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New Year’s resolutions for a second semester in the pandemic

| Staff Writer

With one semester under my belt, I did a little reflecting on how it went. Now, I consider myself a seasoned sailor of the COVID-infested waters that at some points, I’ll admit, made me a little nauseous. I’m learning to steer my metaphorical boat more smoothly. Here are a few of my new semester resolutions that I’m hoping will guide me through whatever new challenges these next few months will surely bring:

Stephen Huber | Student Life

The South 40 House contains the Residential Life Offices. This year some students did not get assigned housing time slots, which has caused some students to be concerned about their living situation for the upcoming school year.

Be unafraid to brave the weather

With the safest activities occurring outside, where the risk of virus transmission is greatly reduced, I don’t want to be held back from doing the things I want to do by a little precipitation or wind. I want to play frisbee in the rain, run in the snow and bundle up to eat distanced meals outside with other people. I’m choosing company over comfort because while the weather will always be there to spoil your plans, I’m not wasting any time waiting for the perfect sunny day to make memories. Some of my best experiences stem from braving discomfort together. I have fond recollections of late-night runs in downpours and hot coffees after walks in the cold.

Take a class that scares me

In college, and at Washington University, in particular, there is a pressure to find your path in life and run down it quickly. Even though I have a pretty good idea of what I like and am comfortable with, I want to take a class that doesn’t fit into my intended major’s bounds. I’m thinking about acting –– or maybe dance. Freshman year seems to be the best year to explore new fields before the weight of required credits becomes too heavy. I’m excited to break out of my comfort zone and maybe learn a little Shakespeare while I’m at it.

Fix my sleep schedule

One piece of advice I’ve heard over and over again from many well-meaning upperclassmen and graduates before college was “these four years are not the time for sleeping.” The idea of sacrificing sleep for late-night memories is generally one I’m agreeable with. Yet when I started to lose some short-term memory functioning due to sleep deprivation fall semester, I realized that that advice has limits. This semester I am continuing my five-day-a-week nine a.m. classes and have decided to limit my late nights (defined as later than one a.m.) to weekends and the occasional weekday.

Say yes to (almost) everything

Before coming to Wash. U., I had a strong aversion to board games –– one that originated from tedious hours of Monopoly and long, drawn-out explanations of rules. Yet once I got to school, I said yes to learning a few new games, and not only loved it but met some of my closest friends through intense rounds of Coup and Resistance. Though this might be a small (and yes, nerdy) example, I’ve found that saying yes to things that I may have an aversion to or am uncomfortable with usually has good consequences. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule –– namely, things that are blatantly risky for contracting COVID or breaking a leg –– but for the most part, adopting a down-for-anything attitude has served me well at Wash. U.

Prioritize good eating

Even though this may seem like the typical New Year’s “eat more vegetables” resolution, hear me out. By the end of fall semester, I got really lazy with my eating habits, getting the same food for each meal. And while I do like BD stir fry and cold sandwiches from Paws and Go, I’m going to make an effort to diversify my diet, as long as I’m still spending the same amount of money for each meal. I want to make the trek down to Parkside for hot paninis on Fridays, walk to the DUC for lunch specials and sample new restaurants on the Loop on weekends. Just like making the effort to find new and scary classes, I want to put in the work to eat more exciting meals.

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