As we start the school year afresh, we all have plans to make this year better than the ones that came before it. As is the case with the “new school year resolution”’s more official cousin, the New Year’s resolution, these plans tend to fade into the background when reality kicks in, but it can’t hurt to hope for the best. Here are a few resolutions that I have been mulling over during the fading days of summer:
1. Don’t procrastinate
This first resolution is probably applicable to the greater half of the earth’s human population, but when it comes to college, everyone loves to procrastinate–or, at the very least, hates to love it. At the beginning of the quarter the procrastination process starts with deceivingly trivial decisions. We say, “I’ll save that one-paragraph post for tomorrow,” or “I’ll start researching topics for that essay next week,” until a million and one small things have stacked and multiplied until you are absolutely drowning in stuff to do. At this point, we have the option to begin untangling the great web of procrastinated projects and getting life back to a functioning level, or to take a nap and figure it out later. This seems like a trick question, but the nap option is never the right answer, though it is undoubtedly the one we’ll pick in our hour of need. That being said, I am vowing to get things done early and avoid a mid-quarter life explosion.
2. Decompress (while also getting other stuff done)
Life has this nasty habit of getting ridiculously busy, and we often neglect to take time to decompress, kick back, and take a breath. When things get stressful, decompression time turns into watching mind numbing “Jersey Shore” or “Honey Boo Boo”-esque shows, drowning our sorrows in the endless supply of stupid cat videos on Youtube, or staring at the wall thinking of all the things we really don’t want to do until we fall into a procrastination induced coma. While these are all somewhat acceptable forms of relaxing, I’m hoping to find less life wasting ways to chill my brain in between work and class, and by that I mean do something constructive. Personally, I find that going on a nice little jog (or walk if I’m not feeling exceptionally hard core) is a nice way to clear my head of school things for an hour or so. My absolute favorite way to decompress, though, is to get to a dance class. You really can’t beat enjoying some quality music and literally dancing the stress away. The plus side of this is gaining more energy to get home and finish that nagging assignment and feeling more accomplished than we would with an alternative such as scrolling through artsy Tumblr posts for three hours.
3. Step away from the In-n-Out
Living and working and studying in the well-stocked pantry that is UCI, we are surrounded by a sturdy supply of yummy restaurants and food choices; however, when I walk out of class at 4:50 and head to the student center parking structure to call it a day, there is one exceptionally tantalizing scent that hangs on the ever-present Irvine breeze. Not the smell of the lovely Cha for Tea, or that vegan place, Veggie Grill. Nope, it’s In-n-Out—vegetable-oil-drenched french fry Double Double goodness. The point is, when we get hungry, the crossed palms across the street, Taco Bell, or Wendy’s are often where we head to get a quick bite, rather than the perfectly delicious Quiznos or Jamba juice that are literally yards away. Which brings me to my third resolution: eat the healthy on campus so that when New Year’s rolls around, I can leave “Fit into something other than my comfortable yet delightfully swag-tastic UC Irvine sweatpants” off the list. That being said, the occasional trip to the delicious land of In-n-Out is not a bad thing. I don’t know about you, but I need to get my well-done-fries-with-a-Neopolitan-shake on every once in a while to keep my sanity.
4. Enjoy campus life
When my day gets busy, I tend to get lost in my own head as I cruise around campus. The result: I usually keep my head down and fail to take in all of the fun hustle and bustle of campus life, not to mention meet any of the nice people around town. This is probably largely in part to the fact that when I get lost in thought, I tend to get my bitch face on and few people will venture to bother me at that point. Therein lies the problem, the unwelcoming face is an illusion. I would never be bothered by someone going out of their way to say, “Hello” or even “You’re taking forever at the ATM,” but my hurried mannerisms send a different message. This is a phenomenon I notice every day, not just at UCI, but out in the general public. Genuinely nice, (probably) normal people get so caught up with running through their busy lives that they forget to stop and look around every once in a while. That being said, I hope to get my face out of my books for a few minutes each day and enjoy life around UCI, because in case you haven’t noticed, it’s a pretty nice campus. In the words of a certain wise and fictional Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”