CultureSkills

The New Year is about resolution, new beginnings, and fresh starts. However, many times, our wish to take on these new goals and challenges are paused by last year’s mistakes. Forget last year – it is long gone. The only things left of it are what lie in our memories. Okay, and maybe all of the ‘Facebook Year in Reviews’ that have infested all of our newsfeeds. Here are a few things that we must remember and forget about last year:

1. Breakups

A friend once told me, “Relationships aren’t necessarily all about love – they’re about learning about yourself and what you value in any relationship.” Her words stuck like glue. I’ve always been a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and relationships, be it a romantic or friendly, all have their reasons for happening. People are put in our lives for us to learn and grow. If people bring positivity into your life, you will learn and likewise, if people bring negativity in your life, you are also bound to learn something. Sometimes, breakups just mean you have learned what you need to learn from that person and it is time to move on to the next chapter in your life. Other times, breakups serve as reminders to make sure you are surrounding yourself by people that inspire, surround you with positivity, and push you to become the best you can ever be.

2. Last Year’s Failed Resolutions

We all have that New Year’s Resolution that we have thought of since November. Perhaps we want to get healthy, read that book that always seems to be referenced in important conversations, or learn to acquire more patience. And we also all have that disappointing New Year’s Resolution that seems to be every year’s repeated resolution. Cut the cycle. Take the initiative of not waiting around until New Years and start now. In addition, your failures last year will not be your failures this year. Time is ongoing and does not repeat itself. There is always a chance for new beginnings.

3. The Little Voice

We may be fearless, fierce, and fabulous when it comes to pursuing our dreams, but who doesn’t have that little voice of doubt in the back of their heads? When in the midst of determination and motivation, it is absolutely vital that you do not give into the small voice that has the power to hold you back. Perhaps this happened in 2014, 2013, or even in 2012, but not in 2015. The mind is most powerful – bury that voice in a place you can’t retrieve. Smother it with positive thinking and remember to always believe in yourself!

4. Grades and Job Disappointments

It’s understood that GPA’s are cumulative therefore, that impossible course where even passing, or the absolute taste of glory, last semester will forever be factored in it. However, thankfully that course last semester will forever be left in long gone notebooks. This semester is a new term composed of new courses taught by new professors. Do not assume all math courses will be impossible or all philosophy professors will be a dreadful walk through the underworld. Each semester brings new opportunity to improve your grades and learn from last year’s mistakes. Likewise, we all know that jobs that may have not worked out last year bring their burdens – be them financial or personal. However, it is important to take what you learned from these mistakes in order to not repeat them in future professional endeavors. Learning and growing from these mistakes and keeping a determined and positive outlook are key to any new beginning.

5. Habit Downturns

It’s possible your overall health this past year has gone downhill. Diets were broken with that 1:00 a.m. pizza craving, exercise habits interrupted by finals week, and eating habits completely totaled by just living on campus. It’s possible you began biting your nails or gone back to smoking cigarettes. There’s a chance you discovered habits of shopping until you drop or even a seriously undesirable Netflix addiction. It happens. But habits can always be shifted and changed.  Do not be discouraged by last year’s mishaps.

New Year’s is called “New Year’s” for a reason. It is out with the old and in with the new. What would you do if you weren’t afraid? Forget last year’s mistakes and take only what you’ve learned from them. Anything is possible this year – find it inside of you to conquer these goals!

Image: Time Management Ninja

CultureSkills

As soon as we put down the turkey leg and finished off our apple pie, we blinked and December was here. Even though we’re approaching the 2014 finish line, don’t let that slow you down. The last month of the year can be a new beginning for many different things – goals, activities, habits, skills, and adventures. The holiday season may present a packed calendar with parties, trips, and work to finish up, but don’t wait until 2015 to make resolutions, start something new, or to make self-improvements.

