Find some new study spots
The UofC campus is so large that it’s easy to get stuck in your own bubble. Break out of your location rut and go exploring - studies show that studying in multiple different locations can actually improve your recall, helping you ace that midterm you’ve been dreading.
Take care of yourself
The college student stereotype can be a little bleak—stressed, sleep-deprived, and feeling way too busy. But being exhausted and over-scheduled isn’t a badge of honor, it’s a sign you need to practice some serious self-care. This looks different for everyone, whether that’s regular yoga classes, curling up with a book, or even just taking the time to make home-cooked meals. I know it might seem like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to finish your to-do list, let alone practice self-care, but running on empty is just going to make things harder in the long run. When you’re rested and refreshed, you’ll be faster and more efficient so you can check off that to-do list and spend the time you saved enjoying some well-deserved rest and relaxation.
Start spending smart
We might all be broke college students for now, but it’s probably time to start being a little more fiscally responsible before we’re out in the real world. Those late-night Skip the Dishes orders and early-morning Starbucks runs add up more quickly than you think, so step one is just tracking your spending. (You might be surprised with the final number.) Also start thinking about budgeting, committing a certain percentage to your savings each month, or—yikes—saving for retirement. If nothing else, don’t forget to ask stores and restaurants if they have a student discount!
Let go of FOMO
A deluge of Instagram Stories, Facebook event RSVPs, and push notifications make it easy to feel like there’s always something better going on somewhere else—or at the very least, like there’s somewhere else you should be. At the end of the day, the fear of missing out is nothing but exhausting, and odds are you’re not actually missing anything life-changing. We’re constantly told that college is only four years, so we should enjoy it as much as we can while it lasts; I’d like to add that you should enjoy those four years where and how you want.
Get out of your comfort zone
A little scary? Sure.
Worth it? Absolutely.
Humans are creatures of habit, but don’t be afraid to switch it up and try something totally new. It might be nerve-wracking, but it’s also exciting, and who knows? You might just discover something you love. This could be anything from ordering something totally different at your favorite restaurant, taking a drop-in hip hop class, starting a blog, or training for a 5K.
Speak up in class
Instead of casually avoiding your professor’s gaze when she asks a question in class (we’ve all been there), why not take a deep breath and throw out some thoughts on the assigned reading? Even if it’s just a small class, speaking up can feel intimidating, but it can help you engage more with the material, boost your participation grade, and make a positive impression on your professor—especially important if they’re teaching in your major. Don’t stress about coming up with the most insightful, groundbreaking commentary the class has ever heard! They’ll probably just be glad someone was brave enough to be the first to talk.
It sounds cheesy, but focusing on things in your life you’re grateful for actually helps your mental health. It doesn’t have to be a full-on gratitude journal—start small by making a note on your phone with 3 good things that happened that day or downloading a free gratitude app. Finding these bright spots in your week can shift your whole outlook for the better—even when the weather is awful and midterms are upon us.
Whether you pick one of the resolutions above, or decide to make a few of your own, remember that small changes can make a huge difference! Practicing a little more self-care, ignoring that TikTok update, or finding a new favorite library could help make this your best school year yet.