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New Year’s Resolution Ideas: 100 SMART Goals To Improve Your Life

Have you been struggling to think of cool ideas for New Year’s resolutions this year? We’ve got you covered! Check out this list of 100 New Year’s resolution ideas to get your year started off right.

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A person making a list of ideas for New Year's resolutions

The new year is a great opportunity to start over, work on yourself, or go after your goals. That is why I have gathered the best list of 100 New Year’s resolution ideas to get your year started off right.

You will love these ideas because they will push you to improve the quality of your life. 

Now, staying motivated to accomplish your New Year’s resolutions is not always easy, but please do not get discouraged

You can achieve anything you set your mind to as long as you remain consistent and focus on one thing at a time. (Remember…Less is MORE)

So, do not overwhelmed yourself with too much and keep pushing! I guaranteed you see extraordinary results. 

Before we start, make sure to get our FREE printable below so you can create your own list and start working toward your goals today. 

 

In this Post:

 

New Year’s Resolution Ideas Made for Students

 

1. Take better notes

A Notebook with a pen and reading glasses

Source                                                                                         

To be honest, I’ve always loved taking notes. I like using highlighters and sticky notes and colorful pens — it’s just so aesthetically pleasing and makes studying bearable.

A few of my friends have vowed to take better notes, though. This is a great New Year’s resolution idea because it can make studying more efficient and can improve your grades.

Try motivating yourself to take notes by buying some cute notebooks and fun pens.

If you take notes on a laptop or tablet, have some documents and folders ready so you can organize notes by course and date.

2. Workout more

School can suck up all of your time and energy, whether you realize it or not. It can be hard to squeeze in time to work out and take care of your body.

I told myself that I was going to exercise more this past semester, but I ended up studying all day and then passing out at night, completely exhausted.

If you want this to be your New Year’s resolution, I’d suggest penciling time into your schedule — preferably in the morning before the school day exhausts you.

You won’t regret it, as exercising will lift your mood, alleviate stress, and give you more energy for the rest of the day.

3. Make more money

Like I said earlier, it can be hard to make time for other things while you’re in school, so making room for a part-time job in your schedule can be difficult.

If you’re unable to keep up with your expenses, or if you want to start saving, there are a few other ways to make a few bucks.

  1. Sell some of your old clothes on websites or apps such as Poshmark.
  2. Participate in research studies near you — your university might pay for your participation.
  3. Sell some of your crafts on Etsy.
  4. Ask around for babysitting or dog sitting jobs.

However, the truth is that focusing on getting a job, or focusing on the one you already have, is the most reliable way to make money.

As long as you can figure out a balance between work and school, you’ll be happy to have that money in the bank.

4. Call your family members more

Your loved ones will surely want to know what you’ve been up to at school. Make it a goal to talk to them on a weekly basis.

They’ll love to hear from you, and maybe they’ll offer some support or advice that you didn’t even know you needed.

This New Year’s resolution will help keep your priorities straight — school isn’t always the most important thing!

5. Have more fun

Some of us take school a bit more seriously than others, and that’s OK. Just remember to have fun, too! Your New Year’s resolution can be to schedule more fun things in your week.

Invite your friends over for a movie night. Go to a party. Eat nachos at a football game. Whatever sounds fun to you!

6. Get an internship

Do you want to work toward your goals? One step you can take is to get an internship to gain experience. The first thing you’ll have to do is find the internships you want to apply for.

Then, update your resume and start working on cover letters! Ask your friends or counselors for advice or spell checks.

7. Get better grades

This one is not so simple to achieve, but if you make good daily habits, you’ll definitely see results.

Instead of waiting until the last minute to cram for an exam, set aside 20 minutes a day to study starting a few weeks beforehand.

Also, if you make time to study, but you don’t really know how to do so effectively, here are some techniques you can try.

  1. Make flashcards and test yourself.
  2. Have a friend quiz you.
  3. Try to explain the subject material to a friend — sometimes, teaching someone else can help us learn.
  4. For memorization, come up with silly acronyms.

8. Cut back on coffee

I love coffee too much to carry this one out, but it would probably do me some good. If you rely on coffee a little too much to get through the day, limit your intake.

Maybe only go for a few cups a week. Caffeine isn’t great for you, so only good things can come from this New Year’s resolution idea.

9. Get more sleep

I can’t stress the importance of sleep enough. It’s so important for your mental and physical health. And making sure that you get enough hours can improve your performance in school, too.

To start, you can choose a lights-out time to stick to every day. Hopefully, your sleep schedule will regulate as a result.

10. Read more books

I love reading, but it can be hard to find time during the school year to read for pleasure. Chances are that you’re already reading a ton of books for class, but it’s not the same.

Set aside 20 minutes a day to read a book for fun. I like to do my reading before bed.

11. Keep up with current events

It’s easy to live in a bubble while in school. But it’s good to keep up with current events to keep your life in perspective. Listen to podcasts, read The New York Times — whatever works for you.

12. Spend less time on social media

My screen time is getting just a tad out of hand. If you spend too much time on your phone, it can affect your sleep or take up time you could be spending doing something a little more productive.

Some steps you can take include keeping your phone in your bag when you’re on a walk or turning it off before you fall asleep.

13. Keep your room clean

This may seem like a silly New Year’s resolution. But having a clean space can reduce your stress levels and make you feel more productive and organized.

Especially if you are living in a dorm, keeping your small space neat can do so much for your mood. Plus, it’s always a good habit to have.

14. Drink more water

It’s so important to drink plenty of water. It keeps your body healthy, prevents illness, and it can help with headaches and acne.

An easy way to up your water intake is to come up with a goal and set reminders on your phone. There are also apps that can help you keep track.

15. Wake up earlier

Even if you’re not a morning person (I’m definitely not), you can get so much done when you wake up earlier. It can help you feel more rested and productive. It is also helps support good mental health.

