I’ve always loved resolutions. But of course, like most people, my resolutions are usually long gone by February 1st.
This year feels different. Since my birthday is December 30th, a new calendar year also means a new age, and this year I turned 22. And for some reason, 22 feels significant. It’s the first time I’ve felt like my age truly makes me old. (I know, I know.)
Though 22 may seem extremely young to a lot of people, I remember thinking just how old 22 seemed when I was younger. So now that I’ve hit that number myself, it’s strange. Terms like 401k and renter’s insurance actually seem like things I should be concerned about now. Weird.
Despite these feelings, I realize I’m still young enough to have limited responsibilities and the energy to go on plenty of adventures. I’m balancing a strange precipice in my life: having fun and setting myself up for the future. And resolutions help me maintain that balance.
Even more than that, though, is the fact that this is the year I graduate from Bentley University.
I’ve spent so much of my life thinking about college—whether it was watching TV shows about college students, studying for the SATs or actually attending classes at Bentley. Everything leading up to this moment was in preparation for this moment.
That’s why resolutions are so important to me this year. I have just about four months left of college and want to use this time to best prepare myself for life after school—wherever that may be.
These are my five resolutions for my last semester at Bentley University, but really, they’re resolutions I wish I made going into my freshman year! And this year, they’ll last beyond February 1st. (I hope.)
1. Don’t Stress Over Grades
It’s taken me nearly four years to realize: no one cares about your college GPA.
Yes, there are some programs and graduate degrees that have minimum requirements, but in general, it’s not that important. What matters most in the long-term are the skills and critical thinking you gain while in school.
For me, that includes taking every opportunity to improve my writing (like writing for this blog!), doing hands-on marketing projects in class, and even seeking learning opportunities outside the classroom, such as the HubSpot Inbound Marketing certification that I earned over winter break.
Rather than think about how to get a 4.0, I want to redirect my focus to think about how to gain the most skills for my future.
2. Focus on My Overall Health: Physical, Mental and Social
At the Massachusetts Conference for Women (which I wrote about in an earlier blog post), speaker Jennifer Lea said something that really resonated with me: “self-care isn’t vanity, it’s sanity.”
I’ve always had the mindset that it’s better to be crazy busy and exhausted than to take a break. But I need to accept the fact that running myself into the ground simply doesn’t work.
I’d agree to an 11pm meeting one day and go to work at 7am the next. I’d offer to cover someone’s shift and forfeit dinner. I’d skip the gym repeatedly because I was obsessed over getting a 4.0. (Another reason why resolution #1 is important!)
This semester, I’m putting myself first—and not feeling guilty about it.
3. Make Time for Friends
This is the “social” part of resolution #2, but important enough to deserve its own category.
I live off-campus, so for me this one isn’t as simple as walking down the hall to visit someone. But still, this is the last time all my friends will live in the same place. I’m moving away from Boston after graduation, so soon a visit will involve a plane ride, not just a 10-minute drive!
It’s easy to cancel a lunch with a friend because you didn’t finish a project or because work ran late. But this semester, I’m going to prioritize my friends. And when I’m with them, I’m putting the phone away. No more reading emails while half-listening!
4. Form Lasting Connections with Staff and Faculty Members
The faculty and staff at Bentley truly care about your success, and it shows in the amount of time they’re willing to put in to explain a difficult subject or listen to you gripe about your confusion over the future. (My boss is particularly good at the latter—thanks Joy!)
They’re also extremely intelligent. Every time I leave a professor’s office, I’m have new ideas on how to tackle problems in school work and in life. These people are my best mentors, and I need to soak up all I can learn from them now.
But I don’t want this to end on May 21st. I need to make an effort to stay in touch once I leave, whether by LinkedIn, emails or even stopping by to visit campus and say hi.
5. Enjoy Waltham and Boston
Moving off-campus helped solidify my love for Waltham. Now that I live right by Moody Street (home to some of the best restaurants around), I’m starting to take the time to explore.
The famous Charles River runs right through Waltham, offering great scenery for walks. Lizzy’s Ice Cream is a must. And I’d take a movie at the local theater over one at a crowded, impersonal theater any day.
But I also can’t forget Boston! Growing up in southern New Hampshire, I always sort of took the city for granted. Now that I’ll soon be moving away, though, I have a renewed fondness for it. And with Bentley’s free daily shuttle to Harvard Square, I really have no excuse not to visit more often.
I’ve explored much of Boston over my lifetime, but there’s always more to see. Red Sox games, trips to Faneuil Hall, ice skating on Frog Pond: I want to do it all!
I hope you consider some of these resolutions for yourself, regardless of what graduating year you are or where you are in life!