It’s 2014 and time to stick to your resolutions–past January 2nd. College is the perfect time to change up your routine and branch out in directions you never have before. This year, spice things up and make a resolution to do all of the Miami Hurricane’s “Top 14 things U Must Do in 2014.”
Take care of yourself.
It gets hot in Florida, and although you might not notice when your body is dehydrated, you suffer from the lack of fluid. The more water you drink, the healthier you become and the better you feel. Get enough sleep so you function better throughout the day and take regular naps (not during your 8 AM’s). You’ll be surprised how much less intimidating a reading list will look after a full night’s sleep.
Try a new restaurant
Miami has gotten recognition in the past few years for its evolution into a foodie town. With that has come the advent of dozens of delicious, high-end restaurants. Treat yourself this year and try one, like Miami staple Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink in the Design District or the newer Japanese Sumi Yakatori in Brickell. It will be a nice break from dining hall food and an excuse to venture into one of Miami’s trendier neighborhoods.
Be financially savvy.
Student loans are bad enough – don’t let yourself accrue any more debt. Join the recent cash only movement, giving up credit cards and paying with only money you have. Open a savings account, and put in part of every paycheck, or go on a spending diet and go a week, or even a month without spending money. You may be surprised how much you can save.
Revisit something you love
Did you give up playing the piano when you started college? Have you stopped reading for pleasure? What about taking long bike rides? Pick it up again, if only once every week or two. It’s easy to get lost in hectic class schedules and never-ending night meetings, but setting aside time for yourself will keep you focused and make college more fun.
Do something in nature
Get lost in the fragrant fields of Miami’s Fruit and Spice Park and experience more than 500 varieties of exotic fruits, vegetables, nuts and more. Or explore the exotic Everglades with an airboating tour and see the alligators in their natural habitat. For those looking to stay closer to campus, check out Peacock Park in the Grove. Located just off Biscayne Bay, Peacock Park is the perfect place to walk around and relax or enjoy one of the events hosted there throughout the year.
Challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone
The best way to get better is to do more than you thought you could. Take up a sport or lose those extra 10 pounds you’ve been carrying. Step up to the plate and become a leader in your favorite club, or take the class that may be harder to get an A in, especially if it means that you’ll learn more. Try a new type of food or take a class that has nothing to do with your major. Who knows what could happen?
Take a risk
College is a great time to take advantage of your freedom without the responsibilities you might have after graduation. Take the time to do something you’ve always been afraid to do, whether it is taking an international trip on your own, learning to dance or applying for your dream internship. Don’t let your college experience pass you by without taking a few risks– often these become the stories you’ll remember for years to come.
Miami is called the Magic City for a reason. From Little Havana to Homestead, there are plenty of places to see beyond Coral Gables and South Beach. Go to Little Havana and get a taste of Cuba without having to leave the city. Dine at restaurants like La Carreta and Versailles or sample Cuban coffee and rum infused pastries. Take a drive down south to Knaus Berry farms and buy a batch of sticky buns and a strawberry milkshake. For those still living in the dorms, make a goal to discover a new place each weekend and beat the on-campus boredom.
Become friends with a professor
Don’t be a nameless face in the back of the class. Getting to know your professors personally can help boost your grades and provide you with great opportunities. Start by going to their office hours just to introduce yourself. Talk to them about your plans and find out about their careers outside the classroom. Your teachers can provide valuable knowledge– not to mention great connections into the job world.
Visit a museum
Museums are worth visiting on your own, if only once in your life. This year, don’t miss out on the one of the newest, and soon-to-be most famous spots in Miami: the Perez Art Museum. The museum brings together Miami’s past through the amazing showcased artworks and Miami’s present through window views of the beach and the downtown skyline. View works by famous Latin American artists Colombian Fernando Botero and Diego Rivera that explore institutional violence in the Americas, the Sichuan earthquake, myth identity, desire and more. The best part? Tickets are only $8 for students.
Take advantage of opportunities on campus
If you’ve never been one for campus activities, try one out this year. Attend the informational sessions, Cane Nights, and participate in UM extracurricular activities to make the most out of your collegiate experience.
Many organizations working to better the community depend on volunteers. Joining them in their mission can be rewarding and a great way to pay it forward. On top of that, employers like to hire those who care about their community. Becoming a part of campus organizations like Best Buddies or STRIVE can help you help those who need your help the most. In return, you’ll get the greatest reward possible – accomplishment.
Give a compliment a day
Sometimes you just need to be told something positive especially after a hard day. A genuine smile and compliment can go a long way. Remember karma can be good or bad, so if you’re doing something positive every day, good things are bound to happen.
Between three hour lectures and middle-of-the-night McDonald’s, runs it’s easy to succumb to middle-of-the-year lethargy. Beat the mid-year blues by staying fit and active. Even if you’re not front line of the football team, there are plenty of club and intramural sports to join. Stick to the basics or get creative and try something different like Quidditch. For those who are less likely to hit the IM fields, check out your options at the Wellness Center. Try a new machine, or take a group exercise class. You may discover a passion for Zumba you never knew you had.