Happy New Year!  It seems not so long ago when we just accustomed ourselves to typing “2011” on our papers and writing it next to our signatures, but before long, 365 days had passed and it’s time to get used to the next number up.  And as always, a new year calls for a new set of resolutions!  Here are my top five:

1.  Plan ahead.  Less last-minute fretting cuts down on stress and minimizes potential for disasters.  In these past few years since the beginning of college, I learned that Google Calendar can be a lifesaver when it comes to keeping track of all your classes, deadlines, meetings and engagements.  Being a college student is challenging enough, and Google Cal can diligently help map out your week, with useful detail fields per event so you won’t forget where everything is.  If you have an Android device, you can even sync your calendars to your phone on the go.

2.  Study at the library more.  There are so many libraries at UCLA brimming with resources that it baffles me whenever someone tells me they have yet to study in one, or don’t like them at all.  My favorites are the popular Powell located in Royce Quad and YRL located in North Campus (no bias there) next to Bunche Hall.  After YRL’s renovation project (so-called “facelift”), it has had more traffic than ever before.  The previously single-function lobby area has been transformed into a multi-purpose space, including the circulation desk, a café, sitting areas, a designated reading room with spacious desks and comfy reading chairs, a laptop-borrowing station (the CLICC Pod), and a study lounge.  The combination of the new decor and furniture makes it one of my favorite places to study in Westwood, hands down.  It must be something about the atmosphere inside libraries that pressure me to be as productive as the people sitting around me are being.  Talk about positive reinforcement!

3.  Save time for “me time”.  Cliché, but essential.  This is one of those things that you hear adults talking about when you are little and have no clue what they mean when they say, “You’ll understand when you get older.”  As I move through my undergraduate years, it becomes ever more clear that “me time” is crucial to just to unwind and renew myself for the rest of the week, or even the rest of the day.  I have found that a few hours between classes can be extremely valuable for catching up on some leisure reading, cooking, and power naps.

4.  Eat healthier.  Nothing says “college student” more than a Costco-sized stash of instant noodles in the kitchen, ready for all those late nights and early mornings.  Not only should we not be staying up late, but ramen is as bad as junk food can get, really, and holds almost no nutrition value whatsoever.  A healthy meal can make all the difference when we need the extra brain power to crank out an essay or study for a big test, and there’s no reason to deprive our bodies of the nutrition they need and deserve to keep us healthy and alert.

5.  Don’t get sick (as often).  If all else fails, there’s always the Ashe Center. 🙂