The Advance-Titan

Resolutions fail every semester

The start of a new semester has almost everyone buzzing with excitement during syllabus week. Students want to start fresh and change things about themselves to become more successful during the spring semester. But do people actually follow through with these new habits and do they truly stick?

New habits are great when they actually work, however when people have five other things they should be doing while working on an equally important assignment, they will want to skip on certain areas in their lives.

Let’s be real here: with these big changes, if new habits do ‘stick,’ they do not last forever. Trying to do some big changes each semester will not work out for you because you are so used to your old habits. Eventually, you will fall back on them.

Plenty of people will disagree with me on this issue. For example, some people feel that this outlook on life is rather harsh, and we should always be looking to help these people continue by motivating them.

Freshman Rachel Gramlow said believes people can change if they have the effort and the motivation to do so.

“People can always change,” Gramlow said. “They just have to be willing to put in the effort and want to change.”

However, what people don’t realize is, while these big goals we set to reach during a time in our lives where we want to do better, we can never truly stick to them 100 percent.

An example of this is college in general. During this time, students are under pressure to perform as well as possible to get into graduate school or to land that perfect job.

The habits that you set in college will reflect the ones you did in high school, unless they are all small changes. If you feel that you want to take better notes in classes, then you actually need to be taking notes in the class instead of just sitting on your phone.

Additionally, there are sociological pressures college students experience, such as being fit or having a social life.

If people attempt to make a goal at the beginning of the semester to hang out with their friends more, it can work out at the beginning. But as the semester goes on, you’ll gradually start to go back into your room and watch Netflix.

This is just one example of people trying to ‘better’ themselves in college, but it never actually working out. Because students undergo so much pressure from classes, friends and other sociological pressures, they gravitate toward what makes them feel most successful.

Because of this stress, it almost makes it impossible to stick to these new habits because of the old habits we regularly fall back on.

Freshman Autumn Christensen said when times get tough, people do tend fall back on these old habits, but also said if a person wants change and has the motivation, they are able to achieve their goals.

“It’s always easy to fall back into old habits as the semester continues,” Christensen said. “But you can change if you have the motivation to stick to it.”
However, just because we have the motivation to stick to these new ideas of habits we want, doesn’t mean we are going to.

This being said, students who make the goal of, “I’m going to study harder this semester and party less” probably will start out that way, but eventually end up going back to these old habits. Because during their first semester they went out and partied consistently, they will feel like these new implemented study habits are a ‘punishment’ and will want to break or bend the rules for a week and not study as hard.

This eventually turns into two weeks, to four, to two months and by then, an entire semester has gone by.

I feel that the best way to combat these new habits from disappearing is to not make such a big commitment to them because let’s be honest, your friends will probably convince you to go out just about every weekend anyways. If you don’t make such a big commitment, then you’re not disappointing yourself as much and still staying true to yourself.

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Resolutions fail every semester