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Sunday, January 17, 2021

Life + Arts

Students set New Year’s resolutions


The University of Houston has several services available to help students follow through with their New Years’ resolutions, whether they’re watching their waistlines, feel troubled by graduating during rough times or kicking a nasty procrastination habit.

Students’ resolutions ranged from losing weight to quitting smoking. Language and Culture Center student Quiao Lin Yang’s resolution is to call her parents in China more frequently, and English junior Melissa Dickinson’s plan is to study Japanese so that she can read books she purchased abroad.

On the other hand, many students said they had no New Year’s resolution.

‘Why wait until New Year’s to change? It’s better to be committed and do it now,’ accounting senior Zane Mar said.

Gayla Conners, psychology senior, abandoned New Year’s resolutions and instead resolves to accomplish 101 goals in 1000 days.

‘I keep a running list of things I want to accomplish in my lifetime,’ Conners said. ‘It takes some pressure. You’re accomplishing goals but not in some arbitrary time frame.’

Anthropology research professor Jerome Crowder said that the lackluster popularity of New Year’s resolutions may be attributed to the increasingly long-term goals set by older people, such as resolutions to rise in company ranks or graduate from college.

Regardless of the time frame that students use to achieve new goals, the University has services to help.

For students planning to graduate during hard financial times, associate director of University Career Services Janet Civitelli recommended University Career Services’ workshop ‘Land a Job in a Tough Economy.’

Civitelli also urged rising seniors to minimize anxiety about the economy by focusing on factors under their control such as improving their interview skills or polishing their r’eacute;sum’eacute;s.

Cigarette smokers hoping to kick the habit could follow the advice of electrical engineering graduate student Naresh Chityala. Chityala attributed his success to maintaining a positive attitude by reminding himself of how much progress he had made every time he felt the urge to light up.

‘Whyquit.com is one of the best Web sites on the Internet,’ Chityala said. ‘It shows the immediate aftermath of quitting smoking.’

Students who want to keep an eye on their waistlines were advised by Campus Recreation and Wellness Center membership supervisor Frank Cuevas to take advantage of their fee-funded memberships at the campus gym. He suggested students try out popular group exercise programs, including a yoga class and a weekly program called Boot Camp Express.

‘In Boot Camp Express, the trainer comes and does physical activity to get the body toned and teaches you things you can do on your own,’ Cuevas said.

Hotel and Restaurant Management senior Katelyn Halpern, who produced The Honors College Club Theater for two years and directed plays performed at Rice University and the University of Texas, advised all goal setters to pressure themselves to succeed with strict deadlines.

Civitelli said writing out timelines for goals dramatically improves the chances of success, as well as helping people determine which goals are realistic and which need more fine-tuning.

‘Sometimes you discover that obtaining it is a lot easier than you expected, and it’s a pleasant surprise. Other times, you need to fine-tune what you hoped to achieve so you’re grounded in realism,’ she said.

Dr. Ken Waldman, director of the University’s Counseling and Psychological Services, recommended that students who still fumble despite their best efforts consider looking into counseling. A counselor may help them determine if an issue deeper than self-control is preventing them from accomplishing their goals.

Waldman also stressed the importance of scheduling time to relax as well as time for work.

‘Say ‘I worked so hard so I could enjoy this,” he said.


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