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New Semester Mentality

The new year is an opportunity to bring fresh perspectives and initiatives to our day to day. 

I’ve seen this manifest in physical ways, noticing more people reading on the metro or carrying reusable water bottles and coffee thermoses with them. 

This self-reflexive reset is important, yet in a graduate environment full of projects and deadlines, it can be hard to sustain and hold ourselves accountable in the long term. Whether you’re a student or employee, here are some things that I’m hoping to be mindful of throughout this new season: 

  • Staying engaged and curious, both in my day to day routine and in intellectual pursuits
  • Setting weekly goals and reflecting on those goals every month
  • Attending events and taking advantage to the resources and opportunities available (this can be through the University Calendar, , or through local online magazines such as Washingtonian (
  • Embracing where you’re at in the present (and the hard work you’ve previously accomplished!)

Imposter syndrome, or a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success, is unfortunately common among my peers. It’s normal to compare ourselves to other people or to an ideal of a greater self in our digital age, but we’re all still figuring it out as we go. Here’s to embracing where we’re at and carrying this new semester mentality with us into the spring!


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