September 24, 2020

New Semester’s resolutions: A life cycle

Even students with the best intentions at the beginning of a semester can tend to slack off as course work piles up and summer break draws nearer. (AP Photo)

Let’s face it. New Year’s resolutions are made to be broken — almost immediately in many cases. Once the ball drops, all ages vow to lose weight, find a new job, get laid and/or better themselves in some way that requires more legitimate work than they are usually willing to do.

New semesters follow the same pattern. We make a laundry list of ways to increase our overall productivity at the College, and in more cases than not, if we weren’t making the dean’s list or going to the gym three times a week in the fall, chances are we will follow lazy suit in the spring. Admittedly, I am one of these ignorant dreamers. I never learn.

The following is more or less a life cycle of my personal “New Semester’s resolutions” and how they tend to deteriorate as the weather gets warmer and my cares get left floating in half-empty cans of beer.

Late January: OK, I’m back. This is going to be the best semester ever. I am going to work off the three trays of mom’s chicken parm from Christmas, make up for getting a C in one of my major requirements, spend even more time bullshitting with my friends and work enough at my on-campus job to cover beer and Fat Shack money each week. No problem. I even printed out my syllabi already. This semester, I am going to be on top of my shit.

February: Jesus Christ, why is it still so cold? This campus is like a wind tunnel. It wasn’t windy at my off-campus house. Why is it windy here? Screw the gym today, I’m going to class and going back home to warm up. I went to the gym on Sunday anyway. Wait, what’s today? Damn, I’m walking in the wrong direction. I’m still on track, though. I have been raising my hand in class, and I have only skipped twice so far. No papers are due for a while anyway. I don’t dare to look at the next page in the syllabus, though. Anyone know if the groundhog saw his shadow?

March (pre Spring Break): Work sucks. School sucks. Thank God we are off soon. I need to get away from this place. I think I’ve eaten chicken nuggets for the last four days. The gym is still packed. All the time. Shouldn’t the stragglers have thinned out by now? Why is it that I only have time to work out when the rest of the school has time to work out? Maybe I should get up earlier. Eh, that would involve going to sleep earlier, which cuts into my bullshitting time. Forget that. (Looking at syllabi), why do I have three papers due the day before Spring Break? This is torture.

March (post Spring Break): That was a break? I thought I would be refreshed. I’m just hung over. OK, new plan. Only six weeks left of school. I screwed around long enough this semester. No more skipping class. Go to the gym — a lot (notice that a specific amount is no longer mentioned) — and work off all the beer fat. Buckle down and start early on your finals. You can do this. And at least it’s getting warmer, right? Boner day will be here soon.

April: I need to shave. And shower. Stupid warm weather, making me all sweaty. A warranted consequence for all the miniskirts, though. I need a haircut too. Where’s my hat? Yeah, it’s as filthy as it was yesterday. I need to stop wearing it to the gym. I need to go to work tonight; I’ve called out for my last two shifts. I’m such a slacker. But it was my housemate’s birthday. What was I supposed to do? Sit at the front desk and not do homework for four hours? The longer I am here, the more I realize that key social interactions are infinitely more important than ethical journalistic behavior. I think Fat Shack is beginning to cut time off my life. It’s so good, though. When was the last time I talked to my mom? Just a few more weeks …

May: Get me off this fucking campus. My finals are so much more intense than I thought they would be, and I have had enough of my housemates. Wash a dish for God’s sake! I would go to the library if it weren’t so crowded. I’m better off staying at my house. But it’s so hot. I wish it were cold again. I am never happy. OK, new plan: locate the smartest friend / acquaintance in each class and shamelessly beg for help because they have actually been doing the mindless homework all semester. Nerds. Don’t call them nerds to their face. What happened to integrity? Oh well. The gym has been relegated to solely a method of procrastination and stress relief. If I eat one more beef chalupa, I’m going to puke. Just make it through this last week, then it’s smooth sailing. When do I have work? Shit, that’s tonight?

I may have embellished for entertainment’s sake, but hopefully some of you ardent optimists can relate. We start off with the best of intentions. Then college happens. Good luck, everyone.

Bobby Olivier can be reached at

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