With a new school year comes a fresh enthusiasm for college and all it entails. Students purchase new planners, get a feel for new courses and set new goals that might differentiate the coming semester from those previous.
Below, we arts and culture writers at The Daily Gamecock share our new school year resolutions with you in hopes that they may inspire our fellow USC students to set their own goals for the coming fall semester.
Darby Hallman: Go to Strom Thurmond more often
As students at USC, each of us has free access to a state-of-the-art exercise facility far superior to the gyms that cost a lot of money for membership. However, despite this free opportunity to stay in shape, many students like myself choose to stay on the couch and eat Cookout instead of going to the Strom Thurmond Wellness and Fitness Center. I am guilty of using the excuse of being busy to escape working out when, in reality, if I can make time to play video games and see new movies around my schedule, I should be able to make time to exercise. So as I go into my junior year, I will make the vow to finally utilize this free opportunity that many would pay good money for — and so should every student. All it takes is getting up a little earlier or getting home a little later, and I could have a much healthier body and generally feel more alert and focused if I utilized this facility. So the next time I let the urge for a Big Double Burger with hush puppies, fries and a Huge Tea overcome me, I will balance it out with some weightlifting or wall climbing.
Hailey Covell: Make connections
Starting off last year as a freshman was intimidating and nerve-wracking. I felt like the new kid on the block, surrounded by a bunch of others who had high expectations of me. Before going off to college, I received so much advice to make connections, make connections, make connections. “It’s all about who you know and what you can learn from them,” my family would tell me. I took that advice to heart, but in all honesty, making those connections was not something I stepped forward and did freshman year. However, I strive to enter sophomore year making a ton of new connections and meeting a whole lot of new people. Whether it’s introducing myself to professors, joining a new club and finding leadership positions or just making new friends, I know each and every connection can bring something fresh and exciting. Making connections is a great way to learn more from others and attain goals that you’ve been aiming toward. Plus, new connections could become life long friends, work buddies and even mentors. After all, it really is all about who you know.
Rachel Pittman: Make time for hobbies
This semester, I would like to keep up with my hobbies, creative interests and “passion projects” more than I did last year. While I was very focused and achieved my goals academically last year at USC, this year I would like to maintain my homework and grades while still allowing time for reading, writing creatively, keeping up with my blog, taking dance classes in ballroom and ballet and keeping up with the embroidery artwork that I like to create. Last year, I felt my creativity reach an all-time low during two semesters of adjusting to a new school, 18-hour class schedules and a hardworking, yet stressfully focused approach to my courses. This year, I would like to carve out some time each week to maintain my hobbies, interests and creative pursuits in the midst of this year’s busy work and school schedule. Together with my classes, social activities, my work at the newspaper and a part-time job, finding time to de-stress with a book or by writing a short story might be difficult. However, allowing myself to spend more time focusing on hobbies than I did last year will not only hopefully increase my skill set and my love of these activities, but will also give me a respite from the pressures of coursework that doesn’t include stress eating.
Grace Batton: Establish professional relationships with instructors
My resolution for this school year is to establish business relationships with my professors. While it’s easy to see your teachers as evil rulers, doling out assignment after assignment, it’s important to actually connect with your teachers and show that you care about learning the subject matter. When I have done this, I’ve really seen the reward — it actually helps me become more interested in what I’m learning and relate to the professor better. Additionally, going out of your way to befriend your professor can help you in the long run, especially if you’re looking for references to put on your resume. And besides all the personally beneficial reasons to make professional relationships with professors, think of how you could be showing that professor that they are making a difference by being a teacher. You could be helping them feel that their teaching and knowledge is not lost on apathetic college kids, giving purpose and encouragement to their chosen profession. This year I resolve to go out of my way to establish professional relationships will all my professors by starting conversations, engaging in the course content, asking questions and writing thank-you notes at the end of each semester.
Sarah Morse: Take advantage of the USC Career Center
As the start of my final year at USC looms nearer and nearer, I have begun to think a lot about how I will choose to spend my remaining time as a Gamecock. With the reality of the adult world on the horizon, my resolution this year is to capitalize on the many services the USC Career Center has to offer. Located on the fifth level of Thomas Cooper Library, the USC Career center provides students with the opportunity to explore different majors, improve their resumes and even prep for interviews. Another service the center provides is job shadowing, which gives students the chance to explore their chosen field by following a professional around for a day. The Career Center is also responsible for hosting many events to aid students in their search for employment. Between the Part-Time Job Fair and Career Fest, the university’s Career Center goes above and beyond to help students in their search for employment. This semester, I will strive to prep for my future by scheduling mock interviews and resume critiques with the Career Center. It is never too early to start planning for the future, and if I could go back in time, I would definitely force myself recognize the Career Center as a vital tool much sooner.
Together with myclasses, social activities, my work at the newspaper and a parttime
job, finding time to destress with a book or with writing a short story may be difficult. However,
allowing myself to spend more time focusing on hobbies than I did last year will not only
hopefully increase my skillset and my love of these activities, but will also give me a res