16. Enjoy nature more

This is a great New Year’s resolution idea for anyone. Spending more time outside when the weather is nice is a great mood booster.

Make time to go to a local garden or go on a hike. If you still find you’re too busy with school, just study outside!

17. Eat healthier

Eating healthy can do a lot for your mental health as well as your physical health. For college students, it’s especially easy to opt for fried foods at the dining halls.

If you have access to a kitchen, trying cooking a healthy meal for yourself. Or make sure you’re choosing lots of fruits and vegetables when at the dining hall.

18. Learn to play an instrument

This was my New Year’s resolution a while back. I asked for a ukulele for Christmas, and I spent the year watching tutorials on YouTube. It was a fun way to keep myself busy when I was bored.

Instruments can be expensive, so if you don’t want to spend the money, ask a friend if you can borrow one.

19. Keep a planner

I love buying a new planner at the beginning of each year. That thing will stick by my side every single day for 365 days straight.

If you’re wanting to be more organized this year, write down all of your homework and plans in a planner.

It’s so useful, and you can have fun decorating it with stickers and colorful pens.

20. Start a bullet journal

If you don’t know, a bullet journal is somewhat similar to a planner. However, there are key differences.

With a bullet journal, you design your own pages, so you can keep track of more than just your homework.

You can track sleep patterns, how much water you drink, what movies you want to watch, etc. You can make the pages aesthetically pleasing, and even the act of drawing them out is relaxing.

21. Put more effort into your appearance

Now, nobody needs to change or improve the way they look. However, sometimes, taking more time to do your hair or pick out a cute outfit can make you feel ready to take on the day.

Make it your New Year’s resolution to spend more time on yourself and boost your confidence. And, it can be fun to explore different looks if you want to change it up.

22. Get your writing publisher

If writing is something you’re interested in — creative writing or otherwise — this is a great New Year’s resolution idea.

It took me a few tries before I got my first poem published, but it was so rewarding when I did.

Even if you don’t consider yourself a talented writer, just send some stuff out and see if anyone will bite. You might be surprised!

23. Travel more

Traveling is a great way to make memories and gain some perspective. Maybe look into some study abroad programs.

If going overseas seems too overwhelming or expensive, road trip around! Nothing bad can come of seeing more of the world.

24. Make more time for friends

When you’re older, you won’t remember how much homework you had, but the memories you made with your friends.

School is important, of course. But it’s much more important to be happy and make connections with people.

Make it your New Year’s resolution to find a balance between your social life and academic life.

25. Spend less money

Maybe you’ve gone a little overboard with online shopping. Or maybe you’ve been drinking too many Starbucks lattes lately.

Whatever it is, if you want to save money, come up with a plan to spend less of it. Come up with a budget for each month, and make sure to stay within your limits.

Related: 5 Unique Tips for a Fresh Start in 2021

New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Couples

26. Go on more dates

Maybe you and your significant other need some more fun in your lives. Or maybe you’re trying to reignite the spark in your relationship. Whatever it may be, going on more dates is a fun New Year’s resolution idea.

You’re essentially vowing to have more fun with each other. How could that be a bad thing? Just remember to pencil it into your calendar so you remember to make time for it.

27. Take a class together

This is such a fun New Year’s resolution idea because the options are endless. Take a dance class, painting, cake decorating, whatever class you can think of!

If it’s something new for both of you, you’ll have fun making a fool of yourselves together.

Or maybe one of you is a talented artist and the other wants to take an interest in what you do. You really can’t go wrong.

28. Make more time for yourself

This one may seem a little counterintuitive, but having more me-time can do great things for your relationship.

It can reduce stress and give you a break from your everyday life. Sometimes, that’s what you need in a healthy relationship.

If you spend too much time together, you’ll end up taking out your frustrations on only each other.

29. Less screen time

If you and your partner are looking for a way to connect more, this could be the New Year’s resolution idea you need.

You can start by speaking with your partner about your goals — how will spending less time on your phone or watching less TV help you achieve those goals?

Then determine what times throughout the day you are and aren’t supposed to be staring at a screen.

Maybe the cell phone turns off after 7 p.m. Maybe you only watch one hour of TV a day. Whatever you guys decide, you’re sure to learn a lot about your relationship without all of those distractions.

30. Make chores more equitable

If you feel that the distribution of household chores isn’t distributed evenly, why not address it with your New Year’s resolution?

Maybe you’re sick of washing your partner’s dishes all the time or doing too much of the cooking.

Talk to them about figuring out a balance. You can make it fun, too. Come up with silly recipes to cook together, or take turns throughout the week.

31. Engage in each other’s interests

It’s OK for people in a relationship to each have their own hobbies and interests. Sometimes, though, it can be nice to know that your partner takes an interest in what you like.

If your partner likes to read a lot, maybe give one of their favorite books a try. If your partner is really into soccer, go to a game together!

32. Be more honest with each other

Communication is key. Make it a pact to be more open with each other. This one may be a little difficult to do, but chances are that all parties involved will feel better getting things off their chest.

The longer you keep things to yourself, the more anxious or angry you may get.

33. Practice positivity

You and your partner can help each other create a positive living space. To start, keep negative words to a minimum.

Instead, tell each other something kind at least once a day. You can also practice meditation and yoga together to reduce stress.

34. Work on a project together

Have you always wanted to write a blog? Start an Etsy business? You and your partner can work on it together! It can add a little bit of fun to your day.

35. Redecorate your home

If you and your partner live together, maybe it’s time to change things up a little bit.

Repaint the kitchen cabinets. Buy some new paintings for the living room. Hang up some picture frames. A newly decorated space can feel like a new start.

36. Support each other’s goals

Again, life can feel like it just gets in the way sometimes. But it’s time to stop putting your goals on hold.

This New Year’s, promise each other that you’ll put your dreams into action and that you won’t get in the way of them. Help keep each other on track.

37. Try couples therapy

If you and your partner have been talking about attending therapy for a while, maybe it’s time to finally follow through.

