Top 10 fourth-year goals

I will make it out of college alive

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Ashley Botkin is a Top 10 writer and assistant managing editor for The Cavalier Daily. 

Christina Anton | Cavalier Daily

1. Stay organized

Every year I buy more and more organizational tools. Extremely detailed planners? Check. Shelves? Check. Storage boxes? Check. But somehow, no matter how hard I try, my organization falls apart within the first month of classes. I neglect my planner, forget about color-coding and all but abuse my backpack’s ability to hold useless papers. This year I will totally do better because I am about to be thrust into the real world. Right?

2. Eat healthy

Healthy food is gross. I don’t know how anyone eats it on a regular basis. Sure, I can handle a Roots bowl, but how am I supposed to do that every day? It’s so much easier to pop a pizza in the oven than it is to prepare a meal with all the food groups. But, unfortunately, adulthood is quickly approaching, and I can’t survive on ramen noodles forever — no matter how much I love them. 

3. Save money

It is disgustingly easy to spend money and even easier to not keep track of how much you’re spending. Who wants to know that anyway? With graduation comes the chilling calls of student loan collectors, and I’m trying to live my life debt-free. Now I just have to figure out how to stick to a budget. 

4. Get someone to respond to my articles

President Ryan and Coach Tony Bennett, I’m looking at you. I’ve written the both of you articles, but for some reason, I have received no fruit baskets or Twitter shout-outs for my efforts. President Ryan, I gave you a lot of suggestions for some fresh ideas on Grounds, and Coach Bennett, I offered advice on making basketball more interesting, proposed that I should be the next assistant coach and even called you cute. But alas, I have not been contacted by either of you despite my many talents and hilarious articles. This year, I will get a response — hopefully.

5. Become TikTok famous

I was quick to shun TikTok when it became a thing. I thought it was trying to copy Vine, which had become a crucial part of my existence. It would be even worse if it was like Musical.ly — full of a bunch of teenagers lip syncing to songs and moving their phones around like they were having spasms. But over time, I have come to enjoy TikTok, and I even have my own account. But just enjoying TikTok is not enough for me. I want to be internet famous. I’m talking sponsorships, free merch and being recognized by tweens in public. I want it all. 

6. Make my cat happy

My cat is spoiled, to say the least. He has so many toys, accessories and care items that I wonder how much money I’d save without him. One time I spent $300 at the vet when he had a swollen face just to discover he’d been stung by a bee. I’d do anything for him, but I think he’s lonely as an only child. So this year will be as much about making the most of my undergraduate career as it is making the most of his year — no more lonely Ancho.  

7. Get into grad school

I really thought I was done with standardized testing once I was accepted to college, but then I learned about the GRE. Luckily, some schools don’t require the test any longer, but of course I was lucky enough to choose graduate programs that want my scores. I can’t believe I have to review math for an art history degree.

8. Learn a new skill

So much of my time is spent learning things for class that I can’t remember the last time I learned something new for my own benefit. Maybe this will be the year I finally figure out how to bake a souffle or how to keep plants alive and safe from my cat. The world is my oyster, so I might as well try my hand at a new skill. 

9. Be cooler

I may advertise myself as one of the coolest people on Grounds, but the world is much bigger than Charlottesville. How am I supposed to compete with amazing people like Meghan Markle, Beyoncé and Megan Rapinoe? I have no royal titles, Grammy trophies or World Cup wins, but there’s no harm in striving to be as amazing as these ladies. 

10. Graduate

I would be lying if I said I didn’t think about dropping out of college and becoming a nomadic sheep herder. I feel like it would be easier, and sheep are much nicer than some humans. I wouldn’t be nearly as stressed over papers and deadlines, and I’d finally have time to read for fun. But I’ve worked this hard for this long, so I guess I owe it to myself to hold out for one more year. I can always be a sheepherder with a degree.

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