collage of four pictures with 2015 overlaying

We are barely a week into the New Year and 2015 is still young and full of possibilities for us all to be smarter, healthier, funnier, happier, kinder and generally more awesome. Here are 15 ways to improve your life intellectually, occupationally, socially, spiritually, emotionally, physically and environmentally and make 2015 your best year yet.

1. Prioritize Classes, Not Procrastination
I know that after a day of classes you’d rather watch Netflix than study your textbooks, but do your homework anyway. Not only will you actually retain the information better, but also having your homework out of the way early lets you have fun without worrying.

2. Learn a New Skill
Try your hand at knitting, snowboarding, or French cooking… whatever has piqued your interest lately or has been a long-neglected passion. Now is the time to try!

3. Attend a Career or Job Fair
If you’re an undecided major, there’s no better time than now to decide on a career. Visiting a career or major fair is a great way to explore your options. Or, if you’re like me and graduating in a semester, attend a job fair to network your name and ready your resume so you can leave WSU with a career in place.

4. Look for a Summer Internship Early
Internships have become something of a must, so get started on finding one sooner rather than later. There are many internships out there, so take the time to find one that provides serious learning opportunities and maybe even a paycheck!

5. Smile and Say “Hi” to Passersby
We’re “Minnesota Nice,” right? So let’s try this in 2015: instead of blindly walking past each other on campus, make eye-contact and smile. We are a community after all and we should acknowledge each other even just in passing.

6. Join a Club
Whether you’re shy or outgoing, student clubs are a blessing because they’re an easy way to connect with people who have similar interests whom you might not have met otherwise. Who knows, maybe you’ll find a new best friend! If not, at least you’ve gotten out of your dorm room for an hour or two.

7. Volunteer in Our Community
Help out at Watkins Manor, Kids First, Habitat for Humanity or any of the other numerous volunteer opportunities in the Winona area. It doesn’t matter if you can commit to a shift every week or only twice a month, volunteering benefits the whole community and you too.

8. Go to Religious Services Regularly
If you were raised with a particular faith or have found a denomination since coming to college, start regularly attending religious services. I can’t say that I’ve found Mass to be fulfilling each and every week, but the simple routine of going to church on Sundays helps me keep in touch with my spiritual side.

9. Watch a Sunrise
If you find more spiritual experience in nature than in a church, challenge yourself to watch a sunrise at least once a month. The feat of getting up before dawn is amazing in and of itself, and the sight of a slowly filling sky is so worth the effort

10. Practice Patience and Positivity
Let’s face facts: people are often pretty annoying and life doesn’t always go your way. But those things aren’t going to change and you can get upset about it or you can take a deep breath and let it go. Patience and positivity will get you through more situations than pettiness and pessimism will.

11. Write Thank You Notes
Not only is it polite to send thank you notes, but everyone enjoys receiving a message of gratitude. Thank you notes aren’t just for birthday presents either. Send them to employers after an interview whether you’re hired or not. Let professors who have helped you in your college career know how much you appreciate them. I promise, you’ll make their day.

12. Take That Intimidating Fitness Class
I admit I’ve never gone to the class Butt ‘N Gut because it sounds too intense, but why should I allow myself to be so intimidated? Maybe for you it’s Turbo Kick or Power Hour. Either way, let’s make 2015 a year of confidence at fitness classes.

13. Join an Intramurals Team
If you played sports in high school like me, you may find yourself missing the court and the camaraderie of a team with a single purpose– TO WIN, I mean, have fun. Join an intramurals team and you can play for the love of the game again with new friends and exercise routine as added bonuses.

14. Learn to Recycle Properly
Most of us know that recycling is an easy way to help the environment, but it’s a little more complicated than you might think. For instance, you can recycle only certain types of plastic and pizza boxes are definitely a no-go. Make sure you know the rules so you can recycle right.

15. Drive Less and Walk or Bike More
Gas prices are down to $2 per gallon and that is really exciting, but that doesn’t mean we should take the car everywhere just because we can. Walk or bike—weather permitting, of course— instead and you can help cut down on greenhouse gas emissions and get a quick workout in as well.

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Elizabeth Meinders

Elizabeth was the Blog Manager before she graduated with a BA degree in English & Public Relations in 2015. She is from Marshfield, WI and her interests include crafting, playing board games and snuggling with her cats.

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