It’s customary for people to begin each new year by pledging to make it better than the last. While everyone can and should make their own personal resolutions, Boston College students as a whole have many things in common that makes these 10 resolutions great options for 2014.
1. To turn off our phones more often
I, for one, would not want to live in a world without iPhones. What a scary, confusing world it must have been before they became as ubiquitous as they are today. That being said, excessive use of smartphones can detract from one’s ability to appreciate and enjoy the present. Instead of trying to Instagram a photo of a pretty snowfall, go outside and play in it.
2. To sleep more and better
Like many other BC students, I’m sure, I arrived home too exhausted from finals to do much else for the first two days besides sleep. Occasionally I would leave my bed to walk to the couch, where I’d then take a nap to recover from the arduous journey. Once I finally readjusted, I rediscovered what an amazing thing a regular nights sleep can be. Besides the obvious commitment to averaging a minimum of eight hours, it’s also important to maintain a regular sleep cycle. According to many studies, people who maintain a regular sleep cycle (i.e. going to bed at 11 every night and waking up at seven every morning) are better rested than those whose sleep cycles are erratic. Just imagine how much more pleasant your mornings would be if everyone you encountered was well rested.
3. To keep up with the news
For a generation with constant access to a wealth of news sources, many of us remain under-informed about current events, or have a surface level of understanding at best. While trying to understand the vastly complex and constantly changing world we live in can be daunting, it’s incredibly important. You don’t have to be an expert on everything, but try completely reading at least one in-depth news article each day.
4. To go to an arts performance on campus
Arts performances (plays, concerts, etc.) can be easily overlooked at BC, but it’s worth going to see one. While perhaps not quite as enticing as yet another party in the Mods or a night curled up with Netflix, it’s worth it to break out of your routine and to enjoy some of the talented performers on campus.
5. To take advantage of Boston more
One of the biggest assets of BC is its easy access to all Boston has to offer, but it can be difficult to actually make time to go into the city. That being said, it’s so worth it because Boston is full of amazing food, shopping, museums, people watching, and much more. I think the best way to enjoy Boston is to meet a friend and explore together. It’s good to have a concrete plan of at least one thing to do, but leave some of it open-ended, as you might stumble upon some hidden gems.
6. To reevaluate our commitments
Students at BC juggle a lot: schoolwork, jobs, community service, clubs, friends, roommates, etc. While this commitment is great, a new year and a new semester is a great time to examine what we’re spending our time on. Pick things that you’re passionate about and then throw yourself into them. If you hate your business club and want to join an a capella group instead, do it. Spending your time on something you don’t enjoy just because you think it’s going to get you the perfect job or makes your resume look good is silly. Do what you’re interested in, and the rest will fall into place.
7. To volunteer for something
It can be easy to lose sight of how incredibly blessed we are, but it’s important to remember that we have all been given in our lives this truly beautiful gift – the opportunity to receive a high quality education, to live lives full of hope and opportunity, and to have access to all of the basic things that are so easy to take for granted. At BC, we have an incredible opportunity to help people around the world and in our own city. There are so many different opportunities to volunteer, so pick one. It’s incredibly rewarding to know that a little bit of your time can help someone else immensely.
8. To pick a healthy habit and stick to it
The biggest resolution people make every year is to be healthy. The problem with resolving to overhaul all your habits – dietary, exercise, sleep – at once is that it’s easy to become overwhelmed and give it up altogether. Instead, try picking one simple change (exercising one more day a week, giving up fried food, having healthier snacks) and stick to it. Once you feel secure in that habit, you can add another one.
9. To be kinder to others
Think about the worst day you’ve ever had at school. You fought with your roommate, bombed a test, forgot about a reading that your teacher surprised you with a pop quiz on, and someone was rude to you in line at the Chocolate Bar. It can be so easy to become absorbed in our own lives that we might not even realize that someone else could be having a hard time. So, try to be kind to others as a default. Forgive the person who cuts you in line at Mac, because you don’t know what could be going on in their life. Try putting someone’s clothes in the dryer for them instead of leaving them in a huge, wet pile on top of the washer. Little things can make a big difference in someone’s life.
10. To be kinder to ourselves
College can be really hard. There are times when it can be overwhelming and difficult, so try to cut yourself some slack. Forgive yourself for not getting straight A’s. Don’t beat yourself up over skipping a workout. Mistakes can be a chance to improve and do better next time. No one is perfect, and trying to make yourself that way will only cause frustration and disappointment.
Bonus number 11. Read the Gavel more
Because it's awesome.Photos courtesy of Billy Foshay / Gavel Media