Reinventing the millennial New Year’s resolution


Sarah Baker

Image by Sarah Baker.

At the end of each calendar year, college women speak for the masses by posting Instagram pictures with captions detailing the highlights of 2016 and containing inspirational quotes they hope will foreshadow 2017. College dudes are liking those pictures and thinking about all the #gains that are about to happen in the gym once they start to lift again and cut back on the beer.

New Year’s resolutions tend to be easier said than done. They sound inspirational, feel good to plan, and are absolutely miserable to follow through on. For millennials that crave instant gratification, it is difficult to dig deep into the journey of reaching a goal.

However, for 2017 there are at least goals that all college students should strive to achieve:

1. Stop “Phubbing.” Phubbing is a recently coined term that stands for “Phone Snubbing.” In other words, if you find yourself looking up from your phone and asking your friends what they were just conversing about, you were phubbing.

I know that laying off our phones, devices that literally release dopamine (an addictive joy hormone) into our brains, can be difficult or even impossible for some. That is why it is vital to move toward this goal with small steps. In January, commit to keeping your phone put away whenever hanging out with friends or talking with someone one on one. In February, add meals into the equation. Commit to leaving your phone away from the table while eating. In March make the promise to leave your phone off while driving.

We all will be safer, more engaged and living in the moment once we phase phubbing out of our lives.

2. Stop the Stress Eating. This is a big one I struggle with. When anything makes me emotional or stressed, an instant reaction is to look for a snack. Up late studying accounting? I’m five Oreos deep. Upset on Sunday about something that happened on a Saturday night? You’ll find me in the ZTA weekend kitchen.

Although eating junk food is the standard in college and stress eating can even be glorified with late Taco Bell runs, it is important to consider what you are doing to your body. Most college students leave their university 10 pounds heavier than when they entered. Disregarding aesthetics and surface level beauty, one’s quality of life and health is improved without all the extra weight.

Even worse than the health effects, eating due to stress is an emotional reaction that will not solve whatever situation triggered that emotion. Searching for stress relief from studying with sugary foods only provides temporary relief from the situation and makes you feel worse about yourself in the long run.

3. Strive To Be a Good Friend. This last one is broad and overarching, but we all could work on this. You may be the champion of helping your friends home on a weekend, providing answers for complicated economics problems, or coordinating team dinners, but there is a lot more we all can do.

Many of are losing the ability to have meaningful relationships and connections with others in our lives. If all you know about your friends is their preferred weekend beverage, you may not actually know a lot about your friends. Strive to text your close friends and check in on their day. Ask questions about their lives even if they are hard to answer. When we learn more about those close to us, we are better able to provide for their needs.

Pray for your friends if you are religious. Take friends you do not see often to dinner in Lawrence. Become genuinely interested in their lives and you will find more fulfillment in your own.


Society needs us to be more present, healthy and caring people. If you can start with small things like leaving your phone off your desk during class, nixing the study snacks and writing your friends little notes to show you care, you will become a better and happier person in 2017. Ladies, still post your Insta pictures, and guys make sure to hit the gym hard, but in addition let’s be a little more introspective as 2017 approaches. Cheers to a new year and a kinder, healthier, smarter you.