It is upon us. That's right, the dreaded spring semester is just around the corner.
Whether it’s the warm weather or the prospect of two months without the weight of school, for some reason or another, this semester is most students' downfall of the GPA, social lives and sanity.
So far, every spring semester of my college career has been less than ideal. Life gets stale, friends grow apart and your body seems like it’s on a revolt against the crap that you put into it.
TV shows like "Greek" and movies like "Pitch Perfect" have romanticized the idea of college.
Finding your niche is not as easy as Brittany Snow walking into your shower to harmonize a few bars of “Titanium” with you. Getting an A on a test isn’t as easy as the president of your fraternity giving you old tests from the class.
That awkward encounter you had with your floormate will not go away just because you had a bonding moment over your high school hardships.
Life just doesn’t work that way.
It’s important for us to actually prepare. While many of us may focus on creating and sticking to our New Year's resolutions, it’s important to make separate lists for seemingly separate entities of our lives.
So, here are the eight essential spring semester resolutions you should make:
1. Schedule, schedule, schedule.
I cannot begin to tell you how easy my life could have been for the past two years had I actually stuck to my original plan of scheduling.
You’re overloading on classes, on the executive board of two clubs, working two jobs on campus and on top of that, you’re expected to have a social life. Without planning, something doesn’t just have to give, it will give.
Use a planner or calendar. Find a way to figure out what you need to accomplish and where you need to be. I promise, you won't be able to remember everything you’re supposed to do. Even the small stuff like, I don’t know, eating.
The first step to becoming a fresher you is to organize the old you.
2. Do more “adult” things.
Get your mind out of the gutter. I mean things like laundry, cooking and paying your taxes. Okay, maybe not that last one, but the first two are definite musts.
Sometimes, ordering that 1,000-calorie sandwich is easier than putting a pot on a stove with some type of edible item in it, but you should get used to fending for yourself.
Instead of letting that disgusting pile of laundry sit on your floor until next month when you can go home and have your mom wash it for you, why don’t you just do it yourself?
I know what you’re thinking, "How does this help me?" First of all, you ARE an adult. Don’t let anyone fool you. Much on this list reflects your attitude. Doing more adult things will put you in a “doing” attitude. It will make you feel accomplished and give you that much needed push to get things done.
3. The answer to “What should we do?” shouldn’t always be Netflix.
It’s harder now more than ever for us to find reasons to go outside the safe four walls of our room. You can live a seemingly full life from your laptop, but shouldn’t we be trying to actually get out there and DO something?
On a Friday night when there’s nowhere to go, the question shouldn’t automatically be, “What do you want to watch on Netflix?” Think outside the box. It’s not as black and white as going out or staying in.
A lot of dating websites ask the question, “On a typical Friday night, what are you doing?” If I had a nickel for every time I read “staying in, watching Netflix and drinking wine,” I wouldn’t have to go to college.
Try something different. Go to the city, play laser tag or whip out a board game. Don’t be basic.
4. But, also, stop being that party animal.
Just because there’s something happening on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday doesn’t mean you have to go to all of them. Give yourself — and your liver — a break once in a while.
Now, I’m not condemning partying. Why would anyone want to do that? But, I’m just saying that you should limit the number of times you get “wickedly drunk.”
After a while, doesn’t trudging around in a sticky basement, drinking god knows what just to forget everything that happened anyway get old? Find other sources of fun before your body learns to associate drinking with fun.
While alcohol is a great enhancer, I’d like you to think about other ways you could reach that natural high. Try something different!
5. Don’t let the Freshman 15 follow you for all four years of school.
I’d like you to take note that this doesn’t say “lose weight.” That shouldn’t be your goal. Your overall goal should be to stay healthy, and not because you want to hook up with more people or make your ex jealous.
You have to realize that you are in your prime; this is the best you will ever feel and look. Don’t mess it up by treating your body poorly.
I get it, it’s hard to stay fit at school.
We don’t have access to the best food, we don’t get enough sleep and we drink too much. However, if you just try reaching for that apple instead of a cookie or taking a run around the track instead of a run in a video game, you will feel the benefits almost immediately.
You’ll feel like you can do more, which is just the first step to actually doing more.
6. Get to know people outside your friend circle.
Sometimes it’s easier not to talk to other people. Especially in our generation, social awkwardness has become the norm. You make your friend group freshman year, which slowly whittles down to a few of the close and meaningful ones.
It’s a natural process and there’s nothing wrong with that, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to talk to anyone else.
If you’re in the laundry room, don’t ignore the other person washing his or her clothes.
Say hi. If you’re passing one of your floormates in the hallway, actually make the effort to acknowledge each him or her rather than straining your neck not looking.
I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve made a friend by working with someone on a group project. Newsflash: It might make doing a group project not suck.
I know, it’s uncomfortable to get to know new people, but you won't be doing it for the rest of your life. You might as well hone that skill now.
7. Don’t wait for Brittany Snow in the shower; actively find something to be a part of.
I know this kind of defeats everything I just said about you having so many commitments and so little time on your hands, but if you listened to my first point, then you should definitely be able to squeeze this one in. It’s the second semester.
You think you’re hitting your stride, but in reality, it’s all really just getting stale.
It’s all about stepping outside your comfort zone. College is about trying new things. Find a new skill, a new sport or a new talent that you didn’t know you had.
There are hundreds of clubs at your school; you probably can’t name even a quarter of them.
There are so many opportunities to make even more meaningful friendships or have something else to do on a Friday night, so branch out. Who knows what you’ll find?
8. Most importantly, remember life should be fun.
Tape it on your fridge or write it on your mirror; just remember that life should mainly be about fun. I don’t want to get super melodramatic or too sentimental, but we’re expected to do so much.
We’ve been exposed to the mentality that whatever you’re doing is not enough. Your GPA is never high enough, you’re not involved in enough extracurriculars, you’re not skinny enough, you don’t go out enough, etc.
We’ll never please everyone, so just try to please yourself.
We get eight semesters to be as free as we will ever be. I don’t know about you, but I want to make the most of each and every second of it.