So we embark upon a new year once again! Hopefully, we all enjoyed our Christmas holiday and New Year’s celebrations. Now it is time to get back into the swing of things.  If you are graduating, you must be feeling great. If not, then do not fret, but be encouraged, for your time to shine is coming soon.  With this new year and a new semester comes new goals, new challenges, and new things for which to look forward. This time of year is an exciting time for many, no doubt.  Here are a few tips to help you as you begin a new period of time.
Remember to get plenty of rest! Try to avoid putting off major assignments until late at night. At times, the quality of our work might not be the best simply because we are tired and not very alert. Thus, we cannot pay full attention to what we are doing. So do assignments early, go to bed at a decent hour, and you’ll see your mannerisms improve. You should be less irritable from being less tired. With better rest you can have more energy to do the things you love to do!

Next, any problems or issues that can be left in 2008- leave it there! It’s time to feel refreshed.  If someone hurt you, forgive him or her, and move on. If there was a certain goal that you wanted to meet by a certain point in last year, and you could not do it, do not beat yourself up about it. The world is still spinning and you have time to set new ones. Just do your best to achieve those goals.

For this new year, plan activities that will help you to broaden your horizons. Do not be afraid to try new things because that is how we learn new things. Simple enough? Try new foods, visit new places, meet new people. Try anything that will challenge you to grow in ways you never thought you could. Sometimes, growing is about getting outside of your comfort zone. This could even mean breaking tradition for the sake of doing something that is actually better. For many this is not easy, but learning how to grow properly can help improve your state of mind and the condition of your body. Some new things you experience could even touch you deep down in your soul.

Get involved! If there are any organizations on or even off campus that you believe can facilitate healthy habits for a good lifestyle, then try to get involved with those groups. Or if you feel like you are not mentally or physically well, do not be ashamed to talk to professionals who can assist in your transition back to true wellness. Success in college does depend in part on being well.
Coming back with a bang might not be an easy task for some. Everyone has to do it in their own way, but if you do so, you will see the benefits. Coming back with a bang means starting out this semester with more confidence. You know that you know you can make it, even when the odds seem to be stacked up against you. However, no matter what comes your way, keep your determination alive and strong. Do your best to avoid negative influences. If you have been around someone who is always negative or always wants you to do negative things, you might just have to let them go. “Evil communications corrupt good manners” (I Cor. 15:33).

Lastly, remember to be yourself at all times. This sounds really basic, sure, but going back to the basics can really prove to be an eye-opener for us. The more we are ourselves, the less difficult it is to be genuine when we truly need to be. Also, we must not only be ourselves, but we must be comfortable with ourselves too. Now that does not mean you deny yourself any changes to yourself if necessary.  However, when we are comfortable with ourselves, we make the changes we make not because of peer pressure, but because it is what we really want to do for our own self betterment.  Being comfortable with ourselves means we are content and are not so worried about how we measure up to another person. What God has for you is for you.

So with that, let us start off 2009 with a bang!