Reflecting on Your New Year Resolutions

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Every year millions of people make resolutions. In the beginning of the year, there are countless “new year – new me” posts. To go along with those posts are the “new year – new me” memes. One of the most popular resolutions might be to go to the gym and eat healthier and an overwhelming number of people fail at their resolutions, hence the memes. Although resolutions are made in good faith, people just get lazy and by the first week or two they have given up.  I partnered up with Simonti to write about our resolutions.

NYEMeme7There are so many students on campus who are having problems dealing with transitions and certain parts of college life. Since I am a junior now, I have pretty much experienced a lot of the things the newer students are facing. This is why I decided to write about the resolutions I have made with problems I have faced. With these blogs in front of them, the newer students will have stepping stone for their problems. They will have a good idea on how they can go about reaching their resolutions. There are a couple of blogs I think apply to many students. My first blog, where I wrote about entering the freshman year was one of them. I know firsthand how hard the transition of going from high school to college can hit you. They are two very different environments. My second blog was about the typical new year new me resolution but many of us here at UAlbany can relate to it because, for many of us, it is our first year living on our own. It is difficult at first to manage your time with so many things going on around you. My fifth blog about being social will apply to many university students as well, especially the commuter and transfer students. It is hard being in a school with over 17,000 students and barely knowing anyone. The thing I was most afraid of when I was trying to be social was trying not to make a fool of myself. The things you think will make you look like a fool in most cases actually will not.

While working with Simonti this semester, I realized that there are so many different goals people want to achieve. Although the word resolution may have the same definition to everyone, resolution has many meanings. Some of my resolutions may be completely different than Simonti’s. We both have goals we are working toward. Even though resolutions get made fun of a lot, if you are serious about achieving something and are determined, you will, very likely, be able to reach it. You may even fail a few times. It may not be easy, but you have to stay persistent to reach your goals. We should all be respectful of one another’s resolutions no matter how silly we may think they are.  No matter what problems you may be facing, you are not alone in your struggles. There are many other people going through the same thing and helping each other will help us get through it with less stress. I hope all of you readers were able to take something away from my blog and I hope it helped you in some way, whether you were going through the same thing as me and needed guidance, or maybe you were motivated by my blogs to start your own resolution.  – Anik Paul


simonti end picIt is hard to make a resolution and even harder to share it. There is a lot of judgement on social media. Android users bash iPhone users and vice versa. Older generations mock millennials and then, there is the famous “new year’s new me.”

Although some people have the grand idea of changing themselves completely overnight, I think that deciding that there are aspects one wants to address in themselves is a courageous first step to self-improvement and it is nothing to ridicule, big or small. Admitting to yourself that there are things to change is a big step forward, with or without a plan and it is never anything to be ashamed about.

Starting this project I never realized how many “New Year’s resolutions” I set for myself in the past or how many things there are I still want to improve. The big and little goals in my life ended up really shaping who I am today. They made me stronger, more reasonable, and open minded.

Reading our “resolutionary” blogs throughout the semester, I thought it was interesting to see some of the things Anik worked on and some of the things that he still plans to work on. Some are different from my resolutions and others are quite similar. I really was not expecting to see any of them because he always seems to have it together. This just comes to show that there are so many of us who are working on ourselves. We may seem to be just fine and perfect, but everyone is working, in some way, to improve something or reach a certain goal.

Being someone that is lucky enough to live through the transition between dinosaur computers, to iPad and Nokia phones, to smartphones with the internet readily available with a few touches of a screen, the internet, specifically social media, has shaped and changed the way I think and live my life. Growing up before social media was this big thing we spent half our lives on, I remember not being a judgmental person or holding impressions on people by any means. But then from high school and onward, starting with Facebook and then into Snapchat and Instagram, I noticed myself and the people around me becoming more and more judgmental and making wrong conclusions about others. Noticing this through the semester, while reading Anik’s blogs and being a little taken back that he wasn’t always confident and put together as I thought he’d always been, has made me realize that drawing conclusions based on bits and pieces of information shared on social media really is not fair. It made me realize that everyone is on their own path to self-improvement whether they want to try dong it overnight or over a lifetime and that it’s no one’s place to judge. So this is my resolution for 2018, to keep an open mind about everyone and everything.

Being curious, patient and kind to the people around us really doesn’t hurt anyone, in fact it’s something we need a little more in today’s fast growing environment. Through this project I was able to take a step back and realize that I grew a tremendous amount through the years because of the people I have met on my path, the obstacles I had to overcome, and luck that made me grateful. I hope that everyone who reads this is able to take something out of our project, and hopefully set a resolution, even if it is something really small, because it is also the small things in life that make a big impact over the years.

