Be productive. Find a point to pointlessness. And fool around a bit.
These are teasers from a few of the tips offered recently by student journalists. As fall semester and the calendar year come to a close, editors and columnists at campus newspapers nationwide have been earnestly reflecting on lessons learned, experiences undertaken, and dreams that lay ahead. In some cases, their reflections double as de facto New Year’s resolutions for their student peers to consider.
Below is a sampling of these resolutions, all of them appearing this month or late last month within student newspaper columns and op-eds.
Be productive over break.
As The Minnesota Daily editorial board at the University of Minnesota advises, “[W]hile break is certainly a good time for well-deserved rest, it’s also important to take advantage of our free time and use it productively. Spending some time looking for scholarships, applying for jobs or internships, polishing résumés, and planning out the rest of the year are important tasks that most of us will eventually have to complete. Therefore, over break, we might as well get them done before homework, exams, and those pestering online quizzes overly burden us.”
Enjoy being pointless every once in a while.
As Duke University junior Lillie Reid argues in The Duke Chronicle, “I’m not saying that having goals and working to attain them is bad. Caring about things and working to do well are possibly the most important attributes of a successful person. The problem arises when we take it too far—when everything has to have a goal-directed point. When we get so caught up getting what we want that we lose sight of ourselves. . . . Don’t take yourself too seriously. Just because something doesn’t directly contribute to achieving a goal, it doesn’t mean that it’s not worth doing. There is a point to pointlessness.”
Brace for change.
As Christopher Witten writes in The Daily Helmsman about his own experiences at the University of Memphis, “[T]here’s one thing I wish I had known when I was a freshman, or more so just been aware of: everything was going to change– my group of friends, my attitude towards college and even my major (a few times), and most of all the university. The school I feared for so long would become my home. So take it from someone who’s done this a time or two: brace for change.”
Cornell University senior Katerina Athanasiou agrees with Witten, noting in The Cornell Daily Sun, “College is a nomadic time. Every six to ten months, we pack up our things to relocate, whether it be from Ithaca to home, or to a new apartment just a few blocks away, or to another hemisphere for a semester. We are in constant motion. We are always moving in to new places and acquiring stuff to make them homes. This might be the ideal time to reconsider what you own and what you actually need.”
Fool around a little bit.
As Florida State University student Samantha Husted tells underclassmen especially in the FSView & Florida Flambeau, “Your sophomore and freshmen years are a time when you’re supposed to fool around a little bit. Go-out-to-that-party-even-though-you-have-a-test-the-next-morning kind of thing. There’s a lot of room for mistakes and it’s the time when you’re allowed to make a few rash decisions. You’re even allotted a few embarrassing moments that you may or may not regret but will most likely turn into a funny story 20 years from now. It’s during this time that you’re supposed to get not all, but a lot of that craziness out of your semester before you have to face your junior and senior year.”
Believe in yourself.
As University of Arkansas senior Saba Naseem writes in The Arkansas Traveler, “Keep your head up and hold on to your dreams. Giving up is the ultimate failure. You won’t achieve anything that way. I’ve realized that perhaps I won’t achieve my goals the way I planned, but there are other avenues, and perhaps this is an opportunity for me to explore those. There is something out there for everybody. It’s just a matter of determination, of patience and believing in yourself.”
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