...and makes New Year’s resolutions

This is it. Fourth year, and my last first week of school at Queen's has officially come to an end.

Before the pressures of student life take hold, I’d like to take a moment to appreciate the freshness of the new school year lying ahead. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always felt that a new school year brings more change and excitement than a new calendar year.

Since no New Year’s celebration is complete without some resolution-making (regardless of when it’s celebrated), I’d like to share some resolutions that I’ve conjured up for my last academic year.

I will not let my academic motivation die in October.

I tell myself this every year. Up until about Thanksgiving, I manage to go to every class, pay attention, and keep up with my reading—and most importantly, I’m able to do it enthusiastically.

After Thanksgiving, however, my academic energy seems to fade. It gets harder and harder to make the grueling seven minute commute from my house to campus or to summon up interest in obscure English literature.

This year, things are going to be different—I will retain my excitement about school long after Thanksgiving Monday. After all, if you can’t get excited about your classes—especially a class devoted entirely to Beowulf—what can you get excited about?

I will not run out of money in December.

I don’t know what it is about December, but no matter how hard I try, I end up completely penniless. My hard-earned summer job money is suddenly replaced by a winter’s worth of heating bills, the looming expense of new textbooks, and a minus $277.41 bank balance. As if these financial woes aren’t enough, December also heralds my favourite time of peace, joy, and capitalism—the holiday season. The days when it was still cute to give my family “I.O.U. One Hug” presents are long gone, so my “in case of emergency” credit card quickly becomes maxed out. Oh, the horror. This year, I plan to avoid this deathly scenario by making myself a budget. My wardrobe may not be as snazzy and I’ll probably have to bypass a few nights out on the town—but at least I’ll be able to buy my deserving family Christmas presents and still afford heat my house. And, when the chokingly cold Kingston winter rolls around, I doubt I’ll want to leave the comfort of my toasty warm home much anyway.

I will befriend my profs.

I wish I had come across this little gem of wisdom earlier in my university career. No matter how nerdy it may be, getting chummy with professors has many upsides. Your profs recognize you in class and call you by name, you can ask them for letters of reference, and if you’re really lucky, you may even be able to score a summer job. And, most importantly, you’ll probably find that you genuinely enjoy getting to know these wildly intelligent folks. I plan to make a habit of stopping by my profs’ offices—not necessarily to ask questions or to complain about marks, but just to have casual conversations. If nothing else, I’ll be able to look forward to the bright smile of recognition from my sexy Shakespeare prof. And believe me—this is definitely something to get excited about.

I will make this year count.

Although late night poutine, cramming for exams and spending every Thursday night at Stages are important parts of an enjoyable university experience, I’m ready for the kind of satisfaction that not even Bubba’s can provide. As this is my last year at Queen’s, I plan to pursue everything that I’ve always wanted to do here but have never had the guts/ time/energy for: I’m finally going to take that introductory yoga class, write for enjoyment rather than necessity, and work on turning several acquaintances into friendships. Although dancing ’till I drop and late-night calories will still be on the agenda, I’d like to pursue things that will be valuable long after my universe extends beyond University and Union.

I may not accomplish absolutely everything that I want to this year, but for better or for worse, I’m going to live this year to the fullest. I’m sure that this year—like my other years here—will present its fair share of triumphs, defeats, opportunities and challenges. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait.

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