The dawn of a new year causes many to re-evaluate their life choices, habits and vices.
Jan. 1 saw many creating a resolution to lose weight or drink more water, changes that are often entirely abandoned by the end of the month. And if we’re being honest, we knew those resolutions were gimmicks when we made them.
However, there are a handful of things students can easily work on to make 2017 a success.
Most importantly, we need to reduce stress.
Being a full-time student while working at least one job, doing an internship, being involved in student organizations and attempting to maintain a social life causes many to live with an underlying pit of anxiety that only seems to dim during the long awaited summer and winter breaks.
Let’s be realistic. To succeed in today’s society, we can’t exactly allow any of our passions or responsibilities to lapse. Taking off an internship or refraining from involvement in student organizations could reduce our chances of being a competitive hire.
Quitting even one of the many jobs we are juggling equates to an unmanageable financial situation. And if we give up our social lives, we give up what little relaxation we award ourselves in the busy weeks.
So what can we do to reduce the anxiety? Work on becoming impeccable planners.
Buy a thorough planner, one with a daily and hourly breakdown, and actually take the time to use it. When you have a reminder and a handful of hours allotted two weeks in advance for writing the term paper that’s 25 percent of your grade, you won’t be forced to pull an all-nighter the day before to get it done.
Utilize your professor’s office hours. If you’re not grasping a concept, don’t assume you’ll figure it out on your own. Take 15 minutes and go ask for help. They will be able to explain the topic in a way you understand and you won’t be watching YouTube tutorial videos for hours prior to your first exam.
Find a release and make time for it. Whether that’s hitting the gym, reading a book, or binging Netflix, make sure you give yourself time for things you enjoy.
If you don’t “treat yourself” you’ll end up burning out mid-way through a semester, a situation far too many of us have found ourselves in.
It is also imperative we take a moment out of our day to help someone in need. Millennials are renown for their social passions, and making a difference toward a cause we champion will help make this a meaningful year.
In fact, despite the negative stereotypes surrounding our generation, the Millennial Impact Report by the research group Achieve found that 84 percent of millennials in the workplace made a charitable donation in 2014. Over 70 percent of the more than 2,500 millennial employees and managers surveyed also volunteered at least an hour of their time, with more than a third doing 11 hours or more.
Our passions drive us, and for so many of us, our passions lie in bettering the world in which we reside. A new year means we have a world of possibilities at our feet. We will undoubtedly be swamped with responsibilities, but hopefully, with enough planning and remembering to make time for ourselves, we can make 2017 a year worth remembering.
Breanne Williams is a senior majoring in mass communications.