Make it your New Year’s resolution to give couples therapy a try. It’s helped plenty of people!

38. Go on a daily walk

This is a great New Year’s resolution idea for many reasons. First, exercise is almost always a good idea. Walking daily can improve physical and mental health.

And it’s a great chance for you and your partner to talk without too many distractions

39. Get a pet

Maybe you guys have been talking about getting a dog for years, or maybe you’ve never thought about it.

Either way, how could getting a pet be a bad idea? Sure, sometimes they can be smelly and expensive. But they’re too cute to turn down.

40. Take more pictures together

Taking more pictures is a great way to remind each other of the fun memories you’ve made.

Hang them around your house for cute decor, and post them on social media to let everyone know what you guys are up to. You’ll love looking back on these photos years down the line.

41. Talk more

When life gets busy, it can feel like you never get to really talk with your partner anymore. Set some concrete goals this year to ensure that you guys get enough face time with each other.

For example, instead of spending time on your phones in the morning, sit down for a cup of coffee together, and talk about current events or each other’s plans for the day.

42. Clean up the house

Keeping your house clean can help keep your life organized. This year, make it your New Year’s resolution to keep a clean, positive space. It will be nice to show off to visitors.

43. Get to know your neighbors

Maybe you and your partner just moved to a new area. Or maybe you guys just haven’t gotten to know your neighbors since they moved in.

Either way, it doesn’t hurt to build your network and form a supportive community. An easy way to start is simply by knocking on doors — invite them over for dinner sometime!

44. Visit your in-laws more often

Make it your New Year’s resolution to visit each other’s side of the family more often. Invite them over for dinner or insist you come for a visit.

If they live across the country, make it a goal to call them more or plan a road trip.

45. Celebrate more

One way to practice positivity is to celebrate each other’s life accomplishments — big and small.

Go big for every holiday. Go out to a nice dinner when one of you gets a promotion. There are a billion things you can be celebrating!

46. Drink less alcohol

There are plenty of reasons to drink less. It can be beneficial for your health and can save you money, for example.

Whatever your reason, if this is something that you both want to do, make a set of guidelines to follow throughout the year. Like, limit yourself to two glasses of wine per week.

47. Amp up the romance

This New Year’s resolution is quite popular and can be accomplished in many different ways.

Go on more dates. Take a trip together. Give daily affirmations. Whatever you and your partner will enjoy.

48. Say “I love you” more

This one is simple and straightforward. Words of affirmation can be so important in any relationship. Make sure that your partner knows how you feel about them.

49. Show more physical affection

Just as words of affirmation can be important for a relationship, so can touch. Hold each other’s hands when you walk. Offer a hug when they get home from work. Little actions like these matter.

50. Prioritize family

Whether you’re married or not, have kids or not, make it a priority to focus on family this year.

Spend more time with each other’s parents and siblings. Go visit your cousins. Plan a family vacation. You won’t regret this New Year’s resolution.

Related: 5 Surprisingly Easy Ways To Actually Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions In 2021

 

New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Best Friends

 

51. Make plans for a trip

If you’re like me and my friends, you guys have been itching to go on an adventure together. Make this the year! Road trip to the coast or the mountains.

Or a more budget and time-friendly option is to plan a day trip. Spend the day in a city near yours, or explore the one you already live in.

52. Make new friends

Do you and your best friend want to expand your circle? You definitely can and should.

Coming out of the pandemic, we’ve all missed social interaction and meeting new people. You and your best friend should plan to join some new clubs, volunteer, go to bars, etc. See who you meet.

53. Treat yourselves

Maybe you and your best friend could spend a little less time stressing about everything else and indulge more. Go out for drinks! Take a trip to the spa! Go to the game!

54. Spend more time with each other

Sometimes, life can get busy. So busy that you haven’t been able to see your best friend in ages.

This year, make it a pact to see each other more this year. You guys should prioritize each other no matter what else is going on.

55. Try new restaurants

There are way too many restaurants I still need to try in my hometown.

You’d think I would’ve gotten around to it after living there for a number of decades, but I tend to go to the same five places over and over again.

Make it your New Year’s resolution to try new restaurants around your town. Go on a little food adventure!

56. Explore your city

I’ve lived in Kansas City for years, but I still couldn’t tell you everything it has to offer. I bet that in your city, there are so many cool buildings, events, and people that you have yet to discover.

You and your best friend should make a pact to learn more about your city, and have fun doing it.

57. Take dance classes

Recreational dance classes are a fun way to meet new people. I’ve made a few lifelong friends from dance class.

You and your best friend should sign up this year. Contemporary, ballroom, hip-hop — there are plenty of options for all levels

58. Check in on each other more

Sometimes, it can be hard to keep up with your best friend when you have your own stuff going on. Life can be hard, so make it a point to check in with each other more.

Once a week, go for coffee and rant about school, work, your parents, your partner, etc. Make sure each of you is doing OK.

59. Dress more courageously

It can be hard to wear the things you want with confidence. If you’ve been wanting to break out that new crop top or buy a new wardrobe, you should! Clothes can be a fun way to express yourself.

Encourage each other to dress how you actually want rather than the same shirt and shorts you wear every week.

60. Start an Etsy business

It’s time to put all that creativity to use. You and your best friend should make it your New Year’s resolution to start a miniature business.

There are so many things you can draw, paint, glue, or sew to put together some cool items.

Even if you don’t end up making much of a profit, you’ll have fun putting everything together with your best friend.

61. Spend more time listening to each other

For some of us, it’s easier to talk and get our worries off our chest. For others, it’s easier to support our friends by listening to their problems.

But maybe you and your best friend could find a better balance between listening and sharing. Make it your New Year’s resolution to genuinely listen to each other’s issues more.

62. Get fit together

For me, it’s easier to motivate myself to work out when I have a friend tagging along. Find some fitness classes and promise to show up every week.

