With 2017 finally here and our first round of New Year's resolutions already solidly abandoned, we can now all turn our eyes to the possibility of new and better things. Perhaps, we even hope to attain a new and better version of ourselves in ways that are more attainable than our original, totally-overshooting-the-zone promises to do insane things like "stop eating chocolate completely." With these hopes for the future, we raise our glasses high, and set New Year’s resolutions that our true selves (not our drunk New Year's Eve selves) sincerely believe we will keep. But what are some good New Year's resolutions for students?
For those of us who spend our days hiding in libraries and poring over books, the New Year signals the impending new semester and we each have decisions to make. For example: Am I going to fess up to the fact that the whole poring over books thing was a flat out lie? Probably not. But I might drink three more glasses of champagne and promise I’ll study my ass off next semester. (If the first year of law school taught me anything, it’s that the drunken promise won’t be enforceable anyway.)
As New Year's Eve parties drifted into New Year's Day, which floated quietly into mid-January, most students are still recovering from the giant party that ensued when we gave 2015 its walking papers a few weeks ago. We're also wondering how bad our grades are going to be when we finally get through this semester. So we might be more inclined to grab another drink than to ponder our existence and what should be done next on our journey to become our best selves. However, if we do manage to fully grasp a resolution, it may look like one of these:
Actually Go To Class
If you’re someone who doesn’t typically attend the classes you’re enrolled in, this is an obvious resolution. Be aware: If this is the one you select, you’re unlikely to keep it. Those of us who don’t go to class simply...don’t go to class. (Something about "zebras and spots" but I can’t remember exactly since I skipped that day.)
Do The Readings
Also an excellent resolution! Carefully studying the syllabus and doing every single reading that’s assigned is a quick way to master a course. Shocking new information, I know! And you're totally going to do it this year! You’ll read everything, and be prepared every time you’re called upon, and you’ll find yourself being the one leading the study groups. Yup, this is the year. Of course, there’s a lot of reading. Like, a lot. Have you read a syllabus recently? Professors are very into reading, and sometimes people (like me) want to read something else. Compromise: If I read as many pages as are assigned but the pages happen to be from books that actually interest me, does it still count?
Meet With Professors Outside Of Class
This is by far the best thing you can do in school. Regardless of the degree you’re pursuing, meeting one-on-one with professors will alter your entire learning experience. This one is the legit, number one resolution that every student should make, and absolutely keep. Plus, if you haven’t been going to class, it might be wise to swing by and find out what they’ve been discussing while you slept or read books that weren’t for class.
Read A Book (That You Weren’t Required To Read)
Some of us take this a little too far and only read books that aren’t assigned as part of our classes. Still, I’m aware many students go to all the classes, do all the readings, and pay attention when they should. For people who are on top of their studies, this is a great resolution. Pick something that interests you and learn about it. Pick a writer whose style you fancy and savor their words. Choose to read and you will remember the power you have in learning. Or at the very least, settle for the "going to class" thing. The rest will work itself out (probably).