Planning out the New Year

January 28, 2019
The beginning of the year is a great time to get into new habits. However verbal to-dos rarely make it to the list of completed tasks. Have you ever wondered why for many of us, it is almost an annual ritual, repeating the same resolutions over and over again? Here are a few pointers from members of our community on making 2019 a productive year.

Strike that Balance

For Samuel Fordjuor, Sports Chairperson of the Ashesi Student Council, maintaining a healthy balance between academia and sports or extra-curricular activities boils down to time management.

“I’ve been playing basketball since I was really little, and it never interfered with school work because I made it a habit to do all my academic work before I head to the court,” he shared. “Sports has been beneficial to me because it’s trained me to think strategically. On the court, before you make a move, you need to think about it first, then execute, and you need to do it quickly. So, off the court, it’s become a part of me to plan what to do and do it how I plan it out.”

“For people who want to get fit, I would say, just get up and do it,” he continued. “I believe doing things within the time you’re in, is far more effective than planning too far ahead. So if you focus on accomplishing your daily goals, and do it consistently, you would more likely achieve them.”

Staying Healthy

Also on our list of suggested goals for the year is staying healthy, especially on the back of the holiday season which was characterized by a lot of indulging and binge eating.

“We need to take better care of our bodies” shared the Nurse Administrator of the Health Center, Bridgette Abakah.“When you take good care of yourself, you have less stress-related symptoms and more easily preventable diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity and even mental health issues.”

“A few tips for students is to take things easy; get more sleep and rest, stay hydrated, eat well and exercise. Lastly, we need our students to have safe sex. Use a condom, be faithful, or abstain if you want to, but ensure you stay safe. Also remember that the health center is open, and you can walk in any day for counseling for sexual health and reproductive issues.”

Financial Discipline 

“Interestingly, how you manage your personal finances tends to correlate directly with your ethical behavior or integrity,” shared David Kadeh, Director of Finance. “If you are unable to stick to a budget, you are more likely to engage in unethical activities to help maintain your lifestyle.”

“You make the most of your finances when you control lifestyle choices that have the power to increase or decrease your expenses. For example, instead of taking a taxi, we can take the bus. A good philosophy to live by is to set aside at least 10% of your sources of income for future eventualities or investments. In doing this, you will be able to operate within any amount of money that you receive.”

Take advantage of resources at your disposal

“Ashesi has access to a good batch of resources, so make the most of them” shares Nina Chachu, Head Librarian. “Between our electronic resources and stacks of books available in the library, there’s a so much available. If we don’t have what you need, you can actually make recommendations, and we’ll get them.”

“Additionally reading your emails and messages on social media also helps to keep up with what ’s going on and be able to take advantage of resources and opportunities available. Even if you don’t think the email is important, it’s good to skim it, and then pin it, unread it or flag it, if you think you might need it later.”

Enjoy it while it lasts

Our final tip for the year is to enjoy it while it lasts because once it’s over, we’ll never get it back.

“I worked throughout undergrad because I had to pay for everything,” shared Abdul Madhi, Dean of Students and Community Affairs. “For the most part, many students here have been blessed and they don’t have to do that, but these four years are some of the best and most important time in their lives. So I would encourage students to be more courageous and involved in more student activities. Read books, attend seminars, enjoy these four years because you might never get them again.”

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