Here We Go

Posted on January 09,2013 by hmonkmspp

Every time I say that phrase, a very popular 'N SYNC song comes to mind...

Anyway, it's the start of a new year and a new semester, so it's time for a new me.

Literally a new me: short brown hair and glasses! Literally a new me: short brown hair and glasses!

I understand that the first semester of any new education program is the most challenging. However, when you're in the thick of that first semester, it's very difficult to keep that in mind. Everything feels overwhelming and impossible and you find yourself wondering what in the world you've gotten yourself into.

Now that I've had a bit of a break to relax my brain, it's time for the second-semester turn around. I think most of you know what I am talking about. It's the time when you reorganize and re-prioritize so that the second semester seems more manageable. You have now settled in to the rhythm of the school, and you discover what changes you need to make. Maybe it includes a better study schedule, or making more time for yourself, or maybe even finding a new way of organizing your notebooks.

Hopefully some of the new year's changes I am making will inspire some of you, whether you are in school or a job or somewhere-in-between:

1. Get more sleep. I spent a lot of my time exhausted last semester, and have vowed to try to get at least seven hours every night.

My cat taking my advice My cat taking my advice

2. Find a better balance between work and friends. I have three part-time jobs, and worked a lot last semester. Unfortunately, that left no time for myself or to spend with friends. I vow to see at least one friend outside of school every week.

girls

3. Eat better. I normally am a fairly healthy eater (if you don't count the number of cookies I consume). However, I wasn't very strict on cutting out dairy, and I know I feel better if I do. This year I am going to try harder to be a better vegan.

New Years Eve Dinner: Pan-seared salmon with balsamic reduction, parmesan brown rice, and lemon broccoli New Years Eve Dinner: Pan-seared salmon with balsamic reduction, parmesan brown rice, and lemon broccoli

4. Exercise more. This one kind of conflicts with the "get more sleep" goal, because it normally comes down to me going to the gym and then staying up late to do my work, or simply doing my work and going to sleep at a reasonable hour. This year I am going to make a schedule and stick to it. I know that I don't have time to go to the gym every day. That is unrealistic. This year I'm going to shoot for 4 days a week, with the goal of training for Tough Mudder in May.

With my friend Jessi at my last big racing event, the Diva Dash (Boston) With my friend Jessi at my last big racing event, the Diva Dash (Boston)

5. Spend more time on me. Last semester, I didn't make the time to do the things I love, like baking and hiking and dancing. This year, I am going to split my weekends better. I am going to do errands, friend-time, and Hannah-time on Fridays, homework on Saturdays, and work on Sundays.

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The first week of a new semester or new year always feels daunting when you look at all the work that lies ahead of you. Just remember to stick to your goals and take care of yourself, and everything is going to be OK. All will be well.