New Year’s Resolutions For a Successful Academic Year

2015 is here and I can say with confidence that I have experienced more changes in the last four months than in the past eighteen years of my life. I never thought that I would attend a school in New York and live by myself in a place so far away from home. The first semester of college taught me valuable lessons, not only about what my academic passions are, but also about building relationships with other people and learning to live on my own. So in the spirit of the New Year, I’m going to share lessons learned from my first semester of college, and new goals for the future!

1. Health comes first!
As a college student, it is easy to neglect the health of your body and forget about taking care yourself. Staying up all night to finish that essay, or going out to parties three nights in a row seems more tempting than going to bed early. I realized that by the time first semester came to an end, my body was in a worse condition than I thought. I couldn’t even climb one flight of stairs without struggling to catch my breath! This is when I decided I really needed to pay attention to my health and body. If I had time and motivation to go to the gym every day, I would but I know I don’t. Here are some easier ways of taking care of one’s health for college students:

1. Always have a water bottle near you (like this beautiful fruit-infused water below).
2. Have at least one fruit and one vegetable every day.
3. T
ry to go to bed before midnight on weekdays.

2. Focus on academics and pursue my passions outside of classes.
During my first semester, I realized what I wanted to study for the rest of my time at Rochester (and beyond). Now, it is time for me to focus on that passion and work in and outside of classes. Grades are important, but what is even more important is that you truly love what you’re learning, so much so that you’re willing to work outside of classes. This can mean looking for summer internships, volunteer work, or even just reading books on the subject on your own. I am determined to make 2015 a year of much learning and attaining knowledge!

3. Expand my horizon by building new relationships.
Before college, I never realized how important it is to have contacts and just know a lot of people. It can potentially help you get one step closer to attaining that internship or job. But aside from professional contacts with people, building relationships with people will teach you a lot of things. College is a place where thousands of people of similar ages who are passionate about learning gather in one place. There will never be a place like that again in your life, and it is so important to take advantage of that! I realized how easy it is for me to make new friendships in college.

4. Read more.
One thing college students always complain about is the amount of reading they have to complete for classes. So am I crazy to make reading one of my goals for this year? Maybe! But I realized that reading is so important for becoming a more knowledgable and well-rounded individual overall. Learning in class is important, but what’s even more important is that you continue to expand your knowledge and view of this world on your own. To make it easier for me to achieve this goal, I will dedicate two hours of my time on Saturday and Sunday mornings just to reading, and try to finish one book a month. Want to start reading, but don’t know where to start? One of my favorite TV show characters, Rory Gilmore from Gilmore Girls, has an excellent taste in books. Check this reading list out!

What are your 2015 goals, dear readers?

About the author

YooJung Chun

I'm a member of the Class of 2018, and I am majoring in art history. I was born in Seoul, South Korea, before moving to Chicago. I'm the Publicity Chair for the Korean American Students' Association, and I also take piano lessons at the Eastman School of Music.

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