You two can also go on walks together and catch up. There are a ton of ways to get moving that will be 10 times more fun with your friend.

63. Have more movie nights

Movie nights are a great way to laugh together. Your New Year’s resolution can be to have a movie night weekly or biweekly.

It will be something that you guys can look forward to every week! And don’t forget the snacks.

64. Start a little book club

I always love talking about books with my friends. This year, you guys can start a little book club. Meet once a month or so to discuss the new books you’ve read. See if others want to join!

65. Finally get tattoos

You two have been talking about getting tattoos for forever (matching or non-matching), but you guys always chicken out.

Hold each other to it this year. Just go for it! Life is too short to not get the tattoo.

66. Volunteer together

Volunteering around your community can be such a rewarding experience. You and your best friend should share this experience!

Help out around your town and have fun doing it. If you’re not sure of any volunteer opportunities near you, all it takes is a quick google search.

67. Mesh your friend groups

You and your best friend should introduce all of your other friends and acquaintances.

If everyone gets along well, you’ll have a big group of friends to hang out with. Big friend groups can be the best kind of friendship.

68. Save for a trip to Europe

A trip to Europe with your best friend might seem financially… unreasonable. But if you put in the work, you can make it possible.

Put aside a percentage of your earnings each week, and by the end of the year, you’ll be prepared for great plans.

69. Binge a TV show together

A fun way to ensure that you and your friend will spend time together is to binge a show.

Catch up on a couple of episodes each week. By the end of the year, you’ll know the characters and the seasons inside and out.

70. Start a band

Whether it’s serious or silly, how could starting a band be a bad idea? I can’t imagine it would be boring. Get your friends together with some instruments, and start working on some songs.

71. Learn how to roller skate

I used to roller skate all the time when I was little. I remember it being a blast, but I’m not so sure I can do it anymore.

I plan to relearn with my friend this summer. You and your friend should too! Dress up in helmets and knee pads and make fools of yourselves.

72. Spend more time out of the house

No matter how much you and your friend love sitting on the couch and watching movies all day, it’s important to get out of the house, too.

Go out to lunch. Meet some people! Have a picnic at the park!

73. Visit each other more

If you and your best friend live miles apart, try to visit each other more often. Road trip or indulge in a plane ticket. It’s for your friend, so it will be worth it!

74. Get to know each other better

Even though it feels like you guys have known each other for a century, there is still a lot you can learn about each other.

For your New Year’s resolution this year, promise to get to know each other.

Related: How To Celebrate New Year’s Eve Around The World

 

Unique New Year’s Resolution Ideas

 

75. Pick some complicated recipes and perfect them

We can’t all be Julie Powell and make our way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking. But learning to cook is a great New Year’s resolution idea.

You’ll never regret learning how to cook for yourself or other people.

And this is a fairly attainable goal as well. Chances are that you already have the supplies you’ll need. If not, borrow your friend’s kitchen.

You can learn recipes by simply reading the instructions or watching YouTube videos. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, sign up for a cooking class near you.

76. Paint more

This one is going to be on my list next year. I used to paint all the time, but life got in the way. However, it’s important to make time for the things that make you happy.

Sign up for classes near you, follow along to some YouTube videos, or simply paint what you like on your own time.

77. Try goat yoga

I have always wanted to try goat yoga. I love yoga, and I love goats. Can you think of a better way to spend your time than doing some relaxing yoga surrounded by cute little bleating goats? I can’t.

Check and see if there’s goat yoga near you and sign up. If you can’t find anything, remember to check when you’re on your next vacation in a different city.

78. Go skydiving

This one is definitely not for me. But if you’ve been talking about going skydiving sometime before you die, why not now?

You’ll be surprised by how many places offer it in the U.S. And as a bonus, this New Year’s resolution is one and done, so you won’t have to pressure yourself with practicing a skill every day or anything like that.

79. Try going vegan or vegetarian for a couple of days a week

This one will be easier than you think, and it will help reduce your carbon footprint and help the environment.

If you choose to go this route, plant-based milk such as oat or almond milk will be your best friend — I actually prefer it to cow milk.

You can also find tofu or plant-based meat substitutes at your local grocery store — give them a try!

You might be surprised by what you like. Canned beans are also a good vegan protein source that’s affordable.

Have vegan taco nights with refried beans and black beans!

80. Support Black-owned businesses

It is important to actively support people of color to help society toward racial equality.

By supporting Black-owned businesses, you are helping close the racial wealth gap, making local economies stronger, and more.

At the beginning of the year, create a list of Black-owned businesses you’d like to support, and add to this list throughout the year.

81. Support LGBTQ+-owned businesses

For similar reasons listed above, you should support LGBTQ+-owned businesses.

A lot of people try to do so during Pride Month, but supporting the LGBTQ+ community should be a year-round effort. Research some LGBTQ+-owned businesses that you can support.

82. Learn a new language

If I could learn all of the languages in the world, I would. Being multilingual is such a great skill to have.

Even if you don’t have an immediate opportunity for using the language you’re learning (e.g. you’re learning Dutch but aren’t planning to go to Denmark any time soon), it’s still a great mental exercise and encourages you to think about your native language in new and creative ways.

Start with an app like Duolingo, and work your way up to reading some children’s books and listening to music and watching movies in the language.

83. Write everyday

This was my New Year’s resolution last year, and I actually stuck to it. This New Year’s resolution idea is perfect if you want to be a writer.

Even if writing is not your thing, journaling can help organize your thoughts, alleviate stress, and expel creative energy.

I highly recommend this New Year’s resolution. I happened to do this in 2020, so I have a personal record of all of the world-changing events that happened that I can look back on someday.

84. Join a club

Try something new! It’s a great way to learn a new skill. Or get back to your hobbies and spend time with people who like the same things that you do. You might make some great new friends!

85. Stick to a cleaning schedule

Maybe you never quite formed the habit of keeping your space clean. Make a cleaning schedule for yourself and stick to it.