Here are some successful ways to wrap up 2014:

1. Tie up loose ends.

Finish up the remaining items on your to-do list, schedule those doctor appointments, and complete any lingering projects. This way, you can enjoy the holidays and have a fun time ringing in the New Year. Don’t bring unwanted baggage into 2015.

2. Spend quality time with friends and family.

Make time for loved ones. When the New Year begins, everyone will get busy and it’ll be a challenge to find time to spend together.

3. Say thank you.

Write thank you cards, make a phone call to express your gratitude, or mail a small gift to those who were there for you in 2014. If there are people who were influential in your personal or professional life, let them know how appreciative you are.

4. Accomplish resolutions from the beginning of 2014.

What resolutions did you make at the beginning of 2014 that have yet to be accomplished? Do them. We may only have one more month, but there is still plenty of time!

5. Learn a new skill.

You’ve got a month to learn a new skill. Perhaps you’d like to learn how to ski, improve your language skills, or learn how to efficiently use Excel. There’s no better time than now.

6. Take a weekend trip.

You may not have the time or funds to take a big trip this holiday season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a quick weekend escape. Sneak in one last adventure before the New Year.

7. Look forward.

Are major changes on the horizon? If not, do you want there to be changes? Think about what you hope to accomplish and start making adjustments in your habits and routine to make those changes a reality. Spend some time thinking about where you’d like to see yourself in 2015 and you’ll be setting yourself up for a great future.

8. Read one more book.

Don’t push off your reading list for 2015. Start now. Tomorrow you’ll be glad you did. In a reading rut? Here are some tips for how to make time to read.

9. Organize your life.

While ‘organizing your life’ is a great resolution for January, why not start getting things in order now? Organizing – whether it’s your physical space, your routine, or your overall organizational ‘system’ – can be a huge undertaking. Start small and pace yourself.

10. Give back to your community.

While it’s important to be involved in your community every month of the year, you may feel more inclined to give back during the holiday season. Don’t wait any longer to help and make a difference.

11. Improve your culinary skills.

There are a lot of delicious holiday-themed recipes and hearty meals that you can make for the cold winter months. Experiment with new ingredients, attempt a challenging recipe, and improve your cooking or baking skills so you can do more cooking at home in 2015.

12. Scrapbook or journal.

Before saying goodbye to 2014, print out photographs from special events that happened throughout the year and create a memory book. Write about how those events shaped you and why they are memorable. This is a great way to remember everything that you have accomplished during the year.

13. Develop good habits.

Trying to wake up earlier, exercise more, or spend less time on social media? Start forming good habits this month, and if any improvements need to be made later, that sounds like a pretty good 2015 resolution.

14. Take time to reflect.

Before the craziness of the holidays and the New Year begin, take some time for yourself. Revisit events that made you laugh and cry, remember the times when you felt hopeful, and meditate on the moments that were more challenging. Contemplate your successes, failures, goals, and accomplishments from 2014. Take pride in what you’ve learned and how you’ve grown, and think about what you want to take with you into 2015.

How are you wrapping up 2014?

*This article can be found on The Huffington Post.

Image: mt 23

CultureMusic

Welcome to Carpe Juvenis’ creepy-spooky-groovy Halloween playlist! Whether all of your closest friends are coming over for a costume party, or you’re getting ready for a night on the town, these songs will get you in the Halloween mood. This playlist is best enjoyed with candy corn, apple cider (spiked, for those of us over 21), and good friends. Here’s a quick guide to our spooky soundtrack:

The playlist starts out slowly with “Fresh Blood” by Eels – a favorite I picked up from True Blood’s second season soundtrack – and eases in to “My Moon My Man” by Feist. These early songs aren’t too overpowering while you put the finishing decorations up on your wall and your friends start rolling through the door. And, of course, no Halloween playlist is complete without “I Put a Spell on You” by Nina Simone!