This is us, just two kids and fellow students that wish you a very Happy New Year full of success and joy. Now go and be resolutionary. – Simonti Banik


Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Advisement Services Center. These are their stories and their voices.
About the Authors:

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Simonti B.
Class of 2019
Majors: Biology and English
Past Blog Theme:
Writing My Own Chapter

Current Theme:
Resolutionary

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Anik Paul
Class of 2019
Major: Economics
Minor: Business Administration
Blog Theme:
Resolutionary
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The Other Part of Time Management

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A large part of being a student is not being a student.

I remember storming through Spring semester. When it came time for summer, I really had no clue what to do. It kind of felt like I forgot who I was and everything I did on my free time because I was so wired up to work like a machine. I remember going to the library and reading books nonstop for a couple of weeks because I had a strong feeling that I needed to keep working and I felt guilty when I was not doing anything, even though there was absolutely nothing to do.

Being a student in college calls for amazing time management skills and endless hours of actively studying and working to succeed, but it also calls for breaks, which is something we usually neglect to do while the semester is in session.

Breaks are great to prevent semester burn outs. Now that I am in my junior year, I have realized a pattern that I have been following: For fall semesters, coming back from months of doing absolutely nothing, I usually stay on my toes until midterm point and begin to burn out right before because I get exhausted, causing me to do terrible on midterms and then spend the rest of the semester stressing and trying to get back on track by overworking. This usually ends horribly. Spring semesters, I usually start off slow because I am exhausted from my previous semester’s shenanigans, which helps me regulate breaks for myself right from the beginning so that I can easily prevent the mid semester burnout.

Taking breaks and knowing when to take them are a powerful tools for your academic achievements. These breaks also help you to remember who you are, while striving to be an A grade machine. It takes me forever to remember who I am all over again after spring semesters because I spend so much time away from being myself or when there is time I am usually too exhausted to do anything.

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Spring 2016 Tabling – Now This Poster is FILLED!

Even though it sounds really easy to take a break, figuring out when to take a break when there is barely any time to finish work as is is really tricky. A lot of my free time ends up being wasted lying in bed before school dreading to start my day; falling asleep in the Science library, while trying to get work done between my classes; or laying down, after school, unable to move from the exhaustion.

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In my last blog post, I talked about time management, mostly in the sense of not procrastinating and getting work done efficiently, but there is a great deal of time management that goes behind taking breaks. To allow myself to take breaks, I need to finish all of the work I have planned for that day or for the week, so that I do not ruin my “break day” by stressing our about work I still have to get done. Setting myself up to look forward to things is a technique I use to make myself finish my work faster, instead of moping around. The thought of working hard now and being able to relax later at a set date for an event always makes me work a ton more efficiently.

Breaks are not something I am good at managing. Sometimes I am really good with self-control, and allowing myself to get back to work after a day or two of stepping away from school work, but sometimes I do not get back to the world of homework and studying. This sometimes results in me not taking breaks at all for a couple of months, in order to catch up. Doesn’t that sound stressful.

Figuring out how to balance a social life, school, sleep and pretty much everything is something I have been trying to do since starting college. Sure I have improved a lot, and I do not end my semesters scarred for life and hating myself anymore. Still, I could really improve my efficiency by a ton, if I keep trying to figure out what is not working for me. This is something I strive to continue doing. I am getting better and better.


Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Advisement Services Center. These are their stories and their voices.
About the Author:

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Simonti B.
Class of 2019
Majors: Biology and English
Past Blog Theme:
Writing My Own Chapter

Current Theme:
Resolutionary

Working Resolutions

Some have mixed feelings for work. Certain people love what they do, and then there are others who work just to survive.  Growing up I would observe my parents going to work and coming back home. All I knew was that they went to work for a few hours, and then came back home. I did not realize the actual meaning of work, so I just brushed it off.  I took their work for granted.

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My parents would try their best to get me whatever I wanted, from my favorite foods to toys. We moved to Albany, from Queens, when I was almost 11 years old. My dad had a new job up here which required a lot of overtime, so sometimes he would go to work for 2 days straight. There were times where I only saw my dad once or twice a week. A few years went by, and now I was almost 14. One night I was having a hard time falling asleep. I was thinking about my day, my actions that day, and things that have been going on around me recently. I started to think about how I do not see my dad as much, ever since he started his new job. That is when it hit me. He was working so hard to give my brother and I as much as he could. Since I was going to turn 14 that summer, I was going to be old enough to work.  I made a resolution that I would work so I would not have to keep asking my parents for money when I wanted to go places with my friends. I got my working papers and I worked for the next three summers. I did not make a lot of money, but I made enough to cover some of my expenses.

