Resolutions to Make for the New School Year

With the holidays here, it is a perfect time to look back on the last year - academically and otherwise. Think of the new year as a fresh start for book report, education, full feel yourself, whether winter break coincides with the end of a semester or not. Here are three resolutions you can make for the new school year in January.

Stay organized

The key to being more productive - and less stressed out - is organization. There are multiple ways to stay organized; some people keep a physical calendar or planner, on a wall or in a backpack, while others use online tools.

If you are tech-savvy, consider using a calendar that syncs with both your smartphone and computer so that your tasks travel with you. There are some organizational apps that you can download to your phone or tablet, which integrate calendars, lists, reminders, notes, and other tools. Try different apps and systems to find out what works best for you.

Besides an actual calendar or planner, consider developing a daily or weekly routine to keep you on track with academic and work commitments. Consider your personality, and when you work best. Are you most energetic in the morning, afternoon, or nighttime? Do you need frequent breaks, or can you study for long stretches of time? Do you benefit from working with study-mates, or do you focus better by yourself? 

Based on these considerations, plan out your routine, allocating chunks of time to doing homework, studying, or writing papers, while ensuring you have time for extracurricular activities and mealtimes as well.

Get involved

While most clubs, teams, and extracurricular activities start in the fall, it can be a whirlwind at the beginning of the year. Make it one of your resolutions to get involved now; you will be able to gain teamwork and often leadership skills, get to know others, and deepen a personal interest. Also, remember that extracurricular activities or sports often look excellent on your resume. They show commitment to your field, school, or community. 

However, do not overload yourself with too many activities, as doing so could negatively impact your studies. Instead, be strategic with your involvement; even one weekly activity could enrich your overall learning. If it is somehow related to your academic interests, all the better; if not, be sure that it is something that you love and are interested in as a balance to other passions and activities.

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