By now your friends should be showing up and you want some higher energy tunes to go with the beginning-of-the-party buzz. The next few songs, from “Aphrodisiac” by Bow Wow Wow to “Normal Person” by Arcade Fire will set the mood and give you and your friends ample opportunity to make small talk, check out each other’s costumes and get grooving!

“Monster Mash” by Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett is another Halloween classic – and is the perfect time for everyone to show off their best Dracula dance moves! You’ll recognize some of the songs during the next part of the playlist – because who can resist singing along to “She Wolf” and “Spice Up Your Life”? – so let loose and have a good time with your friends! Halloween is all about having a good time, for the undead and their living counterparts.

As your party goes on, monsters, demons, classmates, and friends will be rolling in and you want to greet them with appropriately funky and spooky songs. “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen and The Black Keys’ “Howlin’ for You” are just right for a packed party. We also threw in a couple of songs by supernatural songstresses Florence and the Machine and Bat For Lashes, both of which would make great costume ideas for next year! Play some Halloween-themed games and munch on seasonal snacks – the night is still young!

“Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival is an old, groovy, song that fits the undead themes of your fete. By now you and your friends are probably getting tired and some of them are probably moving on to the next stage of their night. But you don’t get too bummed towards the end of your party, I’ve put some fun and dance-worthy songs by Ryan Gosling’s band Dead Man’s Bones in the latter part of the playlist.

Jam out to David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream” while you clean up from your party and have a safe, fun, and spooky Halloween!

What songs are you listening to this Halloween?

Image: Drew Patrick

CultureEducation

Now that fall and winter have passed, it’s time for a spring cleaning! That means our bookshelves are getting a makeover. There are lots of great books coming out this spring, and we can’t wait to dive in! The hardest question is which one to read first. This spring we are looking for some inspiring reads that will motivate us and help carry us through to summer, where there is no homework, exciting travel plans, more time to volunteer, and when senioritis is relieved. These are the books we are reading this spring…

1. The Promise of a Pencil by Adam Braun

Do you dream of starting your own non-profit? Do you want to help others in the world? How about just be inspired to find your calling? Adam Braun shares his personal experience of how he started Pencils of Promise in this bestseller. Braun shares his lessons learned along the way so that you, too, can follow your passion and make a difference. P.S. Read our interview with Adam here!

2. I Am That Girl: How to Speak Your Truth, Discover Your Purpose, and #bethatgirl by Alexis Jones

What’s your passion or purpose in this world? Alexis Jones inspires people to dream bigger and leave the world a better place. You are good enough and you don’t need to be perfect, whatever ‘perfect’ means. We’re excited to be empowered!

3. I Just Graduated…Now What? by Katherine Schwarzenegger

Are you graduating or did you just graduate? Are you tired of being asked what you want to do with the rest of your life? Katherine Schwarzenegger interviews awesome people about how they felt when they had just graduated from college. This should be an inspiring read.

4. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

This 1967 coming-of-age classic is a great novel to re-read several times, and it tells the story of two rival groups – the Greasers and the Socs. S.E. Hinton started writing the novel when she was just fifteen-years-old, and the final book was published when she was eighteen. Pretty incredible. Having read this book in high school, it will be a nice refresher to re-read and get lost in the world of Ponyboy Curtis.

5. Zen and the Art of Happiness by Chris Prentiss

Change the way you look at situations so that you can see them in a positive light. This book should be a breeze to get through, while being powerful and life changing at the same time.

What’s on your bookshelf this spring?

 

CultureInspirationSkills

Happy 2014! When we think of the new year, we think of how we can improve and make the next year even better. Some call these improvements resolutions, some call them goals. Either way, thinking about how you want to spend the next 365 days can be very beneficial for making the most of your time. Instead of just writing down what it is you want to do, also write down how you are going to reach your goals. When you give yourself a goal and action item combo, you’re setting yourself up for success.

