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New semester, not New Year’s, resolutions

| Monday, January 30, 2017

When I was in elementary school, I got a folder sent home every Friday with my work for the week. My mom would always look through it and make me correct my homework errors. Above all else, I dreaded this part of my Fridays.

It’s not that I minded my mom looking through my work — she could look through whatever she wanted; I didn’t care. It was the correcting part that I hated. I consistently made A’s on my assignments, maybe just missing a question or two every now and then on a worksheet. But my mom (being the brutal dictator I thought she was) made me fix even that one worksheet I got a 95 percent on because of a simple addition mistake.

At first, I thought my mom made me correct my mistakes because she expected me to always get 100 percents. If it wasn’t perfect, I thought maybe it wasn’t quite good enough.

Reflecting back on my elementary school days, I now realize my mom likely had a different goal in mind. It wasn’t so much about how many questions I got right the first time I did the assignment; it was about the questions I hadn’t gotten right. It was about looking back and seeing there was something I could improve, and then actually taking steps to improve it.

As a second semester freshman, I have learned that though I am no longer in elementary school, I can still — and most definitely should — continue to improve in my work, even though it may be harder for a couple reasons.

For one reason, those areas of improvement are harder to identity now. They are no longer marked out with red pen and a number grade telling me just how far I have to go to get a perfect score.

The other problem is that I realize I must push myself outside of just my academic work. Becoming a good family member, friend, roommate and person in general are other areas I can scrutinize and improve.

I have made it a personal goal this semester to push myself to improve in all aspects of my life. My purpose with this Viewpoint is not to ask you to join me or to encourage you to take on the same goal, but to ask you to consider your own goals for this semester. As we are approaching February, we may have already failed on our New Year’s Resolutions, but the semester is still in its beginning, and we still have time to promise ourselves to make some changes. I know that I will be making mine.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Alexandra Muck

Alexandra Muck is a Notre Dame senior majoring in business and economics. Originally from Dallas, she currently lives in Howard Hall.

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