Happy New Year! Are you an overachiever looking to improve your New Year’s resolutions? In this blog we’ll count down 22 resolutions for the high school overachiever in the year 2022. Pick one or two of our resolutions to help better yourself this year!
22. Enter Something in a Contest
It doesn’t matter if it’s artwork, a poem, a film, or an essay. You can’t win awards if you don’t enter any contests to begin with! Find one that matches your interests and enter it.
21. Talk to a Teacher Outside of Classtime
Talk to a teacher outside of your classtime at least once a week. Be curious! Ask them questions about how they got into teaching, and why they like the subject they teach. Get to know them, because, at some point, you’re going to need a letter of recommendation from a teacher. If you don’t have a good relationship with that teacher, it makes it harder for them to write a great letter. They’re an awesome resource, so take advantage of it!
20. Work on your Resume
As a teenager, you may not have a written resume yet. It’s a good idea to have one ready in case you need to apply to an internship or research position. You will also need one for your college applications, and it is a good idea to send one to anyone you are asking to write you a letter of recommendation.
19. Start an Independent Personal Passion Project
This is our favorite “wow” factor activity. You can also check out our video about this here.
18. Plan your Summer
We also have a video on summer activities. However, if you don’t plan out these activities, it’s hard for them to materialize.
17. Read One Book a Month Outside of Class
If you want to be an interesting person then one place you can start is reading more. The more you read, the more fascinating ideas you get to play around with in your head. You may also want explore non-fiction to expand your intellectual curiosity.
16. Make a Test Prep Schedule (and stick to it)
If you’re a Junior, this means 4 to 6 hours a week for 8 to 10 weeks leading up to your exam. For Freshmen and Sophomores, maybe you spend 1 hour a week practicing problem sets on a site like Khan Academy. If you practice a little bit at a time, you’ll be in much better shape once all of these tests hit you.
15. Teach Yourself Something New Outside of Class
14. Make a List of Scholarships and Apply
Find a list of scholarships that you can apply to, and start applying!
13. Tour or Research a College a Week
You can do this virtually, or in person if you live close by. Spend 15 minutes a week getting to know a new college and working on your college list.
12. Reach out to a New Friend
While you may be focusing on good grades and how to get accepted to a top college, it’s also important to focus on your social life. Especially if you’re an overachiever, it’s easy to focus on the work, and not the friendships. If this sounds like you, a good resolution may be to reach out and build friendships and connections.
11. Learn to Cook Something or Cook for Your Family
Your parents will appreciate it, and you will have done something creative and fun for yourself. Plus, you may get a potential food metaphor for your future college applications.
10. Explore Something Cultural
Mark a day once a mont to explore something cultural. This could mean finding a new artist or musician, or exploring a local museum.
9. Find a Podcast and Subscribe
8. Curate Your Social Media for the Better
Telling you to get off of all social media is impractical, however, be wary of all the noise on social media. Consider curating your feed so the things you follow are helping you or making you more intelligent. Spend a day and make intentional choices— add thoughtful news sources, inspiring people, and weed out the noise.
7. Find a Way to Exercise
Exercise is probably the number one resolution. For teenagers, however, this may mean an 8-minute workout app, or joining a sport at school. Whatever it is, try to stay active. Being active helps with your focus and concentration, and can decrease anxiety.
6. Start a Gratitude Journal
Start a gratitude journal and write in it once a week.
5.Find a Mentor
People older than you can have a lot of insight and wisdom. If you’re part of a synagogue, church, congregation, or any other community organization, and there’s someone older who shares your interests, talk to them! Befriending someone outside of your age group and can rewarding.
4. Be a Mentor
You can also help people younger than you to befriend, and show them the ropes.
3. Do Something Awesome for Your Parents
Your parents are supporting you and likely sacrificing things to help you. Take a moment to think about something fun and creative you can do to support them.
2. Pursue a Research or Internship Opportunity
A common “Wow” factor for students we see accepted to top schools is curating internships and research opportunities with people who are doing awesome, interesting work. These positions aren’t always easy to find. If you want them, you have to reach out and find people. This is a case where emailing and cold-calling may work. It may take 50 or 100 emails to yield results. You can also consider reaching out to graduate students and PhD candidates at research universities to see if they need any help with their research.
1. Embrace Your Inner Awesome
What’s most important is that you are taking care of yourself. Your mental and social health is more important than where you go to college, and how much money you’ll make once you get out. Remember to take care of your mental health as you go through this process.