It’s hard to believe that January 1st has already come and gone, but it’s never too late to make some resolutions. The spring semester will be in full swing before you know it … why not start off on the right foot by breaking some bad habits and developing a few good ones?
As the saying goes, “Change is good.” For that reason we’ve compiled a list of 25 New Year’s resolutions for college students.
Check them out and see if any appeal to you, or come up with your own!
1. File your FAFSA. Every year, millions of students decide to skip the Free Application for Federal Student Aid for one reason or another— and most of them would have been eligible for some type of financial aid for college.
2. Go to class. Unless you’re honestly too sick to get out of bed or a huge emergency has come up, go to class. You never know what you might miss out on—handouts from your professors, pop quizzes, or even extra credit opportunities. Besides, you’re spending an awful lot of money to go to college! You might as well show up.
3. Stop procrastinating. It’s tempting to wait until the last minute to get started on projects, but you never know what sort of catastrophe might come up. Start your assignments in advance and avoid potential headaches. It actually feels good to have things finished ahead of time!
4. Meet all of your due dates. Speaking of procrastination, turn in all of your schoolwork on time. Receiving grade cuts for missing deadlines isn’t worth it.
5. Be realistic. Think things through before you make a snap decision— you’re an adult, after all! Signing up for all those extra classes might sound like a good idea during registration week, but can you really see yourself taking twenty-one credits and working a part-time job next semester?
6. Tell the truth. Little white lies can come back to haunt you when you least expect them to, so do yourself a favor and tell the truth.
7. Think twice before making purchases. Impulse shopping can be dangerous. Stop and ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” before making purchases.
8. Cut up your credit card(s). Credit cards are good in case of emergency, but credit card debt can get out of hand during college. With unemployment at an all-time high, it’s not a good idea to graduate with excessive credit card debt.
9. Start building an emergency fund. Set aside a percentage of every paycheck or a portion of your student loan refund money so you can start building an emergency fund. Unfortunately, a magic money fairy is not going to appear in your dorm room when it’s time to get your first apartment after graduation. Start saving now.
10. Call your parents more often. They might not like texting as much as you do, so let them hear your voice every now and then.
11. Exercise. Add some exercise to your daily routine, even if it’s just walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator. You’ll feel better.
12. Get more than three hours of sleep. Constant sleep deprivation can lead to serious health problems down the road, so get some shut-eye on a regular basis.
13. Clean up your online presence. You wouldn’t want your mother or a potential employer to see those drunken-stupor, half-naked photos of you that are posted on Facebook. Clean up your social media profiles now—before it’s too late.
14. If you’re going to drink, set limits. Pay attention to how much alcohol you’ve consumed. By all means, don’t ever drink and drive.
15. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There’s no such thing as a dumb question and chances are, if you’re confused, so is one of your classmates. Don’t be afraid to tell your professors that you don’t understand something.
16. Lend a helping hand. Drive a car-less friend to an appointment, stick around after class and help a professor organize things or hold the door open for someone as they’re rushing into a lecture hall behind you. There are hundreds of ways to help someone out, and they’ll definitely appreciate it.
17. Attend a club meeting, concert, presentation or other event on campus. Hang out on campus—outside of your dorm room. You’ll never have so many free events at your fingertips again.
18. Volunteer at least once this semester. When it comes to charities, you don’t have to donate money to make a difference. Find an organization on campus or in your community and volunteer an hour or two of your time.
19. Pay attention in class. Show your professors the respect that they deserve. Avoid the temptation to text, tweet or update your Facebook status during class.
20. Do your laundry before you run out of clean socks and underwear. Enough said.
21. Avoid unnecessary drama. Reality TV shows are popular because of all the yelling and fighting, but no one needs that much drama in real life. Mind your own business and avoid getting caught up in things that have nothing to do with you.
22. Skip that second helping of dessert. The Freshman Fifteen may be an exaggeration, but weight gain is pretty common during college. Pay attention to how much junk food you’re eating.
23. If only for a day, take a break from social media. Speak with people face-to-face or call them on the phone and chat. It will be a nice change of pace from texting and sending emails.
24. Find a good place to study. And actually study.
25. Step outside of your comfort zone. Be courageous and do something that you normally wouldn’t do. Raise your hand in class; even if you’re not 100% sure that what you’re saying is correct. Start up a conversation with a stranger that’s behind you in line at the cafeteria. Get out of your comfort zone, you brave college student, you!
Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.
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