When it comes down to it, everyone in the world is setting the same New Year’s Resolutions. We all want to lose more weight, be more productive and drop our terrible habits. Like in most things, however, college kids have to be a little more creative in achieving our goals come the new year and new semester. Jump off the lists of commonly pursued New Year’s Resolutions for grown-adults, and take a look at some more realistic options for college students like you.
Here’s what new year resolutions look like for college students.
Normal People: Lose weight
College Students: Only have PB&J and Cheez-its for dinner twice a week
When you’re doing your own grocery shopping, it’s easy to convince yourself that all you have to do is just buy healthier items. But once you’re there, it’s just as easy to talk yourself into buying your favorite unhealthy junk–especially when you take into account the price of buying organic kale vs. your stress-eating needs. Keeping your diet more balanced is certainly doable, but don’t expect to turn yourself into a health guru on a college budget.
Normal People: Spend More Time With Family
College Students: Remember that your family exists more than once a month
It doesn’t matter if you’re across the country for school or just 20 minutes away from home–you’ll reach a point where the stress of school will cause you to forget your parents exist for a solid month. Well, they do, and they miss you. Even a text every Sunday that just says “still alive” would probably be an appreciated sentiment.
Normal People: Exercise More Often
College Students: Don’t take the elevator to the second floor anymore
Every semester is the same—you’re going to go to the gym every day. In fact, you’ve penciled in a time every day for you to go! Great going, Einstein. Except that you forgot the fact that all these classes you’re taking involve homework as well, and you forgot to pencil that into your schedule. The gym is going to be a lost cause for this semester, but as long as you’re taking the stairs, it’s basically like working out. Right?
Normal People: Quit Drinking
College Students: Quit drinking… beer
Why waste your empty calories on cans of Natty Light when you could spend that on a greasy piece of drunken pizza later? Plus, it’s not like this “college classic” aka beer-water even gets you drunk. Binge-drinking college students must learn to economize calories.
Normal People: Get Organized
College Students: Minimize weekly meltdowns
You bought that Lilly Pulitzer planner back in August with some great intentions, but at this point it would be too awkward to start using it in February. If you can make it a week without sobbing over your GPA, love life, hunger, stress and exhaustion, go ahead and start calling yourself a put-together individual. It’s about as good as you’re probably going to get.
Normal People: Travel More
College Students: Travel out of your bedroom more to let your roommates know you’re alive
“Oh, I didn’t even know you were home! Where have you been all weekend?” Here. I’ve been here all weekend. Next semester, you should start keeping your snacks in the kitchen instead of piled up on your desk. That way, your roommates can catch you outside bed once and a while. It’s like a roommate-version of sending your parents that “I’m still alive” text.
Normal People: Read More During Free Time
College Students: Actually read the required reading
Everyone knows the most difficult part of every literature-based humanities course is actually reading the literature. If you find yourself with time to read for fun (or do anything for fun) during your semester, there’s a pretty high chance there’s some mandatory reading you’re blowing off. Try to take care of at least a little bit of it.
Normal People: Watch Less Television
College Students: Stop making Netflix check in to make sure you’re still watching
A walk of shame is nothing compared to the feeling of embarrassment you get during your fourth hour of binge-watching Parks and Rec when Netflix pauses your episode and asks, “Are you still there?” This year, your ultimate resolution is to stop your marathon in advance… or maybe just a minute before the message appears.
Normal People: Fall in Love
College Students: Go on a real date at least once
And no, Netflix and chill does not count. Relationships in college are once in a blue moon in this day and age, so finding true love is setting the bar a little bit high at this point in your life. Try to transcend hookup culture in a new way—with a real-life date.
Normal People: Save Money
College Students: Save money
The only thing college kids have in common with real-world adults is the need to save, save, save. Although it’s hard to overcome your growing take-out food addiction, you need that $15 to help chip away at those growing student loans. Don’t be afraid to treat yo’self, but always remember to consider all purchases carefully—including that $4 daily morning latte.
Just because you’re struggling, starving and stressed doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice setting goals for the new year—you just might need to revise them to make them realistic to reach.
Real Students’ New Year Resolutions
Written by Lizzie Horne, sophomore, journalism, University of Maryland at College Park
At the end of every December, people all over the world evaluate what they have done over the course of the previous year and make resolutions for the coming year. The new year gives everyone the chance to start anew and to try new things. Emphasis on try…
Here are 10 students’ new year resolutions.
“I need to stop losing my cell phone! I just lost another one in a snowstorm and have to get yet another one.” – Ally Marcus, sophomore, University of South Carolina
“I really have to crack down on Facebook time because I spend way too much time doing nothing online. It’s kind of a waste… actually, definitely a waste.” – Roni Teich, freshman, Swarthmore
“I resolve to have a least one foam party in my basement this year. Done.” – Marc Tori, sophomore, Hope College
“I need to become more bossy! I’ve got to stop giving in and start taking control of things.” – Christina, junior, Mary Washington College
“It’s crucial that I try to stop cursing like a sailor. I think people get a little freaked out by my language.” – Nazanin Yousefnejad, sophomore, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
“I would like to learn how to bake. Instead of playing video games over breaks and such, I want to make cakes and pastries.” – Malcolm Foley, sophomore, Washington University in St. Louis
“I know this is kind of weird, but I need to remember to shave my legs more often in the new year.” – Laura Karp, junior, Penn State University
“All I want is to party with pretty girls. Is that too much to ask?” – Russell King, sophomore, Colorado State University
“I vow not to spend all my time on the internet watching clips of Glee. I should spend my time doing more work!” – Rebecca Meyer, freshman, Wesleyan University
“It’s about time that I stop running stop signs. In the new year, I’ll try to come to a full stop.” – Alex Dolan, sophomore, Towson University
*Article updated December 28, 2015 by Lizzie Horne “New Year’s Resolutions.”