Share your resolutions and goals with your friends, write them down, and say them out loud – you’re more likely to keep your resolutions when they aren’t just hanging out in your mind. Since we love working on self-improvement here at Carpe Juvenis, we wanted to share our 2014 resolutions…

1. Improve our finance knowledge.

We will read books on finance and the economy to understand how the two work together. An online class will definitely help us gain a better understanding of finance.

2. Read (at least) one book each month.

We will read every day. That’s right – every single day. Even if it is just for five minutes on the bus to school or work, a couple of pages before falling asleep, or for 20 minutes each morning. A little bit goes a long way, and the consistent reading of a few pages will accumulate to an entire novel before you know it. We will first tackle our Winter Reading List

3. Make each day count.

Academically, career-wise, and personally. Whether you want to make each day count by completing your to-do list, tackling a difficult assignment, waking up early and going for a sunrise run, or spending quality time with family and friends, make each day of 2014 count – you only get 365 of them!

4. Worry less.

Sometimes we just can’t help but worry, and then worry some more. But this year we want to be conscious of our worries and remember that we can only worry about what is in our control. Let go of the rest and let things unfold as they happen.

5. Give back more.

We will get involved in an organization for an issue that we care deeply about. If you have extra change, donate. If you have a couple of hours each month to volunteer, do it. This year we would like to give back more with our time and energy by attending organization meetings, getting involved in fundraisers/events, and by spreading awareness. 

6. Laugh (more) every day.

We laugh a lot as it is, but you can never have too many laughs in a day. We vow to laugh more, to laugh harder, and to make others laugh. 

What are your 2014 resolutions and goals?

 

LeadershipSkills

The beginning of a new year is a great time to set goals for yourself. The idea of having a fresh new start on January 1st is a motivator in itself. When we set goals, it helps to think big and then work inwards towards a more direct, specific goal. There are two types of goals to think about in 2014: Target and Adaptable goals. What do these mean?

Target goals are goals that are direct, specific goals that you want to hit on the mark. Let’s say you are working on your fitness this year and you want to increase your mile time. If you want to hit an 8-minute mile mark, that is a very specific goal that you can hit on the mark.

The second type of goal to think about is Adaptable goals, which are goals that can adjust and adapt to different situations. Your intentions in January might alter in March, and you may want to adjust your goals slightly to fit your situation at the time. Your goals do not need to be static or unchanging. In fact, having adaptable goals give you flexibility in making your goals more challenging as time goes on, or making them a little less of a reach.

Target and Adaptable goals will help you shape the type of goals you make. There is no right or wrong goal type, and while a Target goal might help you stay focused on reaching a certain point, Adaptable goals lets you freely adjust your goal path as time goes on. If you plan on making resolutions or goals for the new year, think about which kind of goals you are setting and striving to achieve.

Skills

As 2013 comes to an end, it is a great time to start reflecting on lessons you have learned in the past  year. Maybe you learned something new each day, or perhaps certain situations taught you invaluable lessons. Were you inspired by an interesting fact, a funny joke, a tidbit about your best friend, or deeply impacted by a major personal life lesson? Did you accomplish any major goals? Through your experiences in the past 365 days, what did you learn about yourself?

Taking some time to think about what 2013 taught you is great for a couple of reasons. First of all, you have gone through many experiences and most likely have grown in certain areas of your life. By recognizing these changes, you can feel proud of what you have gone through, identify what you have improved upon, and strategize ways to exceed what you have already accomplished.

Secondly, you can pinpoint strengths and weaknesses from the past year. This allows you to determine what weaknesses you want to work on in 2014 and what strengths you want to maintain.

This exercise varies for many people. It might be easy for some to think back on the year and recognize what they have learned, but for others, important lessons may be less obvious. If you fall into the latter group, make a list of things you have done and emotions you remember feeling in 2013. All of the days start to blur when you look at them as a whole, so picking out specific situations may trigger certain memories and lessons.

We’d love to know – what did 2013 teach you?