New semester, new you


Illustration by Tarun Bali


Whether today is your first day or second day on campus for class, you’re either filled with excitement of the prospects of what’s to come for the rest of the semester or you’re already longing to being able to sleep in like you did during the Christmas break. Whatever it may be, I’m here to remind you that we’re now in the fourth week of 2013, and if you haven’t been doing so hot in keeping true to your New Year’s resolutions, then consider that your trial test run. This first week of the new semester is your true start.

Setting aside from the standard “get good grades,” “get homework done early” and “keep healthy” resolutions, here’s my advice about a few accomplishments that you should strive for this semester to set yourself on track for an exciting spring semester.

Now, if you’re one of the aforementioned excited students, I can grantee that your enthusiasm isn’t prone to last until May, whether it’s being bogged down by extensive amounts of homework or by sheer boredom of the common routine of the class schedule. The best method to counteract this is to start treating each day as the first day.

Sure we’re all introduced to everyone in class, but who can honestly remember everyone’s name by the time the final exam rolls around? This semester, try to make it a challenge to get to know everyone in the class by taking a different seat each class period and being more receptive and observable. Instead of bolting out of class when it’s dismissed, stick around and be willing to talk to fellow classmates. Learning to be socially active in the classroom comes in handy for real life. A smile and sense of openness goes a lot further than being a shut off to everyone else.

Being someone more open to social interactions can lead to more social opportunities. By listening and befriending others in your classes and other places on campus, the chances of doing activities besides staying indoors for the weekend are increased.

During the last semester, I discovered that writing long critical essays improved much more when I had someone from the same class to bounce my ideas of off, rather taking the lock-yourself-in-a-room-and-get-it-done approach.

I understand that it’s becoming more and more acceptable for these interactions to be confined to emails and online chatting, but it’s much more satisfying to have actual face-to-face discussions. This is also a good time to evaluate what makes a good friend, which changes once you become an adult.

Finally, an accomplishment that everyone should strive to always achieve is to have a sense of fulfillment and happiness in who you are and what you’re doing. Whenever I see someone who looks like they’re enjoying what they’re doing on campus, that sensibility is contagious and is an inspiration to keep working on what you set to accomplish when you decided to go to college.

So, for 2013 spring semester, try keeping the New Year’s spirit alive by being more receptive to others and be happy for who you are and what you’re doing, because your influence can spread to others. Only you can be the judge of what you wish to project.