None of us should live with or be ruled by regrets. But if there’s room for anything in a new school year, it’s improvement, which is why it’s best to turn last year’s “should have’s” and “what if’s” into this one’s to-do list.
“I procrastinate a lot,” admits Goucher junior Nomi Glaser, “but this coming year I really want to work on that and try not to leave all my work until the last minute.” This is a good call—bad work ethic is an ideal starting point for improvement and, as Glaser says, “easing back into the rhythm of college life.”
Keep in mind that that rhythm isn’t strictly academic. Rising senior Jared Cohen came to Stony Brook University in a relationship, and it only ended this past semester. “I feel like I missed out on many things I wouldn’t have if I’d been single,” he says. This year, Cohen is eager to get out of his dorm room, expand his social circle and become more involved in campus organizations. Making the next nine months a smoother path comes down to something very basic: there’s no such thing as too much initiative, social or academic.
Ethan Ampel is graduating a year early from New York University, but his closing year will have its share of fine-tunings. “I’m looking to have more patience with myself and others,” he says, “and focus more on my end goal that tiresome tasks lead up to, rather than stressing over the tasks themselves.” Letting that project or paper get you down is just as unhealthy as putting it off, whereas focusing on an end goal keeps you productive.
It’s also good to take advantage of things you may have ignored last year, like your professor’s office hours or weekly TA sessions (neither of which is a waste of your time). Charleston College senior Ellyn Lurey sums it up: “No matter how tough school gets, you just have to keep going on and do what’s best for you, regardless of what others say.” If this is already on your mind, kudos. If it’s not, put it there.
Living with last semester’s imperfections is not a choice. But avoiding them in the future is. These are formative years… Why not use them to make improvements that will resonate?