Almost halfway through college, there’s no time for excuses

By Abby Johnson on March 04, 2014
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New Year’s Eve: The time of year when people all around the world make goals they wish to fulfill in the upcoming year. Whether that is to join a gym, spend less time on the Internet, or cut back on extra expenditures, we vow to make some sort of alteration or change in our lives.

This very concept can be applied to the start of a new school year. From the moment summer break starts to my return to campus in the fall I make a long list of changes I plan to incorporate into my life. Unfortunately, like so many others, those goals and resolutions have a life expectancy of no more than a week or two. As cynical as that may sound, it is the cold, hard truth.

A case in point

My list for this current school year went something like: cut ties with current friends and branch out, get a 4.0 GPA for both semesters, make time for breakfast before my 8 a.m. classes, and go to bed early. During my lazy, carefree summer days, these goals seemed perfectly attainable.

Fast forward a couple months and I’m still friends with some of the same people, pulling all-nighters on the daily and walking into my 8 a.m. class with a ravenous stomach.

Even though these changes and resolutions never seem to last, I still continue to make them. Making positive plans for the future fuels our self-worth and confidence. Before we’ve even taken the necessary steps to make these goals or resolutions happen, we already feel a sense of accomplishment. The mere fact that we are trying to change our lives for the better is, in our minds, worthy of that late-night Netflix marathon, extra slice of cake, or overpriced handbag.

Two years down, two to go

By the end of this school year I will be halfway through college. This is my most terrifying and daunting thought to date. In two years I will, hopefully, be out in the real world with an adult job and my own apartment. As cliché or nostalgic as it sounds, it seems like I was just starting college the other day. Yet here I am, halfway through. I still need to find an internship, study abroad, travel the world, take a million Spanish classes for my minor, and complete the 500 retail hours for my major.

What I’ve come to realize is that there will always be that never-ending to-do list in my life. Rather than avoiding these tasks and goals, I need to start making them happen. There will be no more Netflix binges, impulsive shopping trips or missed breakfasts. My time in college is limited, so making these empty promises and resolutions is not doing me any good.

Taking action toward achievement

These next two years I am going to finish my retail hours, secure a summer internship, study abroad, travel all over Europe, get a job I am happy with and ultimately start doing things that will make me a better person.

Last August I was quite self-entitled and just assumed all these goals would achieve themselves. As of now, I am taking an active role in my personal fulfillment and achievement of these goals. No excuses.

My plans for the summer: I am working part time at the Gap, taking cooking and French classes, and firming up the details for studying abroad next year.

About the Author

Abby Johnson

Abby Johnson

University of Wisconsin-Stout, Menomonie, Wisconsin.
Hometown: Eagan, Minnesota.

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