10 Student Resolutions For 2016
The New Year is upon us, and with it comes the need to clean out the cobwebs and set those resolutions that will guide you for the remainder of the year. While many New Year’s Resolutions are easily broken, students have the advantage of prep time.
A full-time employee, who had to continue working during the holidays, likely finds it difficult to create a plan for keeping their resolutions, but students have had all winter break to think about what they do well, what they do poorly, and where they would like their year ahead to end up.
If you are a student still unsure of what to write down on your NYR list, here’s a quick list of student resolutions that we’ve put together. Good luck!
Student Resolutions No. 1. Learn deadlines on all your tests.
Of course, by “tests,” we mean standardized exams like the SAT and ACT. It is hard to plan ahead for classes, especially when you have a teacher that still loves to spring pop quizzes on you, but if you can, pencil those in your daily planner or scheduling app as well.
With standardized exams, you may want to check out the Test Dates Central website at this link. There, you can find up-to-the-year deadlines for everything from the ACT to the PCAT — hugely beneficial no matter where you find yourself in your educational career.
2. Beat procrastination.
It seems like one of the only true “universal” skills that we learn in high school and college is the ability to work under pressure because we’ve spent too long binge-watching Netflix the night before. While you may never completely escape your tendency to procrastinate, you can control it by getting organized and writing things down.
We suggest starting each day by planning out what you are going to do by priority. Think about what you HAVE to do and what you WANT to do, and try to make sure those HAVEs get taken out first. When planning, make sure that you don’t overstuff your days with more of the HAVEs than you can possibly accomplish. This will only lead to frustration and keep you discouraged.
3. Learn new things.
The great thing about the human brain is that it isn’t fully “developed” until most people turn 25. How is that “great”? Because it means you’re more malleable and open to learning new things at a rapid pace. The older you get, the more settled you’re likely to become in your ways.
Learning as an older person takes more effort than it does as a younger person. That’s why most language experts recommend starting foreign languages in early grade school as opposed to junior high and high school.
4. Get excited about the future.
School interferes with sleep, and that is especially true when you’re just coming off a two-week break. As such, it can be difficult to get excited about learning, but when you personalize the reasons behind your learning, it gets easier to pull it off.
One simple change in mindset will place you on the path you need to be on. Here’s what you do. Instead of looking at each class as a “requirement,” look at it as an investment in your future success. It is what will allow you the opportunity to do the things you want to do and lead the life you want to lead. Without excitement for learning, it’s difficult to grow as a human being.
5. Commit to efficiency.
We’ve already touched on part of this in No. 2, but it bears repeating. Work smarter not harder. Taking an extra 30 or 60 minutes to game-plan your day will allow you to accomplish more in less time and at a better rate of understanding.
6. Think ‘resume.’
Your resume may not be a necessity if you’re in the seventh or eighth grade, but it will mean a lot more to you as you progress through high school and begin working on your degree. When looking at the goals that you have set for life — specifically work — ask yourself how each class or project fits in with what you hope to accomplish.
7. Improve writing skills.
It does not matter if numbers are ‘your thing.’ Writing is everyone’s ‘thing’ because it’s how we often communicate with each other, especially in a virtual work environment where your only correspondences with bosses and co-workers come in the form of emails and text messages.
Good writing skills are also reflective of good reading skills, and good reading means that you know how to communicate verbally. Everything links together.
One thing you should start doing every day to make this a reality is handwrite one page. It could be short stories, poems, or even a grocery list. Just get into the habit of putting pen to paper, and you’ll be surprised at the connections that occur between brain and hand.
8. Balance your interests.
There is a temptation when learning new things and searching for your passion to neglect other areas that just don’t seem that interesting. Avoid the temptation. A well-rounded education is valued by employers, and there are numerous ways that you can use your creativity and passions regardless of where you end up working.
You never know: it may even be that you find new passions that you feel even more strongly about simply by stepping outside of your comfort zone.
9. Get involved in the community.
Another majorly important thing as you progress in your educational journey is interaction with the outside world. By getting involved in the community, you can expand your skills, knowledge, and connections — all three of which may be valuable when it comes to paying for college and/or finding future employment.
10. Finish strong; be enthusiastic.
This is always a strange time of year because in it, you have endings and beginnings ahead of you, and each requires a different response. When coming back from winter break, it’s necessary to channel your rejuvenation into a strong finish. This is where you reflect on the previous semester and adjust your goals accordingly.
Around August, however, most of you will be in a different mindset. You will instead be focused on the possibilities of a new year and a newer version of yourself. Make the most of both of these opportunities.
If you haven’t made your student resolutions for the new year, make sure you do so at this time. And while you’re at it, feel free to borrow liberally from what we’ve shared above, and add new ones to the mix.
[Image via SomeeCards]