Towards the beginning of each semester, I tend to reflect on the past term and set goals for the upcoming one. I do this seemingly unconsciously, often envisioning how I would like the approaching months to play out. With each semester comes a fresh chance to set new goals, make positive changes, and strive to be our best selves. There is no better time to consider resolutions as I settle into the first few weeks of classes.
As a second semester Junior, I remember five uniquely challenging and thrilling semesters. In fact, I tend to recall my semesters in color. Freshman Fall was a vibrant array of neon colors, as I met new friends and became acclimated to WashU life. I see Sophomore Spring as a series of blue tints. From cobalt blue to indigo, the blues represent a sense of belonging and maturity.
In order to ensure that this coming semester also shines in a lively hue, I have outlined my beginning-of-the-semester-resolutions. I encourage everyone to jot down their own ideas during this time, as it is helpful to have goals to keep yourself on track. I have outlined 5 tips below:
1. Wake up early.
I cannot stress enough the benefit of waking up early. My most productive days start at 8 am in Bauer Hall with a Starbucks coffee in my hand. I try to spend an hour before class taking care of logistics. I check my email, plan out my day, clean out my backpack, etc. Devoting an hour window to organization in the morning will alleviate stress throughout the day.
2. Keep your desktop clean.
A cluttered desktop makes me extremely uneasy. If I have a hectic day, the last thing I want to deal with is disorganized files. Try to maintain a clean desktop by creating folders for every class, and sub-folders for every unit. It might sound self-explanatory, but the difficulty lies in remembering to use these folders. Make sure to save documents in the appropriate folder before you switch to another task.
3. Make dinner plans with someone different every night.
WashU students take dinner very seriously. Often, I get “dinner plans?” texts as early as 10am. Because we work so hard, and often have jam-packed days, dinner is our time to relax. We look forward to it throughout the entire day. Dinner truly is a prime time to socialize, so try to eat with different people. It is rewarding to see different faces and hear new opinions every night.
4. Wear something that makes you feel good.
You don’t have to be decked out in the latest fashion trends to have a successful day. Everyone’s concept of “feeling good” is different, yet I have found that I am more likely to do well when I feel confident. For you, this could mean anything from wearing your favorite sweatshirt, to sporting your most stylish leather sneakers. When you look good, you feel good, and your mood automatically improves.
5. Try different extra-curricular activities.
Part of the beauty of attending WashU is having access to the wide variety of clubs and organizations on campus. It can be tempting to stay within our comfort zones, but pushing ourselves to try new things helps increase motivation and energy. This past weekend, I took a risk and auditioned for Cast N’ Crew’s “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.” I got a part. I can confidently say that I am so excited for this new journey.
And, that’s it! I hope my list gives you some insight into the ways I work to maximize my productivity and happiness at WashU.