For many students, simply landing a job with a decent income is the main priority. There are usually tangible learning opportunities and skills to develop in any job or role you take on, whether or not it is directly related to your field of study. For example, if you're heading a landscaping crew, hone your organizational and leadership skills.
Making New Year's resolutions is completely out of the norm for me. I simply find them a ploy that people use to comfort themselves about a year that perhaps didn't go as well as they expected. Writing down specific goals for the coming year, personally only accomplishes making them feel like a list of chores that I put off completing
I left my psychologist's couch three years ago, feeling bitter and yet relieved. "You don't have OCD," she says, "everyone has these compulsions, I wouldn't worry." And yet I was worried. As I've gotten older, the triggers have gotten worse: homework, deadlines, boyfriends, grades, lack of sleep, insomnia over quarter life crises -- you name it.
The younger portion of Generation Y -- the students still roaming college campuses -- must work at a breakneck speed in order to create the lives that they desire. If they sit at home and relax, then their degree will net nothing more than a full-time gig at Starbucks, or so they say. Thus, there is increasing pressure to make oneself suffocatingly busy, setting aside virtually no free time for creative activities. We are caught in a cycle of one-upmanship: volunteer more, study harder, work longer hours.
Several times per semester an article gets forwarded around amongst the students in my PhD program with a message that is some variation of the following: Doctoral studies are pointless. Needless to say, these are depressing, discouraging reads for those of us already pursuing advanced degrees. I enjoy being a PhD student.
Going to university is like hitting the snooze button on life: You do whatever you want whenever you want, and there are no consequences. Same thing goes for these protests: Most of the kids on strike in Quebec demonstrating in the streets, are going to turn out just fine, and become hard-working citizens like you and me.