Even if it’s just twenty minutes a day, it will make a huge difference in the way your space looks and feels. Personally, I always feel more productive when my apartment is clean.

86. Start a garden

Starting a garden can be a fun, year-long project. Start making plans at the beginning of the year.

If you don’t already have garden beds, buy some dirt and raised garden beds at the store. Grow some vegetables to cook with! Flowers are great, too!

87. Donate the things you don’t need

Chances are that you have a lot of stuff you don’t really need.

Practice a little bit of minimalism by donating clothes and furniture that you think could be of use to someone else. It will help you keep things organized.

88. Quit a bad habit

This year is as good as any to quit a bad habit. Whatever it is — biting your nails, smoking, etc. — it may be hard at first, but it will be worth it.

Organize a list of strategies to keep yourself on track. Like, maybe you get to reward yourself every so often.

89. Listen to audiobooks in the car

Rather than listen to the same songs over and over again when you drive, listen to some audiobooks.

It’s a fun way to pass the time, and you’ll be well-read. I like to use Audible for downloading audiobooks.

90. Organize your family tree

Have you always wondered who is in your family tree? This is a great New Year’s resolution idea if you want to learn about your lineage.

Interview your close relatives to see what they know, and take what you find to a website such as Ancestry.com.

91. Get a new wardrobe

This is a great New Year’s resolution idea if you’re looking for a change. Buying some new clothes is a fun way to reinvent yourself and start fresh. I always like to peruse Pinterest for fashion inspo.

92. Get a new look

Like I said, reinventing yourself is a great way to start fresh. Go for something a little more drastic than a new wardrobe.

Cut your hair; dye it. Get a new tattoo or a piercing. You’ll have fun showing off the new you.

93. Run a marathon (or half marathon)

This is something I’ve always wanted to do, but I’ve never gotten around to it. The training is intense, so unless you’re already an amazing runner, this truly will be a year-long project.

Start by making a running schedule with goals.

You can start with something comfortable, like a couple of miles, and then slowly work your way up week by week. But be careful not to overdo it. Too much running can be bad for you.

94. Start a poetry collection

Make your New Year’s resolution about expressing your creative side. Make a schedule for yourself to write a few poems a week. If you stick to it, you’ll have at least 150 poems by the end of the year.

It doesn’t matter if they’re good or bad. Writing poetry can be a rewarding, meditative experience.

95. Floss daily

You’re lying if you say you haven’t struggled to keep up with flossing at some point in your life. My dentists would always beg me to floss more as a kid. I finally picked up the habit.

It’s time that you do too. Your smile will be thanking you for it.

96. Stretch everyday

Stretching is so good for your body. It helps you keep your muscles strong and maintains the proper range of motion for joints.

This is something you can do while watching TV. — that’s my favorite time to stretch.

97. Download a dating app

Many people are hesitant about the idea of meeting a partner through an app. But there are also a lot of great people who are open to the idea.

If you are having trouble meeting people or dating, try downloading an app like Tinder or Bumble. Worst case scenario, you just delete your profile if you have a bad experience.

98. Learn how to ride a unicycle

If you are having trouble coming up with New Year’s resolution ideas, look no further.

Why not learn how to ride a unicycle? It may not be a very practical skill, but you’ll be able to show it off to all of your friends.

99. Go to more art museums

Surrounding yourself with art can hardly be a bad thing. This year, make your New Year’s resolution to visit more art museums.

Take a stroll through a sculpture garden and ponder some paintings. They might inspire you.

100. Conserve water

This year, be kinder to the environment by conserving water. There are a million ways to do this.

For example, you can take shorter showers, turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, add mulch in your garden, etc.

The smallest changes you make can have a big impact on the environment.

Final Thoughts on New Year’s Resolution Ideas

And there you have it. 100 resolutions for this coming new year. Start early, motivate yourself, and involve your friends!

And if you still need ideas, watch this YouTube video of 100 people sharing their New Year’s resolutions. Stick with your resolution, whatever it is, and you’re sure to see results.

 

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Wellness

Bullet Journal Ideas – The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Are you trying to start bullet journaling, but don’t know how to begin? We’ve got you covered! Check out these essential bullet journal ideas that will help you get started journaling.

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College girl writing in a bullet journal smiling

This is the ultimate beginner’s guide to bullet journaling, so hopefully, you can be your most productive and organized self without feeling stressed. 

This guide is a one-stop shop for what a bullet journal really is, what it consists of, and most importantly, a myriad of bullet journal ideas to get those productive creative juices flowing! 

Before you get started on your bullet journal journey, it’s important to know that what makes a bullet journal different from other journals is that there are little dots on every page that help you draw straight lines and create incredibly organized plans for yourself. 

If you’re having trouble finding a bullet journal and just don’t know where to start, here is a link to one on Amazon with a great rating!

What I love so much about bullet journals is that the possibilities are endless.

While I break these down into more categories throughout the article, here are just a few of my favorite general bullet journal ideas that I hope will keep you motivated to keep up with it.

What is a Bullet Journal?

This is probably the hardest question to answer about bullet journaling because honestly, it’s whatever you need it to be! It can be used as an everyday planner, a way to track habits and practice mindfulness, or even a kind of personal diary that isn’t just writing pages and pages of thoughts. 

In essence, you take a bullet journal and decide what you need help with keeping track of in your life. If I were going to create a bullet journal, I would have each month start with a general calendar of big events (weddings, doctors’ appointments, tests) and then have a week-by-week planner as well for smaller things (homework assignments, meetings). 

But the best thing about a bullet journal is it can be so much more than just a planner. I would add other pages each month that track how much water I drink, how much money I’ve spent, how many pages of a book I’ve read, or how much sleep I get! 

Even more than that, it can be a way to help you meditate and practice mindfulness. I would probably include a log for tracking how often I practice breathing exercises, take a walk outside, or practice some form of self-care.

