For many Americans, the conclusion of the holiday season comes with a balanced mixture of celebration and stress.
After the shopping sprees have ended and the tree has been taken down, the prospects of a new year with new possibilities creeps into the forefront of many people’s minds. Creating realistic New Year’s resolutions can prove to be a daunting task for just about anybody. However, college students are arguably a demographic that may experience this pressure more than others.
The average college student may approach a new semester in a similar manner as one would for setting up resolutions for the New Year. Whether students decide to participate in specific goal planning or not, they still have expectations that need to be met academically.
Health education and outreach coordinator on Auraria, Beth Sandlin, recognizes the types of pressure that students face.
“There are some people who really like to set New Year’s Resolutions and other people really don’t like to set them. Every new semester is an opportunity to set better patterns of behavior to have a more successful semester,” Sandlin said. Visualizing a goal to accomplish is the easy part of the process that comes with resolution planning. Where the challenge begins is making sure that the goal is within the realm of possibility and ensuring that it is tenable and will ultimately result in a healthier lifestyle.
“Along with any change comes a lot of work that people need to put in to ensure the change is sustainable. Whenever anyone wants to start a new goal I always advise them to reflect and see if they have attempted this goal before,” Sandlin said. “Our past attempts however successful (or not) can help us discover what our challenges will be and how we may be able to navigate these obstacles to be more successful this time.”
For students, the pressure to create beneficial academic resolutions are often paired with aspirations to better their personal lives. Added weight like this makes the student population prone to feeling more stress than others. However, it also creates an opportunity to adapt to new changes that may seem uncomfortable at first, but perhaps are better suited for the lifestyle of a student.
“Luckily on this campus there are so many resources ranging from physical fitness pursuits to academic support. All you need to do is tap into these resources to help you stay on track and succeed,” Sandler said.
Whether you’re a student who is eager to meet the new year with some positive changes or content with not setting resolutions at all, it’s important to keep
in mind that you are capable of valuable transformation.
“You are where you need to be to get to where you want to go. As much as we want to fast forward to reach a goal we need to do the work to see results and success,” Sandler said.