10 Things To Start In 2017

10 Things To Start In 2017

Resolutions that are so easy you have to do them
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So, here we are in a new year and everyone seems to be pretty excited and hopeful about it, making the usual new years resolutions that either last the whole year or last this first week. These resolutions do not have to be all they are cracked up to be, I mean you can make them as fun or as serious as you want. One of the hardest parts of a resolution is sticking to it, and I get it, making a new habit or trying to break an old one can be difficult. But, I think this list can help you make your own resolutions that are fairly easy to uphold and have a little fun too.

1. Walk every day

Most college students walk in some form each day whether from the dorm to classes or to some extracurricular activities, so this resolution is an easy one. Last year, I started going on runs a few times a week and noticed I felt so much better in terms of my health and energy, so exercise definitely is a good resolution to make. And, since most of us walk around each day, why not take the long way to the parking garage or take some "you" time and see some nature?

2. Eat more fruit

Healthy eating is a popular resolution too, but since most college dining halls offer some form of fruit, it should also be an feasible resolution. Now I totally understand those who really do not like eating fruit, I am right there with you. But, you do not have to eat actual bananas, strawberries, or grapes, I have orange juice about every day with breakfast. So, it is a resolution that is doable, it just takes some effort.

3. Read more for pleasure

As college students, most of what we read is for classes or assignments, and not that those readings are bad, but I think reading for pleasure is so much more valuable. Not only are you reading a book or magazine you are interested in, but you are improving your vocabulary and exercising your mind at the same time. Academic readings can be fairly difficult in terms of comprehension, and so taking time to read literature that is not so dense is good for you. This resolution is not as easy as it sounds for college students, but hopefully would turn into a habit.

4. Smile more

One of my favorite quotes is from Legally Blonde when Elle Woods claims exercise releases endorphins and endorphins make you happy, so of course, happy people do not just kill their husbands. Elle Woods is right, but you do not have to commit to exercise to feel happier because smiling also releases endorphins. A resolution that sounds simple but will also help you feel happier and healthier at the same time.

5. Take time outside

Sunshine is a source of vitamin D and should be a part of our daily routine, but being a student often leaves little time to go outside other than to class or to eat. Even in the winter season, walking for leisure or being outside is important to our health. This resolution can be difficult for those who do live through winter weather, but taking time to go outside and think is also an effective study break as well as good for you brain.

6. Use less technology

As college students, technology is almost essential, but if you limit your time spent on Netflix and read a book for pleasure or go outside, then you will put less of a strain on your eyes and feel energized too. I mean we all have those days when you just need to binge watch a show on Netflix, but too much screen time can affect your eyes and sleeping pattern. Of course, social media is a large part of technology too, and taking time away from those sites can be relaxing and good for you. This resolution is hard because we use technology so much, but it is one to attempt.

7. Good deeds and small acts of kindness

People tell me chivalry does not exist, but I have to disagree because people hold the door open for strangers, pay for the person in front of them, and other random acts of kindness that make me think otherwise. Of course, these small acts of kindness and good deeds start with people being nice, but nice people make others feel nice too. A resolution to make empathy and kindness important character traits, and to become a better person.

8. Snailmail

A friend from high school sent me a letter in the first semester of college and I still have his letter in my college room. Mail is not as popular today because we have the instant communication, but I think sending and receiving letters is a cool resolution. Plus, writing a letter for fun is so easy and so much fun.

9. Hydrate

As students, we can become pretty busy and sometimes forget to drink water, but water is so important for our health. But I am seeing a lot more people carrying reusable water bottles and plastic ones to class, so keeping up with hydration is the key here. This resolution sounds obvious, but many do not drink enough water, so we should make it a habit.

10. Treat yo self

Everyone needs some "me" time once a day or a week, and even though we can be pretty busy this time is necessary too. Treat yo self is a phrase a lot of people like to use sort of ironically, but I think treating yourself is good for you. And, I mean, it should be every once in a while so when you do feel like you need some "me" time, the time is beneficial and has some worth.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.journalismfund.eu/sites/default/files/_original.jpg

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Meditation Is Not A Perfect Practice, But It's Still Worth Your Time

You'll thank me later.

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nczupek
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I began doing yoga a few years ago, and I instantly loved it. The combination of stretching, mental relaxation, and emotional release is amazing. It creates a sense of zen and peace in my life that I can use during the stress that comes from school, work, and everyday life. But the one part of yoga that I am not in love with is the meditation aspect.

I absolutely dread meditation. I do not know what it is, but I can never quite seem to get my mind to quiet down. No matter how hard I try, there is always a million thoughts running through my brain. "Did I finish that homework assignment?" "Am I breathing too loud? Can other people hear me?" I become so focused on other things happening around me that I just can't seem to calm down and relax.

But meditation is not about just clearing your mind and going completely blank. It is about focusing on a single thought, object, or intention and just allowing those emotions and feelings to overcome you. Focusing on one intention in your life allows you to become focused and re-centered. Meditation is not a set in stone practice, it is adaptable based on each person's needs.

There are seven general types of meditation: loving-kindness meditation, body scanning meditation, mindfulness meditation, breath awareness meditation, kundalini yoga, Zen meditation, and transcendentalism meditation. Each of these general types can be adapted to fit ones specific needs in that time. All seven of these meditations offer stress release options to help with daily stressors and inconveniences.

There is no perfect way to meditate. Meditation can also be as simple as just closing your eyes and simply breathing for a few seconds while focusing on one important thing in your life to help you remain grounded. There is no one set meditation type that works for all people. Some people enjoy all of the forms or even several of them, while others such as myself strictly enjoy the body scanning meditation.

The body scanning meditation focuses on scanning the body for areas of tension and to encourage the release of tension in that part of the body. Once the release occurs, the whole body can begin to relax even more. It usually starts by focusing on the toes and relaxing then moving up the legs, the torso the arms to the fingertips, and all the way through to the tip of the head.

My ideal meditation type is not for everyone. Playing around with the different types of meditations is the best way to find an ideal type of meditation that fits what the body needs. Unlike with most things, practice doesn't make perfect. Practicing the art of meditation just helps to refine the overall calm and zen that is felt.

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