I’ve also seen a lot of bullet journals where people track their emotions – certain feelings that might come up during the day so that they can look back and see that even if one day kind of sucked, the next day is always full of possibilities! 

I know, I know… it might still seem overwhelming, and if there are so many things you can add to a bullet journal to track, where to start?

Keep reading for more ideas!

Key Bullet Journal Ideas for Beginners

A common misconception about bullet journals is that they need to be super elegant and fancy, which just isn’t true – those are just the ones that everyone loves to show off! What’s important to keep in mind as a beginner, is it’s much more about creating habits, finding ways to help productivity, and helping to hold yourself accountable than how good your artistic skills are. However, if you are super artsy and have a beautifully crafted bullet journal, there is also nothing wrong with that (and I am jealous of your artistic ability)! 

I think one of the easiest bullet journal ideas for beginners is keeping track of your day-to-day schedule. Creating boxes where you can write down all that you have to do that day can help you visualize the day – one of my best friends even organizes hers down to the hour to help keep herself on schedule. 

Another easy bullet journal idea for someone wanting to start is picking some habits that you want to implement into your everyday routine, like working out, cooking, yoga, meditation, reading – and tracking how often you are able to do them. I love this option because I think it helps you hold yourself accountable when you want to be able to check off that day!

Tips on How To Start Your Bullet Journal

  • First, pick a theme! A big theme you will see throughout this post is floral patterns and that’s because I think a lot of people see flowers as pretty and captivating.
  • Keeping your pages nice, even if you’re not an artist, and picking a theme you enjoy will make bullet journaling a more fun experience.

  • Another option for a theme that comes to mind is making it about your favorite TV show or movie.
  • In terms of what kinds of things to include in your bullet journal, a great thing to start off with is long term goals
  • Find quotes for each page or draw pictures that remind you of the characters.
  • If you’re more on the minimalist side or just get frustrated with art projects, then just pick a color palette that you enjoy or even just a few colors you like to keep a theme going, like in this one from @lqbujo, which can help make things visually appealing enough to make you want to go back without bullet journaling becoming a daunting and stressful art project.
  • Another option I think is super beneficial, especially when you’re first getting started, is having a day-to-day checklist of things you want to get done.
  • I think having different activities, assignments, or even chores that you want to complete on a certain day can help make things look less intimidating daily.
  • Keep in mind as you keep reading that I couldn’t find an example for every idea, so just let your imagination run wild and find ways to organize your life in ways that are best suitable for you – everyone is different!

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You can break these down into different categories like in the picture, or you can just pick long term goals (maybe one for each month, or every three if that is too intimidating) and that can be one of the first things you look to when you first open your journal.

General categories

Personal

1. Favorite memories

I love this idea from @dark_sunlight on Instagram because it makes your bullet journal a place full of positivity. At the end of every month or year, you can look back on all the moments you wanted to remember.

2. Big events coming up in your life – weddings, parties, job interviews, etc.

3. Wishlist of things you either want to achieve, to buy, to get for others.

4. An “end of day” release – a place to write a few sentences, or pages if you need, about how you are feeling in that moment.

5. A birthday calendar by month! This way, you’ll never have to rely on social media stories and posts to remember someone’s birthday.

Hobby

1. A list of shows and movies you want to watch that you can check off as you go to make sure you don’t accidentally start something twice.

2. If you are trying to take up knitting, keep a chart of how many stitches you can knit a day.

3. Maybe you enjoy cooking as a hobby…make a list of recipes you want to try and keep 1-5-star reviews of them to know whether you would make them in the future.

4. Exercising is a hobby that SO many people enjoy, so trying to keep a chart of all the different kinds of exercises you do and write them down daily so you can always mix things up.

5. I think learning a new language can be an incredibly fun and challenging hobby. If it’s something you’re interested in, keep a log of how long you spent working on learning that new language daily and maybe even add a fun word you learned while studying!

Related: 130 Most Amazing Motivational Study Quotes – The Ultimate Guide

Physical and Mental Health

1. Monthly Exercise Log

Keep a log of how many times a month you exercise! It’s a great way to see your achievements right in front of you. If you are someone who wants to be able to cross out every day, it’s an awesome way to encourage you to do so.

2. Exercise Time Log

Alternatively, if you are regimented about working out (almost) daily, write down how long you work out.

3. Mood Tracker!

My absolute favorite mental health log in bullet journals is a mood tracker. There are tons of different ways to design them or split them up (weekly, monthly, or the entire year) but I think picking your most common emotions, giving them a specific color, and coloring how you felt that day using the corresponding color is a great way of keeping track of how you’re doing.

4. Meditation

A meditation tracker, as well, is super helpful in my opinion, because being able to check off that you took time to relax and just breathe will make you feel so accomplished. It’s a great way to make sure you are taking time to settle in with yourself!

5. Drink Up

Water intake logs are also great for both physical and mental health. Writing down how many cups, ounces, or maybe even gallons of water you drink in a day can help hold you accountable and keep yourself hydrated!

Travel

1. Packing! List!

A packing list, in my opinion, is the most important necessity when traveling. If you have an upcoming trip, dedicate a whole part of your bullet journal to making sure you don’t forget anything!

Just remember to write everything down twice – once for when you’re leaving, and once for when you’re returning, to make sure you don’t leave anything there, either!

2. Bucket List or To-Do List

If you’re a planner like me, make a bucket list of things you want to do while you’re there. Investigate if places you want to visit have cheaper or free entry days and write all that info down.

Check out restaurants you might want to go to and see if they need reservations; it’s more work upfront, but it can make the actual vacation part of vacation a lot more relaxing when it’s Monday at 5 and you’re not trying to figure out what restaurants are near you.

@everydaybulletjournal has a great example of a bucket list on their page that you could easily turn into a vacation destination bucket list!

3. Places You’ve Been

Keep a travel log of places you’ve been and when you visited them. It sounds simple, but it can be so amazing to look back and think “wow, I really did that!”

