The Daily Illini

New semester, new you

Students use the elliptical machines at CRCE. CRCE is just one of many workout options on campus.

Students use the elliptical machines at CRCE. CRCE is just one of many workout options on campus.

The Daily Illini File Photo

The Daily Illini File Photo

Students use the elliptical machines at CRCE. CRCE is just one of many workout options on campus.

By Julie Kang, Staff Writer

With 2018 approaching quickly and my first semester of college coming to an end, I am focused on two things: finishing the semester strong and setting new goals for the next. 

For freshmen, this has been a year of change and adjustment. Regardless of whether this semester went by smoothly for you, there are definitely ways to improve your second semester. Here are some of my personal New Year’s resolutions to make the next semester more successful.


Start studying a week in advance.

Rather than cramming information into my head one or two days before the test, studying the same amount but over a longer period of time will be less overwhelming and will help me study the material more thoroughly. Most of my classes have midterms and final exams that weigh heavily onto the final grade, making it more important for me to do well on these tests. Beginning to study a week before the test will help me improve my grades greatly.


Do not procrastinate.

Self-control is one way to avoid procrastination. I’m planning on rewarding myself with one episode of my favorite Netflix show after I finish a chapter in my textbook or buying a coffee to motivate myself. I will try to avoid procrastinating by turning off my phone and using the SelfControl app, which restricts me from accessing certain websites for a period of time.


Work hard, play hard.

For me, it was important to establish a stable and positive social life during the first semester of my freshman year. I rushed a sorority, hung out with people more than I usually would and participated in many social events. Now that I have my close group of friends, I plan on putting more time into schoolwork and other extracurriculars next semester.


Look into internships or jobs.

College is full of opportunities for students of all years. Building my resume during these four years can be beneficial later on, as it shows experience and dedication. I may not work during the second semester, but I want to begin searching for internships or job opportunities for the summer. 


Set a schedule and stick to it. 

Setting an agenda for both schoolwork and my lifestyle will help me stay organized and focused. During the first semester, I ate, showered, slept and woke up at different times every day. It was different from the routine schedule of high school and home life and it made me more unproductive.


Get to know my college friends on a deeper level.

Although I have made an overwhelming number of friends during my first semester, I want to create friendships that are as strong as those with my high school friends. I plan on grabbing meals, working out or having movie nights in with my friends more often and getting closer to them. This will give me a group of friends that will not only have fun with me but will also be there for me in times of need even after I graduate from college.


Exercise more.

One goal I set for myself before college was to exercise every other day and I told myself that there were no excuses, especially because I live right across from the ARC. Although this plan was successful for the first few weeks, I slowly stopped going because I told myself I “had too much homework” or “was not feeling well.” Next semester, I want to create a more achievable goal by starting off with twice a week, then increasing to three, four and hopefully five times a week later on.


Julie is a freshman in Media.

[email protected]

Leave a Comment