2013 Resolutions: Second-Semester Freshman Edition

Freshman fall is usually a blur. You take classes with professors you know nothing about, figure out what clubs you want to join, learn that Tarble, Clothier Hall, Essie Mae’s, and Paces are all basically the same place, as well as much more. As hard-working and driven as Swarthmore students are, they tend to make resolutions every semester rather than just once a year, setting new goals for themselves all the time.Freshman spring is great, and no, it’s not too late to make a New Years resolution, so here are some to get you started:

1.  I will have plenty (at least a handful of) profound and lovely things to say in class. Since most professors factor class participation into the final grades, you really only hurt yourself by not contributing to class discussions. Come up with 2-3 ideas from the readings/homework due that day in class. And if that does not work, come in with some questions.

2.  Clubs! Clubs! Clubs! Just because the first semester is over does not mean you cannot join new clubs and continue to meet new people. Even though there might not be an activities fair through which to sign up for clubs, asking around usually does the trick as clubs are always looking to expand here on campus.

3. Spend less time in McCabe/Underhill/Cornell/whatever. Although the libraries can be a great place to hit the books, they can get real old real fast. There are plenty of other spaces on and off campus to study, including: Parrish Parlors, Sharples off-hours, Paces Cafe, the random lounges in the Science Center. And for the coffee lovers, or for those who want to get off campus, you can take a little stroll up Chester Road to the Starbucks on the Pike.

4.  I’m going to get off campus more this semester. That’s easy! The train is right here, costing $12 round trip. In addition, the Swarthmore Philly shuttle is available on the weekends and can easily be reserved. Swatties often find that they don’t have time during the semester to get off campus, but reserving an afternoon every now and again is worth it and completely manageable. There is tons to do in Philly besides shopping, such as ice skating at Penn’s Landing, First Fridays, the Barnes, or Restaurant week.

5.  Not blow all my points the first two weeks on science center sushi (yum). This can be very tempting when you still have all your points and the fried rice is so delicious, especially when you have a 40 minute lunch between classes. Besides bagged lunch, grabbing a salad or some pasta from Sharples the evening before is a cheaper way to save points.

6.  Exercise more and look hot for Sager. (At least the first part.) Don’t be a stranger to the Mullen Center. The gym can be one of the best places to de-stress from a long hard day of Swarthmore, breaking up the time between when you have classes and when you have to go study. Maybe try a sport or dance for PE credit such as squash or ballet (sweet dance moves for Sager).

7.  I will learn to cook, and eat less at Sharples. This doesn’t mean double-swiping at Essie’s. Cooking might be a time commitment, but making dinner once a week might be a nice change from the school’s dining options, as well as cheaper than eating out in Philly. Maybe Freshman fall you learned how to do your own laundry, and now freshman spring you can learn how to cook for yourself?

8.  My dorm room will be spectacular and I will be featured in Dorm Dive. Let’s not get carried away here, but dorm rooms can often become cluttered. As the semester goes on, the messier your room becomes and the less time you have to invest in picking it up. Commit to picking up what you drop at the moment. If that proves to be impossible, please, please just pick up the food. No one wants mice, and especially in the winter when it’s cold outside they can be a problem. Five minutes of your life, done.

9.   Cut back on my coffee intake. Don’t, coffee’s awesome. But if you really have to, try switching to decaf or tea. And if that doesn’t work, sleep more. There’s no real substitute for it.

The spring semester is always my favorite, it’s getting warmer and summer’s on the way (just kidding it’s January). Semesters can get tough, especially at that point between midterms and finals. Trying something new is a great way to help you through it. And if all else fails,  stick to resolution number 10-  Forgive myself if I fail to live up to any of these resolutions and ignore any and all resolutions, relax more and watch Game of Thrones/ Girls.

Photo courtesy of entertainingartsphillyarea.blogspot.com.

1 Comment

  1. Tip from a senior: By all means, yes, go to Philly, and do it often. But DON’T pay $12 round-trip for a train ride to center city! Ask for an Independence Pass, which is $11 and allows you to have unlimited rides on SEPTA regional rail (so you could go back and forth from Swat to Center City ten times if you wanted and it’d still only be $11), bus, subway, trolley, etc. Use Google Maps on your phone to get transit directions and save yourself a lot of time and confusion and windburn cuz it’s cold out there.
    Also, Philly is *way* more than Center City. Try the Italian Market in South Philly, or the big year-round flea market held indoors every other week in (lower) North Philly, and then try one of the million fun restaurants filled with young crowds nearby in Northern Liberties, and when it gets warmer there’s a wonderful weekend farmer’s market held in Clark Park in West Philly. This is just brushing the surface. Philly is a big, fantastic, diverse city, and I sincerely regret that I only began to take advantage of it in the past year. Learn from my mistakes, freshmen, and have a much more interesting, memorable, and educational (surely y’all know that not all education does, or even can, occur in the classroom) college career.

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