By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
It’s unanimous: 2020-2021 was one tough year for everyone. Here is how you can make the 2021-2022 school year the best one yet.
• Dig into your studies. Your academic life is more than just about grades. Try to glean as much as you can from your classes, projects and tests while you gear up for your future career.
• Get involved on campus. Joining in clubs, groups and projects among classmates is part of the collegiate experience. Participate with people who think similarly and some whose thinking and interests are entirely new to you. You may discover you like things you had never imagined.
• Serve others. In addition to joining clubs that are fun, can you help make your college a better place? Could you serve in a group that benefits your college town? These opportunities can help you grow as a person and show you can work with people and communicate well.
• Get to know your roommates. College brings together all sorts of people. As you get to know your roommates, learn about their backgrounds and interests. It can be an authentic glimpse into a part of the world which you would otherwise not understand.
• Network. In addition to involvement, get to know other students in your dorm, classes and campus. Maybe you will make lifelong friendships that will enrich your life and career. Networking should include faculty. By following them on social media, getting to know them a little and asking for career and college advice, you can make connections that can help your future employability.
• Get off campus, too. See what your college’s town offers for culture, entertainment and fun. Learn about the businesses and organizations nearby.
• Deck out your room. Making your part of the dorm room reflect you, whether you want a cozy nest, fun place to de-stress or another theme. In addition to making the space more appealing to you, decorating your spot also helps other people learn about you. It is a great conversation starter.
• Keep your family up to date. Use whatever means your family prefers and stay in touch with them—often. In addition to making a nice gesture, maintaining this connection to the folks and friends at home can really help you during tough times when you need support. Even during busy weeks, a quick text or post goes a long way to staying emotionally close while you’re far apart. If you commute from home, open up about your college experience so friends and family know how best to support you.
• Maintain balance. Say “yes” when you can but try to strike a balance between staying engaged but not too busy. Down time for rest, relaxation and de-stressing is vital to your wellbeing.
• Take care of your health. Eating a balanced diet, exercising 150 minutes a week, sleeping seven to nine hours a night and avoiding drugs, tobacco and alcohol are important for your health. Do right by your body to stay healthy.
• Stay positive. Regardless of what happens around you, focus on feeling thankful for what is good. Try to be as helpful and encouraging as you can to others. Positivity fosters more positivity.