Also, if you’re horrible at remembering when you went to certain places, it will help jog your memory.

4. Places You Want to Go

Kind of like a goal list, find a way to incorporate pages of places you want to visit. I think it would be so exciting to see the places you want to visit become places you’ve visited in your logs.

Home

1. Laundry, Laundry, and More Laundry

Track how many times a week you do laundry. It sounds simple, but I promise it is a great bullet journal idea.

I can never remember the last time I did laundry or the last time I washed a pair of jeans (you aren’t supposed to wash them after every wear, but you should wash them eventually!!).

Keeping a log of when you wash clothes, towels, sheets, and anything else you may need to wash can also help keep you organized without having to keep everything straight in your head.

2. Cooking In vs Eating Out

Log what days you want to cook versus what days you want to eat out. I know that it’s so easy to just decide “I don’t want to cook today,” but then that happens 4 days in a row and you’re spending money like crazy.

Add a monthly log and write down what days you want to eat at home and what days you want to eat out. If you have something big happening on Tuesday and you know you won’t want to cook, plan that day as an eating-out day!

3. Bed-Making Tracker

Making your bed every day can be a great way to get moving each morning. If it’s hard to get yourself to do it, though, try making this a little victory by crossing it off in your journal.

It’s a great bullet journaling idea to help keep you motivated and start the day off right.

4. Cleanliness Log

Keep a log of which rooms in the house you clean on which days.

My roommates and I have a modified version of this where we keep a calendar in our kitchen that lists what chores need to be done in each room and what days someone cleans them.

This is super easy to transfer into a bullet journal and it’s great for keeping a reminder on the last time you cleaned your floors!

College Life Categories

Finances

1. Income Tracker

If you’re like me and have a job where the income changes (i.e., you pick up/drop hours some weeks and the paycheck is never the same), keep an income log on either a weekly or bi-weekly basis (depending on when you get paid).

This log is a great way to keep track of your money and how much you are saving.

2. Spending Tracker

What I love about this bullet journal idea is that it’s extremely helpful. When I log onto my bank app, I see that I spent X amount of money at this place, but I don’t exactly remember all that I got to make it add up to that.

Keep your receipts and make a list of what you bought and how much everything was (including tax) so that when you realize you have more or less money than you were expecting, you can go look at what exactly you spent without having to keep a million receipts.

If you’re having trouble picturing what this would look like, @everydaybulletjournal has a great example of how to set up a spending tracker!

3. Bills

Logging your bills and when they are due can help you make sure that you never miss a payment. If you’re living on your own for the first time, all the bills start to get overwhelming (me currently).

Being able to check off when you’ve paid a bill, what it was for, and how much it was can really help keep your finances in order.

4. General Finances

Think of this one as kind of a general page combining an income tracker and your bills.

Keeping a log of how much you have in your account at the beginning of each month and then figuring in how much you will spend on bills will help you predict how much money you need to budget each month.

This way, you have a way to see how much you are saving.

You can check in each day or week with how much money you have and keep making sure that you have enough to pay whatever is necessary, while also leaving some to make sure you can enjoy dinner out with friends or something.

5. Finance Goal (Monthly or Yearly)

Now, what would a bullet journal be without some overall goals! Making a log for how much money you want to have saved at the end of each month, and ultimately at the end of the year, can help make sure that you are prioritizing your savings.

Maybe you want to save up for a vacation or buying something expensive for yourself, or maybe you just want to save!

Making long-term goals for yourself and keeping track of whether you’re meeting those goals will help you be more financially responsible, making this one of my favorite bullet journal ideas.

Meals

1. Recipe Tracker

I know my biggest problem with cooking for myself is coming up with ideas. I always see things on TikTok and then forget they exist.

Keep a log of meals you want to try each month, and what ingredients go in each. This way, you can see what you want to cook and keep track of it, and @everydaybulletjournal has an amazing way of setting this up!

Alternatively, just write down a running list of meal ideas that you want to try and cross them off as you try them

2. Weekly Meal Plan

For me, organizing what I want to eat every week helps make me feel less overwhelmed when deciding what to eat for dinner. Keep a log of what you’re going to eat each day and maybe even give yourself a little idea of how long it’ll take to make it, so you know when to start.

An example of how to do this is the photo posted by @fransbujo on Instagram, but instead of writing what you’re doing that week as she does, write in what you’re going to eat!

3. Grocery List

So, now you have all these ideas and meal plans, but no idea what to get from the store. Make a list! Keep a list of necessities you may need (flour, sugar, eggs, etc.) and then what you will need to make each meal.

Then, you can color code items that overlap and just make sure you get extra of that – if you’re making two meals with chicken, then you will need to get two meals’ worth!

4. Favorite Foods

This one is probably my favorite because I just think it sounds so fun.

With every meal you make, whether it’s new or something you’ve made for years, give it a score, and write down what you like about it, just like @dark_sunlight. Maybe even write down what you would do differently next time!

That way, when you’re in a pinch and don’t know what you want to make but don’t want to come up with new ideas, you can see what worked and what didn’t… and why!

Related: 110 Most Uplifting Self-Care Quotes To Transform Your Life Today

Studying & Homework

1. Writing Schedule Log

As someone who writes a lot in college, I think this is probably the most useful. Keep a log of how many pages you want to write each day for a long paper or even shorter assignments.

Then, keep a log under that of how many pages you wrote. While the goal is always to write the desired pages or more, it’ll help keep you on a set schedule to know how long it will take you to write X number of pages by the due date

2. Class Assignment Log

This example is probably one of my favorites for a bullet journal log idea. It’s from @dark_sunlight on Instagram, and I love the way she’s set up her productivity. In place of “planning,” or “editing,” you would just write the name of each class you’re taking a give it a symbol.

From there, you can keep track of when you study which subjects depending on your workload that week.

3. Logged Study Hours

This one is a bit more general but just try keeping a log of how many hours you spend studying on each subject.

