It’s been a long and tough term. With last minute cramming, praying for passing grades and mental breakdowns every other hour, college students pledge that the new year and new school term will be filled with a new and improved student. Reflecting on the past term, many students will tell themselves, “Okay, no more screwing around! I’ll definitely do better next term!”
Let’s face it, we keep these resolutions for a week, maybe two if we’re lucky. Before you know it, it’s the end of the term and you're telling yourself that you’ll definitely do better the next time around. The vicious cycle that college students face every term is really part of being a college student. Here’s to a new term and the expectations we have for ourselves versus what we actually end up doing.
1. “I’m going to study more."
Expectations: You go to the library every day after class for three hours to review the material you just learned in lecture that day. You’ve begun notecards to review for midterms and finals. You actually understand what is going on in lecture
Reality: It’s the second week of the term and you’re not even sure what classes you’re enrolled in. “Ha, nerds!” you yell as you pass the library full of people who are trying to get their lives together. Flash forward to the night before your first midterm, and you aren’t sure where you’ve “stored” your textbooks. You stay up all night reviewing Quizlet notes only to sit down in class to realize you’ve studied for the wrong class.
2. “I’ll actually go to office hours. It’s good for professors to know your name.”
Expectations: You go up to your professor after the first lecture to introduce yourself. You attend the first office hours and let the professor know how excited you are to learn. You manage to get your professor to crack a smile and go to office hours every week to discuss lectures and how crazy Game of Thrones is. When you turn in your final at the end of the term, your professor shakes your hand and personally thanks you for being such a joy in class.
Reality: You and your professor make weird eye contact during lecture so you don’t bother to introduce yourself. You march right to the first office hours, but you march right past the door and decide that you’ll go next week. After a few weeks, you finally have the courage to go, but it results in you and your professor sitting in uncomfortable silence until you claim you have to get to your next class. You never return to office hours after that.
3. “I don’t think I’m going to get crazy anymore.”
Expectations: It’s the first weekend of the term and every frat is hosting an open party. Your roommates are getting ready and begging you to go. You tell them you can’t and spend the night drinking tea and getting ahead on your work. You wake up the next morning with orange juice and aspirin ready for your wild roomies.
Reality: Chad from Delta Apple Pie Chai Latte has personally invited you to their party on this fine Wednesday night. As your roommates are getting ready, they beg you to go. You say no, but after taking an innocent shot of some clear liquid with them, you find yourself slapping the wine bag for the fifth time while Work by Rihanna and Drake is playing in the background. You wake up the next morning with a pounding headache and no recollection of how you even got home.
4. “I’m definitely getting my sleeping schedule back on track!”
Expectations: You’re satisfied with the work that you’ve finished tonight and decide it’s time for bed. After doing your night routine, you’re in bed by 10:30 p.m. You decide to unwind and browse on your phone for a few more minutes. After you see it’s nearly 11:00 p.m., you put your phone away and get some shut-eye. You wake up in the morning feeling fully refreshed and energized.
Reality: It’s 10:00 p.m. and you’ve been scrolling through your phone for the past four hours. You frantically remember you have an assignment due at midnight and rush to get it done. You finally submit your work at 11:59 p.m. and decide you deserve some fun. You scroll through your phone for another three hours. You finally decide to get ready for bed and once you’re in bed, you decide to check your social media for the last time. Suddenly, you see the sun come up. It’s 6:00 a.m. and your class is at 8:00 a.m.
5. “I’m going to eat healthier!”
Expectations: You have breakfast, lunch and dinner at normal times. You snack lightly when you’re hungry, not when you’re bored. You go grocery shopping every Sunday to buy the freshest ingredients to make nice balanced meals for the week.
Reality: You wake up late to class and miss breakfast again. You’re on your fifth cup of coffee for the day and it is only noon. You don’t want to do homework, so you and your friends decide to grab some ice cream instead. You grab Chipotle for dinner for the fifth time this week. Before that, all you’ve eaten was a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
6. “I’m going to every single lecture this term.”
Expectations: You sit front row of every lecture, this term. Your notes are flawless and you become that friend everyone asks for notes and help. Even though there is no assigned seating, people know that your seat is the third from the left in the front row. Your lectures are webcast, but you still feel like you need to go in person to really absorb the knowledge. You spend your weekends rewatching lectures to make sure you didn’t miss anything.
Reality: The first week of school, you go to every lecture. You decide that the class is pretty easy and you don’t need to go anymore. Your lectures are webcast, so you can always just watch them later. Flash forward to finals week and you have two days to watch a whole term’s worth of lectures.
7. “I’ll drink less coffee and more tea.”
Expectations: Your average six cups a day turns into five cups a day, and soon, you’re down to no cups a day. You drink water now and when you need that extra kick, you down some “highly-caffeinated” tea. Instead of asking your friends for coffee dates, you ask them to get some tea. Your body and mind can actually function on no caffeine.
Reality: You try to go a day without drinking coffee, but by the end of the day, you cave. However, you still feel completely tired and decide that you need more caffeine to function. The next day, you drink double the coffee you would drink on an average to make up for the loss of caffeine the other day. Your body and mind can’t function without caffeine. Your body is now made up of 80% caffeine.
The college life makes New Year’s resolutions a lot harder to handle. With freedom and temptations, you really have to be strong to keep those promises to yourself. But why not start off the New Year with a challenge! Here’s to New Year’s resolutions and hoping that we keep them! Happy New Year!
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