New year, new me?



Breanna DiMaio

It takes 21 days to break a habit. Twenty-one days- that’s it! It takes less than a month to make a drastic change in your life. So why, as we are approaching the end of the first month of the New Year mentality, do so many of us give up on this “New Year, New Me” mentality? It is never too late to start or restart striving toward our New Year’s goals, especially considering that a new year marks the beginning of a brand new semester, with its own new challenges and rewards. Here are some ways that campus can help you stay on track towards achieving your New Me:


1. New Year New Body: So you want a hot body? Who doesn’t! With getting “in shape” being the number-one most common New Year’s resolution worldwide, there are a few things to keep in mind in order to become the master of your own domain. Create a fitness and nutrition plan with on campus personal trainers and nutritionists. Make it a goal to exercise a certain number of times a week, and take advantage of the new schedule of fitness classes this semester to keep you motivated and give you guidance. Remember, any progress at all is still progress. You might not see drastic results right away, but small results will eventually add up to noticeable differences. Getting “fit” is less about the physical and more about the mental. Keep in mind, it is not about how you look, it is about how you feel. 


2. New Year New GPA: Last semester’s grades got you down? A new semester is a fresh start. Like a plant, good grades start at the root of the semester, so before you dive into that 20 page ACS paper or pull an “all-nighter” for that Orgo test, organize all of  the dates your assignments are due this semester in your planner right away. If you notice that a particular week (or weeks!) is hectic, make a plan to get ahead of the work to minimize the stress-induced breakdowns. The more you write down, the more likely you are to stick to it. And remember: you do have Learning Support options like the Writing Center and Math Resource Center that are great, thorough, and too often forgotten. Do not feel embarrassed to take advantage of what is not only available, but something you pay for. 


3. New Year New Mind: Everyone has something, which they do that they might not be proud of. This could be anything from biting your nails, to smoking cigarettes, to watching too much Netflix, to drinking too much. This is your fresh start to put a stop to the embarrassment or self-disapproval. Now that 2016 has only just begun, write down what you wish to rid yourself of somewhere where you can visualize the message every day. Mark on your calendar every day in which you overcame this habit. By the time you get going, you won’t want to break your streak! 


4. New Year New Adventures: So you’re sick and tired of scrolling through other people’s abroad pictures on Facebook and you want some thrill of your own? You may not be able to jet to Barcelona for the weekend, but there are tons of opportunities for adventures on and off campus. Contact the Office of Studies Abroad to weigh abroad opportunities for the summer if you’re anxious, but while you’re still here, apply for a Service and Justice Experience Trip! Explore South Street and its Magic Gardens in Philadelphia, go hiking at Valley Forge, grab some new food, or check out the shops on the Main Line or get lost in the King of Prussia Mall. Make it your goal to do something exciting once a month, and you’ll soon enough be the one with the cool Instagram photos. Face it, you deserve a break every once in a while!


5. New Year New Relationships: Balance is one of the biggest challenges college students face. How are we supposed to be able to attend classes, see our friends, see our significant others, do homework and stay in communication with our families? Balancing everything out seems daunting, but it is easier than it may seem. Make a routine by noticing the patterns that played out over the fall. Was it a treat to call home after that long sports practice? Did you get swamped with papers every Sunday night? Did all of your exams tend to fall on Fridays? With these patterns in mind, you can plan out when you will see specific people, complete homework, and call home weekly so that you do not forget anything or anyone. Still stuck? There is no shame in consulting the counseling center if you need more advice. 

No matter what your resolution is, keep track of your progress and set up checkpoints throughout the year for long-term success. Just remember to stay focused and keep at it! The biggest hurdle is your own mind; you just have to believe in yourself!