It is the end of another semester at the University of Saskatchewan and as winter begins, students are reflecting on how they spent their time here in the past few months. With that in mind, what can we do differently next semester to make 2017 suck a lot less than 2016?
Once January comes, people tend to come up with ideas for New Year’s resolutions. However, according to a study by the University of Scranton, 39 per cent — less than half — of people in their 20s are successful with their resolutions. Also, there are fewer and fewer young people even bothering to make them.
Is it even valuable to create these goals you’ll throw out by February? I don’t think it is. It’s important to create goals throughout the entire school year. Even give yourself small goals at first, so that you can start checking more and more off of your list, giving you the motivation and confidence to complete other bigger tasks.
That being said, there are some things that students could benefit from doing before going into a new semester. One of the biggest ones in my experience is practicing self-care, including making sure that you have your supports in place before classes start.
That means getting appointments with your counsellor, doctor, academic advisor, career coach and Disability Services for Students — if applicable — out of the way so that you can discuss any concerns, feelings and ideas with professionals and start 2017 off right.
This could also mean talking about career goals, updating your resume and planning your classes for the upcoming year. Reaching out and getting support when you need it and being honest with how you feel will help you be healthier and more stable going into the New Year. Check out what is offered for support services on campus and you might be surprised with how much taking advantage of these services will help you in the future.
Another way to practice some productive and positive self-care is to get everything you need for your classes in order. Restock your pens, pencils, notepads, loose leaf and any other school supplies you might need.
Tidy up your living space so that you can feel like you have a fresh start. Do your laundry and recycle those empty beer cans.
While you’re cleaning up the space around you, you could probably also benefit from cleaning up your diet. Put the coffee and energy drinks down and make sure you get proper nutrition by eating something other than boxed macaroni and fast food.
Eat a fruit, for goodness sake. Packing your own lunch instead of buying something every time you eat will not only be better for your wallet but also for your health. Try and cut down on alcohol and drugs, especially if you notice that it is affecting your studies and/or your relationships with other people.
Lastly, despite the stereotypes of older generations, most U of S students I know work so hard to get to where they are and spend most of their time studying, participating in extracurricular activities and working part-time or even full-time jobs. Clearly these students are not spending all of their time getting drunk. In fact, according to the U of S Health Assessment Survey of 2013, only five per cent of all U of S students reported that their drinking has affected their studies.
With stress from school, it can be difficult to find time for family and friends. Try and make time for them though, and try and make time for yourself as well. You will be able to focus on your studies a lot better if you are not pushing yourself too hard.
I hope that this next semester is all that you are dreaming of and I hope that you survive. A new year brings a lot of renewed hope and with it, new opportunities. Get out there and seize every positive opportunity 2017 brings you. Good luck!
Graphic: Mike T.