Student Life

October 16, 2019

12 New (School) Year Resolutions for 2019/20

Group of smiling students at Fall Fling 2019Back by popular demand and updated for the 2019-20 academic year, alumni Student Life blogger Hannah shares her tips and wisdom on starting the year off right. Photo credit: Vivian Tran.

JANUARY MAY BE the most popular time to take on a new project or goal, but for those of us still in school, September seems like a whole new year, too. Why wait until 2020 to start on some resolutions? Here are a few ideas to choose from, or to inspire your own resolutions.

Find some new study spots

UW’s campus is so large that it’s easy to get stuck in your own bubble—I know I spent 95 percent of my freshman year in the same three buildings (one of which was my dorm). But break out of your location rut and go exploring—studies show that studying in multiple different locations can actually improve your recall, helping you ace that midterm you’ve been dreading. A few recommendations to get you started:

  • The Gallagher Law Library, when you absolutely need some peace and quiet
  • The Allen Library skybridge, for flashcards with a birds-eye view of campus
  • Gould Hall’s 1st floor, to enjoy some rare PNW natural light and a little café background noise while grinding away
  • Padelford Hall, for comfy couches tucked into corners—Padelford is such a maze, odds are slim that anyone will even walk by, let alone bother you.

Use UW Scout to find the perfect spot for you!

Soak up some on-campus entertainment

Obsessed with Netflix’s comedy specials? Try a Friday night show by The Collective, UW’s theatre improv group! If you live for drama (the onstage kind), keep an eye out for performances by the Undergraduate Theatre Society, Stage Notes, and the UW School of Drama. More musical? Why not check out a concert by UW Chorale, our student Symphony Orchestra, or one of UW’s many a capella groups?

Take care of yourself

The college student stereotype can be a little bleak—stressed, sleep-deprived, and feeling way too busy. But being exhausted and over-scheduled isn’t a badge of honor, it’s a sign you need to practice some serious self-care. This looks different for everyone, whether that’s regular yoga classes, curling up with a book, or even just taking the time to make home-cooked meals. I know it might seem like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to finish your to-do list, let alone practice self-care, but running on empty is just going to make things harder in the long run. When you’re rested and refreshed, you’ll be faster and more efficient so you can check off that to-do list and spend the time you saved enjoying some well-deserved rest and relaxation.

Visit the Career & Internship Center

Whether you’re searching for your first internship or your first job, the whole process can feel overwhelming. Luckily, as a UW student you’ve got a whole team of people whose literal jobs are to help you succeed! Located on the first floor of Mary Gates Hall, the Career & Internship Center offers a huge variety of resources for wherever you are in your career journey. Take advantage of…

Start spending smart

We might all be broke college students for now, but it’s probably time to start being a little more fiscally responsible before we’re out in the real world. Those late-night Dick’s runs and early-morning Starbucks runs add up more quickly than you think, so step one is just tracking your spending. (You might be surprised with the final number.) Also start thinking about budgeting, committing a certain percentage to your savings each month, or—yikes—saving for retirement. If nothing else, don’t forget to ask stores and restaurants if they have a student discount! Take advantage of them while you can—we won’t have our Husky Cards forever.

Let go of FOMO

A deluge of Instagram Stories, Facebook event RSVPs, and push notifications make it easy to feel like there’s always something better going on somewhere else—or at the very least, like there’s somewhere else you should be. But at the end of the day, the fear of missing out is nothing but exhausting, and odds are you’re not actually missing anything life-changing. We’re constantly told that college is only four years, so we should enjoy it as much as we can while it lasts; I’d like to add that you should enjoy those four years where and how you want.

Get out of your comfort zone

A little scary? Sure. Worth it? Absolutely. Humans are creatures of habit, but don’t be afraid to switch it up and try something totally new. It might be nerve-wracking, but it’s also exciting, and who knows? You might just discover something you love. This could be anything from ordering something totally different at your favorite restaurant, taking a drop-in hip hop class, starting a blog, or training for a 5K.

Visit the Henry Art Gallery & the Burke Museum

Not only are the Henry and the (brand new!) Burke perfect places to soak in some art and history—they’re right in our own backyard and, best of all, free with your Husky Card! Stay dry on a drizzly afternoon and enjoy the Henry’s rotating exhibits, or take a break after a long week by traveling back in time at the Burke. (My personal favorite is the Skyspace at the Henry, arguably the most ‘zen’ place on campus.) Both places also have cozy coffee shops where you can duck in for a latte or scone afterward.

Speak up in class

Instead of casually avoiding your professor’s gaze when she asks a question in class (we’ve all been there), why not take a deep breath and throw out some thoughts on the assigned reading? Even if it’s just a small class, speaking up can feel intimidating, but it can help you engage more with the material, boost your participation grade, and make a positive impression on your professor—especially important if they’re teaching in your major. Don’t stress about coming up with the most insightful, groundbreaking commentary the class has ever heard! They’ll probably just be glad someone was brave enough to be the first to talk.

Try the UW Food trucks

Not an #ad, I promise. Yes, the loss of the HUB Subway was a tragedy, but the UW Food Trucks are unsung heroes of the campus food scene. The endless lines at lunch hour speak for themselves—try to go between passing periods to skip the long wait. Hot Dawgs and Motosurf are always parked in Red Square, and the Sunrise Griddle food truck travels around campus.

Practice gratitude

It sounds cheesy, but focusing on things in your life you’re grateful for actually helps your mental health. It doesn’t have to be a full-on gratitude journal—start small by making a note on your phone with 3 good things that happened that day or downloading a free gratitude app. Finding these bright spots in your week can shift your whole outlook for the better—even when the weather is awful and midterms are upon us.

Use your time more wisely

It wouldn’t be a true resolutions roundup without at least one stretch goal, right? Procrastination is a bad habit every student struggles with, and every student agrees their life would be better without. A few tips for fighting procrastination:

  • Make a time log—the results might surprise you! Doing this can help you identify what your major timesucks are (Instagram, anyone?) and
  • Time block it out. Batch similar tasks together, like a bunch of emails you have to send, packages you need to mail, or calls you’ve got to make! Getting all of them done at once will save tons of time.
  • Look for unused pockets of time. Bussing from West Campus to UVille? Whip out your Quizlet app and start studying for that upcoming quiz. Catching up on your favorite show? Use the commercials to proofread your latest essay.

Whether you pick one of the resolutions above, or decide to make a few of your own, remember that small changes can make a huge difference! Practicing a little more self-care, booking a career coaching appointment, or finding a new favorite library could help make this your best school year yet.

Amid a million deadlines and finals looming next month, don’t forget to take a moment to remember everything you appreciate in life. After all, sometimes it’s the little things that matter most.

Hannah headshot taken on campusStudent Life blogger Hannah M. is a 2019 UW graduate in Marketing and English who is also involved with the American Marketing Association and Her Campus UW. When not pitching, writing or editing blog posts for UWSL, you’re likely to find her making PowerPoint presentations for a case competition or ordering a vanilla latte on the Ave. To suggest a topic for the UWSL blog, email