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Once I turned 16, I was able to work when school was not in session so I started looking for a weekend job. I was a minor with minimal work experience so that was the largest obstacle I had to overcome. There were many more qualified applicants, so almost every place that I had applied to did not call me back, or said they would but never did. I was starting to get frustrated but I knew eventually one of these places would hire me and once I was in, it would be much easier for me to get other jobs. There was a toy store in a plaza near my home. My mom worked at a bank in the same plaza. She learned that they were hiring people for the Christmas season. Although it was a seasonal position, I thought that, at least, it was something for now, so I went and applied. I got an on-the-spot interview and I was hired within a week. I finally got a job to work on the weekends and breaks. As the Christmas season was ending the manager decided to keep me. This made me ecstatic. I finally had a steady weekend job. Since they were a small shop, they were not able to give me many hours, but it was okay since school was still in session. I worked there throughout high school. The summer, before college I decided to take up a second job instead of sitting around all summer. This time around, the job search was easier and I was able to find a job within 2 weeks.

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I still work two jobs and go to school full time. I often am asked how I work two jobs,  go to school full-time, and maintain good grades. It is all about timing. If you waste less time and get stuff done, you will be just fine. There is also the motivation to work and cover my own expenses so my parents have one less thing to worry about. I was able to achieve this resolution, even though it took a few years to achieve. Things are not always easy but you have to keep trying. That’s the only way to succeed and also how I fulfilled my resolution.


Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Advisement Services Center. These are their stories and their voices.
Meet the Author

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Anik Paul
Class of 2019
Major: Economics
Minor: Business Administration
Blog Theme:
Resolutionary

Time

“Working on time management was not a choice I had,
it was something I had to do to survive college.”

It is 9 p.m. on a Tuesday and I just got home. It was a long day of four, back-to-back, tedious, and complicated classes. There are two chapters and a lecture slide to review for developmental biology, an essay to write about psychoanalysis, a difficult reading from Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography for American literature, an essay and notes to review for history, a lab to read over and prepare for, and another essay to write for my contemporary writers class. So what do I do first? I spend an hour showering and then another hour eating, and then waste some more time prepping to sit down and study.

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I remember listening to my senior year AP Biology teacher stress us about time management, and the whole time I thought it would never be a problem I would have. During my freshmen year of college, my non-problem hit me like a truck, just like she said it would.

Time management is something I never had trouble with before college. In high school, and before that, I always kept myself on a cycle of getting home, doing my homework, and then doing whatever I wanted until bedtime. Coming into college, the workload amplifies, and suddenly the responsibility of life and just being older and having less energy, makes it more difficult to maintain a steady schedule. Even though I don’t procrastinate like some students around me do, I still do not get most things done as efficiently as I could.

Reflecting back to freshman year, I remember grabbing random assignments and getting them done, but, from time to time, forgetting an assignment or simply, missing a  deadline which really put a dent in my grades. I had to get into the habit of writing down assignments and when they were due, and making sure to reference my list of to-dos from time to time, so I never left an assignment undone, even if it had to be finished in a rush.

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Peer Advisor Diane caught planning out her semester with color coded pens. It works!

One method that I have been using since last semester, which I believe helped me to get a stream of As, is to make a chart with the days of the week and filling out which assignment I should do on what day, corresponding with the amount of time I would have to do school work. When I first started doing this I remember filling out the first few days of the week with a ton of work and nothing for the rest of the week. The problems with this, was that I would either be overloading myself with work, even though I had ample amount of time to get stuff done, if I spaced them out. Also, if I did not get everything that I wanted to get done for the day, I would feel really discouraged and keep working until they were done, which resulted in minimal to no sleep on some nights. Although I do not have those issues every week anymore because I space out my work accordingly, on busier weeks, I find myself getting barely any sleep.

Working on time management was not a choice I had, it was something I had to do to survive college. Time management was not something I could make a resolution about because it had to be put into effect immediately, to try new methods week-by-week to find what fits me and my work habits the best.  I am still perfecting my way of managing what to do and when to do it. Even though my way does not work out every week, I am better than I was before and I can work with that.


Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Advisement Services Center. These are their stories and their voices.
About the Author:

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Simonti B.
Class of 2019
Majors: Biology and English
Past Blog Theme:
Writing My Own Chapter

Current Theme:
Resolutionary

Social Resolutions

Have you ever seen a person you know from school in public and tried your best to avoid them so you do not have to greet them and make conversation with them? That was me from middle school until the beginning of 12th grade. I hated social situations. I preferred being in smaller groups of people I knew. Being in a social situation would make me very anxious and extremely fidgety. I would not know what to do with myself. When I was in a large group, I was afraid people would judge me. I would ask myself the same set of random questions in my head every time I was around a lot of people. “Is there something in my teeth?” “Is there a stain on my clothes?” “Does my breath smell okay?” Continue reading “Social Resolutions”

Musical Distractions

music-581732_960_720.jpgMany people are heavily music dependent and for all the right reasons. Music fills the void of silence when doing the most mundane tasks, like homework, working out, or going to a party you really had no intention of going to. The first “English” song I ever heard was Katy Perry’s “Hot and Cold” from a friend in the 6th grade. One song turned into an ipod, stored to the brim, with music that I listened to nonstop that summer, during my trip to India. This would continue on through the 7th grade and so on. Over the years, my musical tastes changed from Katy Perry-like sounds to a wide range of genres.

Music has always found a way to make me feel more excited about doing whatever it was I had to do. It made my life more colorful. There are certain songs, in which, I have a period of my life stored. This is something no picture or book has ever been able to do. I have been the type of person that always needed a song playing in the background, anything, just to avoid having to be without a tune. But there was a problem…

Although music was something I used to escape, it was very distracting to me when I listened to music while doing homework, working on projects or doing anything that needed my full attention. For many years I shrugged it off and told myself that I was one of those people that “concentrate better with music,” but during my freshman year of college and seriously struggling with my grades I decided that I needed to stop lying to myself. In 2016, New Year’s night, I decided to give myself a whole year to work on being able to concentrate without musical “help.” Although it may sound silly, it was so hard for me to even find the motivation to do homework or study without music… so I didn’t. After years of having something distract me in the background, suddenly changing and forcing myself to use all my concentration on one task was not settling well at all in the beginning. I found myself studying for a few minutes and then taking an hour long break, or constantly fidgeting with something to keep the other half of me distracted like music did.

After a month of watching my grades deteriorate, I decided to cut off listening to anything for good unless it was playing at a store or somewhere I had no control over it playing. It took me nearly half a year to get used to focusing or finding motivation to do anything that was related to me using my brain, without tunes, but then things started to pick up rapidly. I began to memorize more, concentrate more, and finish whatever task I had to do in nearly half or a fraction of the time. After a year of working on my goal, I was able to successfully separate my academic life from music, and still let myself enjoy music when I was not studying. This resolution has been my only real, “stereotypical,” one-year-long resolution. I gave myself a set amount of time to work on something that really needed improvement, and it worked really well.


Listen to The Myth of Multitasking on NPR


Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Advisement Services Center. These are their stories and their voices.
About the Author:

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Simonti B.
Class of 2019
Majors: Biology and English
Past Blog Theme:
Writing My Own Chapter

Current Theme:
Resolutionary

 

Embracing My Culture

Holi Image © Jorge Royan / http://www.royan.com.ar
Image from © Jorge Royan / http://www.royan.com.ar

Growing up, I was always, in a way ashamed, of my culture because of the ridiculous stereotypes that came along with being south-Asian, so I never really wanted anything to do with being south-Asian. I remember my parents always trying to force me into listening to Hindi and Bengali music or fit me into traditional attire and I was having none of it. They would be so angry, that I was trying “so hard to become American”. Although they never understood that it was not because I wanted to become “American,” but rather, it was because I did not want anything to do with the stereotypes. To me, Hindi music was always something foreign because of the very different instruments and rhythm used. Not knowing Hindi was also a major setback because I had no idea what the singers were singing about. My parents used to play the core Bollywood classics like “Kal Ho Naa Ho” or “Tujhe Dekha Toh Yeh Jana Sanam” to the point where I have the words engraved in my brain but I have no idea what they meant. Continue reading “Embracing My Culture”

Cha Cha Changes

 


If adaptability is key to human evolution, I am surprised I made it this far.

I seemed to have always had an issue with adapting to my surroundings or change. Either I never fully adapt or it takes me forever to successfully adjust. In fact, my Project MyStory blog from last year was all about my time adapting to moving out of Queens, New York to Albany, New York the summer before freshman year. It is incredible how much I let that transition affect my mental and physical health, which then, affected my academic performance tremendously. Since finishing that semester and since completing my blogs, I made a little mental note to myself to figure out what works and does not, in order to help face newness without fear.  And in case you were wondering, I would not say that I am fully adapted to living in Albany yet, even though I have been here for almost three years. Continue reading “Cha Cha Changes”