From personal to professional goals, students make resolutions for the new year


Olivia Alexander Daily Senior Staffer

Undergraduate students are setting goals for 2022.

Olivia Kharrazi, Reporter

With the new year on the horizon, Northwestern students are ready to make some positive changes. To ring in 2022, The Daily spoke with an undergraduate from each year about their goals for the upcoming year.

Alexia Kadota-Browner: Striving for all areas of wellness

Working toward a personal trainer certification, Medill freshman Alexia Kadota-Browner said she plans to add other aspects of wellness to her routine this year. Beyond fitness, she said she hopes to focus on “mindful eating” and getting a healthy amount of sleep each night.

“Sleep, to me, is the big umbrella of wellness,” Kadota-Browner said. “If you’re not getting enough sleep, it’s going to lead to sickness. It’s going to leave you feeling tired.”

With nearly 1,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel, Live Like Lex, Kadota-Browner also hopes to cross that landmark in the new year — which would allow her to monetize her videos. With the added credibility from her personal trainer certification, which she hopes she will have finished by the end of 2021, Kadota-Browner said she wants to upload more consistently to her growing channel.

Stephen Peng: Leaning on a creative outlet

Communication sophomore Stephen Peng initially began making art as a calming practice. In 2021, Peng aimed to take what was once a hobby more seriously and recently declared a minor in Art Theory and Practice. 

Peng had primarily wielded pens, pencils and oil paints to create his art. But working on the design elements of theatrical productions on campus has recently encouraged him to experiment with new types of art, he said. His interests include digital and graphic design, which he practices while creating posters and programs, as well as scenic and costume designs.

“I want to expand my horizons and make my art to keep up with the times instead of staying in my comfort zone of just drawing on paper,” Peng said.

Irina Cheng: Expanding with further research

McCormick junior Irina Cheng hopes to continue her current research with the Feinberg School of Medicine’s Jindan Yu Lab in the upcoming year. 

Cheng admitted she still has a lot to learn before self-publication is attainable. But she said her work doing bioinformatics analysis for the Feinberg lab is a great opportunity to get her foot in the door. She hopes to possibly begin her own research project by the start of her senior year, she said.

“My goal is to do enough work with them to the point of having something tangible, like a publication,” Cheng said.

As a student on the premedical track, Cheng also plans to take the MCAT this coming summer. Her goal is to take it only once. 

Cheng will take a gap year in the 2022-23 academic year, during which she hopes to restart the EMT classes she began during the pandemic. 

“Staying on top of everything I’m doing is vital,” Cheng said. “It’s been very easy to relax over COVID because everything’s online, pass-fail. Reformulating my good study habits and just staying on top of things would be really good.”

Bobby Read: Starting graduate school

SESP senior Bobby Read plans to attend law school in 2022. He spent the majority of his 2021 preparing law school applications, from taking the LSAT to working on his personal statement and essays.

“Applying to law school is a huge, huge deal,” Read said. “It’s taken this whole year to get to where I am today.”

In the new year, Read said he hopes to tie law into the courses, interests and extracurriculars he has pursued at NU and narrow his broad interest in the field down to an area of specialty.

Read plans to take advantage of all that the University has to offer over his last few months after living in a pandemic for several years of his time in college.

“I love being on campus and being able to experience musical shows and concerts and student protests and being indoors and things like that,” Read said. “I definitely will not be taking for granted my last six months on campus after (Winter Break), and I don’t think anyone else should, whether you’re a freshman or senior.”

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