Lies We Tell Ourselves at the Beginning of the Semester

It’s the greatest time of year: the time when students and professors alike lie to themselves about what they can reasonably accomplish during the new semester. You are not alone. In case you are still in denial about the fact that nothing about your academic experience is going to change at all, here is a list of the most common school-related resolutions, and how to avoid falling back into them. But be warned: you’re still probably going to fail.


  1. “I’m not going to fall asleep in class anymore.” Suuure you’re not; because deciding to not sleep is the cure to being exhausted all the time. If you’re really determined to avoid this pitfall, you have many options: drink 3 cups of coffee before every class, take notes constantly so your muscles have no time to rest, or (god forbid) actually get enough sleep at night. Failing any of those, the last resort would be to chug a lot of water before class. It’s impossible to sleep while you’re thinking of how badly you have to pee.
  2. “I’m going to start being punctual!” Yeah, right. If you’re not naturally one of those super-humans who are on time to everything, forget about it. The only way to achieve this one is to leave nothing to chance. Pack your backpack the night before. Choose your clothes before you go to sleep and lay them out, ready to go. Triple check that you have everything you could ever need at then some- if you leave room for things to go wrong, they absolutely will.
  3. “This semester, I’m going to keep my room clean!” There’s only one way to keep your room looking like it’s from an issue of LL Bean, and that’s by not living in it. Stay as far away from the residence hall as possible, at all times. You can’t make a mess if you’re never around.
  4. “I’m totally not going to forget to call my mom!” This may be the only resolution you actually fulfill, but don’t get too excited. You’re only going to do this one if you’re 1) calling to beg for money, or 2) begging for permission to drop out of college. Hey, Steve Jobs got his start in his parent’s garage, and you can too! Just don’t forget to ask your dear mother how she’s doing every time she visits you in the basement to do your laundry.
  5. “This year I’m finally going to work out!” I’m sorry, but moving your arm as you lift Doritos to your mouth doesn’t qualify as a rep. Does running away from your problems count? (Weight loss tip: crying isn’t generally encouraged, but in this case you’re technically eliminating excess water weight. Gotta lose that freshman 15 somehow.)
  6. “I’m totally not going to regret this 8:30 class!” You’re completely delusional. Unless your 8:30 is an independent study in naptime, give up now.
  7. “It’s time to take school seriously.” Blah blah blah. We all tell ourselves we’re going to care more, eventually. That day is not today. The fix here is to just accept it and do all your work at the beginning of the semester while it’s still relatively easy. Then at the end, when your life is out of control and you can only passively watch all your dreams go up in flames, you’ll be able to worry slightly less about your GPA. (Only slightly.)  
  8. “Maybe I’ll start drinking less.” Please. You’re going to need it.