6 New Year’s Resolutions For College Students – and How to Make Them Stick

Staff Writer
May 3, 2022

Making a New Year’s resolution is easy. Sticking to it is much harder. Here are some common New Year’s resolutions for college students, and tips on how to make them stick.

Study harder. It’s no mystery why this is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions for college students. Better study habits lead to better outcomes. We’ve posted a few blogs that will help you with your study mechanics (try this one and this one), but consistently putting these mechanics into practice requires the formation of habits. To make habits stick, you must commit to them for at least three to four weeks (studies often cite thirty days). Start simple and make it daily. If you only study sporadically, it’ll be much more difficult to form the habit.

Perfect attendance. For many college students, perfect attendance is like a unicorn. You’ve heard of its existence, it sounds amazing, but you’re pretty convinced it’s a myth. The truth is, the practical benefit of attending every class is worth the effort it takes to make it happen. You can’t control unexpected events in your life, but you can better prepare for them. Take care of yourself to avoid sickness. Plan on showing up to campus a little earlier just in case you have car troubles. It’s not the most glamorous of New Year’s resolutions, but it’s one worth pursuing.

Get more sleep. We don’t need to debate the merit of being well-rested. As a college student, your commitments often keep you from achieving that perfect eight hours of sleep. One way to combat this is by structuring your sleep the same way you structure important events in your life – budget and plan for it! Try studying earlier. Stay away from computer, tablet, and phone screens prior to hitting the hay.

Finish assignments at least one day in advance. Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing something. It’s the decision to do something impulsive (often instant gratification) instead of sticking to a plan. To finish assignments early is the most noble of all New Year’s resolutions for college students. Here’s how you make it happen:

  • Start by writing down when your assignments are due. Make your due date one day earlier.
  • Tell at least three people you are completing your assignment a day early. This way, whenever you see them, they’ll be likely to inquire about your progress.
  • Break completing the assignment into small, manageable steps. Sometimes we procrastinate because the work seems overwhelming. Small chunks of work are more manageable.
  • Eliminate procrastination enablers. This includes and is not limited to Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, television, jump ropes (if you’re in to that), etc.

Make healthy choices. These types of resolutions rarely pan out because they aren’t specific enough. Being specific with your formula will help your resolution stick. For instance, if you want to get in better shape, your formula may look like this:

“I want to lose [blank] pounds by [date]. I will achieve this by getting [blank] minutes of exercise [blank] times per week. I will also get [blank] number of servings of fruit, vegetables, and whole foods per day.”

Being specific makes all the difference in the world.

Have a 5-year plan. You’re likely going to college to achieve a specific outcome (like becoming a Registered Nurse). What you do post-college should be about achieving specific outcomes as well. In essence, having a 5-year plan is similar to having an extended New Year’s resolution. Like all resolutions, be specific about what you want. Write it down. Tell other people about it. Five years is far enough in the future where you can start laying groundwork towards achieving your long-term goals. The best way to stick with it is to revisit your goals often. These should be regularly-scheduled times to determine if the steps you’re taking to achieve your goals are working or need to be adjusted.

Are we missing your New Year’s resolution? Post on our Facebook page with your resolution and we’ll help brainstorm ways to make it stick. We wish you a happy and prosperous New Year! #ATCpride