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New semester, new you!

Students use different tactics for scholarly success

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Every year people all over the country take to social media to brag about their New Year’s resolutions, with tacky hashtags like #newyearnewme. These resolutions begin with the best of intentions but tend to fizzle out before Valentine’s Day even rolls around. The same can be said for new semester resolutions.

Two times a year I prepare to start my semester as the student I’ve always aspired to be: One with better study habits, who makes it to every class and neverprocrastinates assignments. I do everything I can to kickstart my motivation, usually by spending too much money buying notebooks, pens, folders and even new clothes to match my smart person persona.

Thankfully, I noticed that I am not alone in this pursuit.

Alex and Zoe Simmons agree that there is a… fading commitment when it comes to new semester resolutions, much like New Year’s.

Alex Simmons has struggled since the fifth grade to stick to new semester goals.

“At the beginning of the week I have all my binders and folders and everything filed and then it just totally falls apart,” she said.

After a couple of weeks or sometimes less, the good intentions quietly fade away. And the unopened planner you bought is
collecting dust on your desk.

So, what is the solution? Is there any hope for people to actually stick to their goals an entire semester?

Ryland West, a senior digital arts and journalism major, doesn’t like to set goals.

“Goals give you the opportunity to fail and once you start failing at the goal you become less motivated,” he said. West suggests envisioning where you want to be and setting guidelines that you can follow instead of concrete goals.

However, he is not immune to having schoolwork get the best of him. After spending 24-7 in the library last year – too focused on assignments – he decided to change his habits this year.

“I’ve made a rule to cut off work at 7 p.m. no matter what,” West said. “I’m less productive but I’m a lot happier.”

By taking care of your mental and physical health you can improve your chances of sticking to your goals or guidelines.

Zoe Simmons has already caught a bug this month and urges other students, especially those living in the dorms, where sicknesses spreads like a 17th-century cargo ship, to try to stay healthy. If you are constantly sick you become focused on getting Dayquil, and you’re not getting your work done.

West says to be personally happy he focuses equally on himself and his study habits. More tips for a successful semester include telling someone else your goal because then someone else can keep you accountable.

“I don’t have a problem letting myself down, but I don’t want to let others down,” Zoe Simmons said. “Someone else will push you to do it.”

I’ve found that if I have one designated day to do all my homework instead of doing a little bit throughout the weekend, I actually finish. Knowing that you can get most or all of it done on one day allows more free time on the weekend to spend doing things you enjoy.

Whatever tactic helps you get through the semester, stick to it!

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New semester, new you!