel like a better human being overall.

Start by planning to always go to the grocery store on the same day. Make several copies of a list of everything you could possibly need. Each week before you go to the store (or order your groceries online), go through and mark what you’re out of. This will help you keep your main staple items stocked.

Always fold your laundry and organize your drawers. All of your shirts should go in one drawer, while your panties should go in another. This will make getting dressed in the mornings much easier.

8. Make more friends.

Join more organizations that share your values and beliefs. When you put yourself into a mixture of people who have similarities, that’s how friendships are formed. If you feel like you lived a lonely fall semester, chances are you aren’t involved with enough student organizations. They’ll keep you busy, but they’re the perfect place for social interaction.

Believe it or not…It is possible to have a better spring semester. I promise. If you get yourself together and plan for a better semester, you will have one. Follow these eight resolutions and see improvement in your life overall.

Lorena graduated from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a BA in Honors Psychology. She is currently interviewing for PhD School Psychology graduate programs across the country and hopes to research early math curriculum and instruction. Along with writing for Uloop, Lorena is a preschool teacher, K-12 substitute teacher, and math tutor. She enjoys taking her Whippet mix, Gio, to the dog park and drinking hot chocolate in front of Netflix. She's known for her strong opinions, busy schedule, and obsession with cute dogs. If you want to reach her, email her at grober18@vols.utk.edu

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