Kent State students make resolutions for the New Year


Kelly Matera, a senior chemistry major, works out at the recreational center on Jan 10. Photo by Chloe Hackathorn.

Kirsten Bowers

It’s Dec. 31 and family and friends are gathered around the television. The newscast is coming live from New York City, where the cameras are focused on a ball made of colorful lights.

At 11:59 p.m., the time has come for the ball to travel down toward the building from its perch in the sky. As the ball slowly makes its descent, the countdown begins.


Fireworks explode in the air, people break out into cheers and the song “Auld Lang Syne” begins playing as confetti falls. It’s now 2013, a new year full of new experiences and the potential for change.

When the celebrating is over and reality hits, people start planning the resolutions they hope to keep starting Jan. 1.


Brian Apple, senior architecture major, said his New Year’s resolution is to read more.

“I have a wide variety of interests, and reading helps me keep up on said interests,” Apple said. “During school I’m typically quite busy and don’t read as often as I should, but hopefully I can change that [this year].”

Rachel Stine, sophomore exploratory major, said reading more has been an ongoing resolution over the years, but this year she wants to focus more on her schoolwork.

“Focusing on my classes is something I haven’t been really doing,” Stine said. “But it has just taken me a while to figure out what I want to do. Now that I know what I want to do, it will make it easier to focus.”

Other students, like Jessica Haley, junior fashion design major, want to continue their success in the classroom.

“I made the Dean’s List last semester, and it was rewarding since I worked so hard,” Haley said. “I want to repeat the feeling.”

Some, like Caleb Beeman, sophomore photo illustration major, want to do well in their classes to gain experience and skills for their future careers.

Beeman said his New Year’s resolution is to “become a more active photographer” by gaining more experience in the field.

For students who want to maintain good grades and succeed in their courses, there are resources on campus that can help.

Colleen Schmid, program coordinator at the Academic Success Center, said the center offers one-on-one tutoring, as well as supplemental instruction for certain courses.

“My biggest advice is to get started early,” Schmid said. “Even if you don’t think you need it, it never hurts to go.”


Some students chose resolutions focused more on their physical health rather than their academic success.

Fredrick Beery, sophomore electronic media production major, said that while he would like to work hard in school, one of his other resolutions is to go to the Student Recreation and Wellness Center more often.

“I want to go to [the rec] because it is a good de-stressor from school and work,” Beery said. “I want to add weight, too; muscle is better than fat.”

Stine said she wanted to set goals for both her mind and body, which is why her other resolution for 2013 is to eat healthier on campus.

“I think it’s just something personal and wanting to feel better about myself and what I put into my body,” Stine said.

John Updegraff, associate professor of psychology, said it is natural for most people to set goals for themselves, but few plan out how they will actually achieve them. When it comes to health and fitness, Updegraff recommends creating concrete steps to achieve those goals and periodically reflecting on your progress to figure out what works and what doesn’t.

“It’s not enough to just say, ‘My goal is to lose 15 pounds,’” Updegraff said. “You need to set and follow detailed plans about how you’re going to do it. Most people’s resolutions are just goals without any specific plans.”

Updegraff said achieving these goals can benefit people physically and psychologically.

“Not only do you achieve your goal – such as eating better or exercising more – but you also benefit from a strengthened belief in your ability to achieve goals in general,” Updegraff said.

For those who want to eat healthier in the new year, Abby Millsaps, marketing coordinator of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, said a registered dietitian is available in the fitness suite to give students an analysis of their diets.

Millsaps said the dietitian is able to look at how the person currently eats and suggest ways to change their habits to improve their overall health. The rec is also offering free instructional fitness classes during Demo Week for those who want to try out new ways to exercise.


While students, such as Beery and Stine want to improve their relationships with themselves in 2013, others want to improve and maintain their relationships with others.

Ronald Exline, freshman business management major, said his resolution is to get a girlfriend—his first—and thinks the college experience is a good way to make it happen.

“College is a great opportunity to meet women and have a potential relationship with one,” Exline said. “[There are] plenty of chances to find a special girl.”

Exline may be looking for a new relationship, but Haley said she wants to improve on the relationships she already has by being a better friend.

“I feel very thankful for having such great friends and want to return the love they give me,” Haley said.

No resolutions

Some students, like Andy Lovrak, sophomore advertising major, never make New Year’s resolutions.

“I never see the point,” Lovrak said. “If I want to change something about my life, I will change it on my time.”

Mary Katherine Garvey, senior public relations major, said she agrees with Lovrak. She thinks waiting until Jan. 1 to make a resolution means people aren’t going to be committed to it.

“I don’t know that there’s a point in making resolutions because I constantly evaluate myself throughout the year,” Garvey said. “I don’t see a point in waiting for the beginning of the year to make a resolution.”

Garvey said students shouldn’t wait until the first of January to try to improve themselves; they should do it all year long.

“The first three months [at the gym] will be really busy,” Garvey said. “I’ll work out at home; I don’t want to deal with the ‘two monthers.’”

Many students did admit to not always following through with past resolutions.

Matthew Mikita, junior pre-economics major, said he has already had some trouble keeping up with his resolution this year to go bed at a decent time or “have an adult sleeping schedule.”

Mikita said that while he’s already struggling with his resolution this year, he is improving from last semester.

Updegraff said people sometimes do not follow through with their resolutions, but if they create a plan of action at the beginning of the year, they’re more likely to succeed.

“When people fail at a resolution, it typically doesn’t make them miserable,” Updegraff said. “People just get caught up in other things and forget their resolution.”

Haley said one of the key factors for students to remember when making resolutions is to only choose resolutions they can control, and this will help them to succeed.

“If you make it things like ‘get a promotion’ or ‘find my soul mate,’ those are things you yourself can’t make happen,” Haley said. “The only way to stick with a resolution is to choose something to adjust your attitude or routine.”

Both Apple and Stine said students should set smaller goals for themselves to help them be successful in maintaining their resolutions.

“I think it helps when you don’t look at the big picture, but you look at the resolution in small weekly goals, maybe even every two weeks just so you don’t overwhelm yourself when it comes to the big resolutions,” Stine said. “It definitely puts things in a brighter light for you to be able to succeed.”

Contact Kirsten Bowers at [email protected].