Achievable New Year’s Resolutions For Students

December 29, 2015

It’s that time of the year again, when you make hopeful new resolutions that you’re going to struggle to keep. How many times have you resolved to eat healthy, hit the gym more frequently, transform yourself into a morning person, learn to speak Italian… For 2016, instead of these traditional resolutions, we’ve compiled a list of achievable ones most applicable to students. 

  1. Study more, study better: It’s what a majority of the students vow to do at the beginning of the semester. Whether it’s to make up for past low grades or to provide a buffer early on in the semester, you can never be over-prepared. Even if you don’t modify the amount of time and effort spent studying, it can be even more effective to modify HOW you study. If you organize and manage your time better with discipline (especially since you have total control over your schedule), a little studying done efficiently can go a long way, which takes us to our next point…

  2. Stop procrastinating: Procrastination can cause your work to suffer and your grades to drop. While deep-seeded procrastination is a habit extremely difficult to break, take small steps. Start by resolving to focus in concentrated spurts following by short breaks. Disable wifi for the duration of your study time. Leave your phone out of sight and don’t touch it until you’ve reached a good stopping point. Kicking procrastination might even earn you…

  3. Straight A’s: Now, who doesn’t want straight A’s for the upcoming semester? Let’s be honest - it’s not always easy, but it’s certainly important to shoot for a lofty goal. Even if you come up short, you’re still going to do really well. Reward yourself for each A earned that pushes you closer to your goal.

  4. Graduate: In high school, you can afford “senioritis.” In college, though, you better make sure it doesn’t derail you from graduating. Staying on top of your requirements and the classes you’ll need to graduate is key. We can’t imagine you’ll want to spend another semester’s worth of tuition because you forgot to sign up for a class, so make sure you’re checking in with your academic adviser to confirm you’re on track.

  5. Watch less TV: If you find yourself sedentary for multiple hours in a day glued to your screen, you’ll notice the moment you cut TV or online streaming from your life how much time it frees to reach your academic goals. We’re not saying to completely cut Netflix, but maybe don’t give in to marathons - cap yourself at 2 episodes each sitting.

  6. Get a full night’s sleep: Who doesn’t like sleep? It’s not always easy to get a good night’s rest, especially if you’re pulling all nighters. However, a good night’s sleep can make all the difference between giving you a sharper mind and clearer thinking process instead of merely skating by.

  7. Be more social: College is meant to be fun. As you’ve probably heard many times before, it’s the best four years of your life. So why not get out there, make some new friends, and have a good time? It’s always good to step out of your comfort zone every now and then. Challenge yourself to make a new friend every week. If that’s too daunting, just talk to someone you don’t know every day, even if it’s a quick “how are you doing today” to someone standing in line next to you at the dining hall.

  8. Be less social: On the other hand, plenty of students jump right into the extensive college social scene, which can severely impact studying and performance. It’s important to strike a balance between the two, even if it’s missing just one social event you otherwise would have gone to every other month. Just remember: every time you’re overcome with that feeling of FOMO, we promise you there’s always another night that will probably top the one you’re missing. The time you reserve for yourself can be rejuvenating—hey, why not take this time to treat yourself to extra TV or even fit in that great night of sleep?

  9. Call your family: Parents, especially first-time empty nesters, can find the transition to college even more difficult than students themselves. They’ll definitely appreciate the regular call to update them on your life in college. If you’re not feeling up for a long conversation, stick to short updates featuring highlights of your week and then sign off with “Alright, mom, gotta go. I’m headed to the library to study.” The twist? Then actually go to the library and study.

  10. Keep up with resolutions: The hardest thing about resolutions is keeping them. The only way to form a new habit is to keep working at it until it becomes an indispensable part of your routine. To stay on track, write your resolutions down, stick Post-It notes where you’ll see them every day, or add daily reminders. 

Looking for some last minute application help? Stop by our database of admitted students and find essays, scores, and advice from students who got into your dream school. Find out how you can too! College students, create a profile and upload your information now to help high schoolers get into your college. 



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20pogues
Columbia ‘24


Accepted to Columbia, Northeastern, BU, Miami, UMass, UVM

Music-Loving Pre-Med studying Neuroscience
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Yale ‘23


Accepted to Yale, UMich

Yale Undergraduate Majoring in Political Science and English
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USC ‘20


Accepted to USC, Dartmouth, Emory, UMich, Rochester, Lehigh, Miami, Alabama, Ole Miss

Hi! I'm a college freshman who was accepted to some of the best universities in the country (most likely due to my essays). Feel free to ask any questions!
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Williams ‘19


Accepted to Utah, Colorado, Colby, Williams, SMCVT

Hi! I go by Izi and I am a current student at Williams College Class of 2019. I hope to be a biology or sociology major with a neuroscience concentration. I am on the NCAA Division 1 alpine ski team here.

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