Wellness & Lifestyle

New Year’s Resolutions

The start of a new year means it’s time to get back into the swing of things, whether you’re a returning student or about to start your semester at Cal. Either way, there’s no better time than the first few weeks of school to set some good habits, both academic and health-related. Making a few resolutions now can set the tone for the rest of the year and help your academics and health in the long run. Here are a few tips:

  1. Set a solid sleep schedule. Most experts agree that eight to nine hours of sleep a night is what people of our age need to feel well-rested and prepared for the next day. Strive for this every night early on in the semester before bad sleep habits become a normal part of your routine. Without a good night’s rest, it becomes all the more difficult to get yourself to go to your early morning classes. Feeling tired during the day will also decrease your productivity with studying and assignments.
  2. Attend all your classes. Simply getting yourself to go to class can be one of the toughest parts of college. Most classes don’t take attendance, so it can be a challenge to get yourself to class with no one checking in on you. However, consistent attendance is the best way to be successful. While it may be tempting to start skipping here and there, know that poor attendance can hurt you later when midterms come around. With so much information covered each class, it’s so easy to get behind. Do yourself a favor and get in the habit of going to class, and you’ll save yourself a lot of stress later on.
  3. Avoid procrastination. Try to do as many assignments as soon as you can. It is arguably more important to avoid procrastination early in the semester, because procrastinating early on will lead to work piling up on itself, making it nearly impossible to catch up. The best way to avoid the cycle of procrastination is to set a schedule for yourself every week outlining what you want to get done when and to follow that schedule as closely as you can. Soon enough, it won’t feel like a chore anymore.
  4. Eat right. Making the right food a part of your daily routine will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout the semester. To eat healthy, include more fruits and vegetables in your diet, avoid food with too much salt and fat, and drink plenty of water. Starting a healthy diet for yourself can be as easy as substituting something healthy where you would normally eat chips, cookies, candy, or some other unhealthy option. In general, avoiding junk food and late night snacking in favor of healthier options is a good way to start on a healthy diet that you will keep to throughout the school year.
  5. Give yourself time to de-stress. School is a stressful place, and you’re almost certainly going to have a lot of work to do. However, it’s also important to set some time to relax. No one can spend all their time working, and if you take some time off from the stressors in your life, you’ll be able to approach them later with a clear head. Ways to de-stress can include spending time with friends, watching TV, exercising, reading, and listening to music. Find whatever works for you.
  6. Always be ready to ask for help. Balancing the academic, social, and personal aspects of life can be difficult and stressful, and at times, it may feel like everything is caving in on you. When this happens, it’s important to know that you have resources that can help you. For example, if you’re feeling stressed academically, talk to your professors or GSIs after class and during office hours. Unless you tell them otherwise, your professors and GSIs will assume that you already understand the material. Let them know when you need help. You also have resources from academic advisers, the Tang Center, friends, and family members. Just don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. It’s not a sign of failure; looking for help is one of the best ways to be successful in a new year.

Article by Mandy Honeychurch

Feature Image Source: Gentlemenhood