How to ring in 2017

Last semester seemed to be an especially tough one for just about everyone on campus as 2016 came to a close. Let’s rebound that ball, take it back under our control and play on our court. Let’s vow to control spring 2017 rather than let it control us.

In addition to election drama, deaths of several loved celebrities, terrorism rearing its ugly head across nations and the loss of Ohio’s favorite gorilla, academics seemed to weigh harder than ever on University students. Add in part-time (or full-time) jobs, student organizations, family and friend commitments and just finding time to eat, the stress levels were high.

This semester, we can do better. Let’s learn from 2016 and ring in 2017 at the University with a bang.

Here’s a list of tips to make this semester 100 times better than last. As cliche as they are, we all need a little reminding sometimes.

1. Don’t overcommit.

If you’re anything like me, you have an overcommitment problem. You know you don’t have to do extra tasks, but you feel guilty if you don’t. So you tend to join every student organization someone invites you to. You may always finish every task by its deadline, but it doesn’t come without extreme procrastination and loads of stress.

Think about your involvement from last semester. Was it too much? What organizations gave you more stress than benefit?

My recommendation is to be in at least one professional development organization (The BG News is a great one, if I can add a shameless plug) and one fun organization. If you think you have time for more than one of each, then join them, but also think about the time commitment every organization requires and evaluate the benefits mental, physical, professional and emotional benefits it has for the present and your future. Make sure the current or future benefits outweigh the stress.

Get involved, but don’t get so involved you end up staring at your ceiling because you have no idea where or how to start the pile of work to do.

2. Take advantage of resources early.

Ever notice how library attendance skyrockets the week or two before exams? Probably not, because most of you only go during that time, so you wouldn’t notice the difference. We frequenters see you part timers.

If you didn’t know, the library doesn’t move and is in the same place all semester, and it’s open until 2 a.m. every week night. Use it as a good, quiet place to get that pile of work done.

Not only can you use the study spaces, but take advantage of the physical books lining the shelves, the online catalog and the Learning Commons employees.

Avoiding procrastination is one of the hardest things to do, but don’t wait around until you’re cramming a week before your midterm or final. Start using the library from day one and make it a habit.

3. Respect each other.

It would be stupid of us to ignore that a lot of the tension in 2016 came from biases and discrimination. I have so much love and pride for and in my classmates at the University, and I think we treated each other better than the nation as a whole.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t be better.

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