If you have a big test coming up, mimic the writing log and write down how many hours of study time you want to dedicate to just that one subject, and change the others accordingly.

I bet you will find that you spend way more time studying than you maybe think you do.

4. Homework Organizer

This one from @lifeismessyandbrilliant is both pretty and functional – and not too intricate in its design!

Try organizing your homework by using one color to mark what days you want to work on each assignment and then another (probably bold) color for when that homework is due.

That strategy can also be helpful for bigger assignments because not only are you writing down when it is due, but you are making time most days, if not every, to work on getting it finished.

Cleaning

1. Daily Cleaning Tasks

One thing I’ve realized since living in college is that there are certain chores that are just easier to do every day, but are also annoying to have to do every day.

The biggest one – the dishes. I lived for the first week in my apartment not doing dishes every day and it was honestly just a mess.

However, I also had a hard time wanting to do them every day, and it just became exhausting.

I think if I had a bullet journal, this would be the top chore I would write down to do every day because it makes such a difference waking up and not having a pile of plates in the sink.

You could use an example like this one from @lqbujo but instead of writing everything that needs to get done that day, just dedicate that page to writing what chores need to get done.

But you may also have other daily cleaning things you want to do – like making your bed or taking out the trash if you’re in a dorm room and don’t want your room to smell like food that you may throw away.

Adding a bullet journal log dedicated to daily cleaning tasks that you can check off as finished will not only keep your space clean, but will also make you feel accomplished at the end of each day.

2. Zone Cleaner Organizer

Other times, though, there are cleaning tasks that don’t need to be done every day but do eventually have to get done – like dusting, vacuuming, laundry, and the dreaded bathroom.

Group each place in your room into a “zone”, like bathroom, bedroom, closet, common areas (if you have them) and figure out what cleaning tasks need to be completed in that zone.

Every other week, pick a zone that needs to be cleaned. A great example of this can be seen from @coffeelover0524 on Instagram.

This way, you may be cleaning a zone every week, but you don’t have to clean everything at once, which for me is very overwhelming and exhausting – meaning, I don’t clean to my fullest, I just sort of make everything appear clean.

If you have roommates, write down which person cleans which zone that week so that you take turns. Keeping track of that kind of thing will only help you avoid tense roommate situations and a messy room, so it’s a win-win if you ask me.

3. Laundry Days

If you’re going to use any bullet journal idea from this section, I suggest this one. If you’re living in a residence hall, odds are there are going to be a lot of people needing to do their laundry.

Early on, try doing your laundry on different days and at different times. Keep track of which days and which times had more washers and dryers available.

I know it seems tedious, but you have no idea how many times I lugged my laundry into the laundry room only to find all the washers were taken.

Humans tend to be creatures of habit, though, and usually will try to do their laundry around the same time each week because that is when they don’t have class, or something.

Find a time that not only works for you and your schedule but also isn’t crammed with people.

Also! Keep track of how much laundry detergent and everything you have, the last time you washed your bath towels, your sheets, if you separate your lights and darks maybe don’t do them at the same time and keep track of what days you cleaned different clothes…it’s up to you!

Related: 30 Effective Study Motivation Tips – The Ultimate Guide

Essentials

1. Sports Reminders

There are probably a lot of big things you don’t want to miss in college. One of those, for me, is sporting events.

While this could only mean Homecoming for some people, maybe you want to try to go see football, basketball, soccer, volleyball, baseball, or any other sporting even your friends might compete in.

Try to keep a calendar solely dedicated to sporting events you may want to go to each month to make sure you never miss out on something!

2. Exam Days

Probably the most important tracker to have for your bullet journal during college.

While I think having something that shows what days you have exams or big papers/projects does help, I would also make sure that you have a system for writing down when you are going to study for those things or work on the projects.

@fransbujo on Instagram shows a great example of a beautiful calendar, and you can add in whatever information you need!

That way, not only do you have the actual reminder for what’s coming up, but you also have a plan of attack to get things done.

3. Greek Life Events

Whether you’re thinking about rushing and want to go to Greek Life events to see what they’re like, or you’re involved in Greek Life and need to remember to go to things, I would recommend having a log of when the events are, what house it’s for, if you’ll need money, etc.

Especially if you’re thinking about rushing or planning on rushing, I would suggest dedicating an entire log to just things recruitment related – the dates, if there is a dress code, your schedule for each day.

With that, make sure to document how you’re feeling with each day as part of the process if you’re going through recruitment. Setting some space in your bullet journal to let out your feelings and reflect is a great idea during a super stressful time.

4. Three Good Things from Each Day

College goes by fast (I say, as I’m in my last semester). At the end of each day, even if it is just a sentence or one word, write down three good things that happened.

It can be so easy to gloss over little moments when you’re stressed or overwhelmed with school. However, my favorite part of bullet journals is that they can also help you practice gratitude and practice slowing down.

Or maybe, use @everydaybulletjournal as an example and make a gratitude log. Whatever helps you remember the good times!

Move-In

1. Countdown to the Day

Having a countdown calendar to when you move in can really put things in perspective. On your tracker, put days that you want to have certain tasks done by.

For example, if you move in on the 14th of August, you want to wash all your sheets and bedding on the 11th before you pack them to make sure they’re clean when you get there.

2. To-Do List

While you could put your to-do list and calendar together, my brain would feel overloaded by all the information.

Adding big things to your calendar (like “pack all your clothes today”) and smaller things on your to-do list (like “buy bathroom essentials”) can help make sure you’re getting everything you need to finish without making it feel overwhelming.

Using the example from @dark_sunlight, you could fill in what needs to be done on which days leading up to move-in, so you make sure you have everything ready to go!

3. Packing List Organizer

THIS! When I moved in, I had boxes everywhere and absolutely no idea what was in them. PLEASE make a part of your bullet journal dedicated to what boxes have what in them.

Making this part of your journal instead of just a random list somewhere (that you are more likely to use on instinct) is smart because if you’re into bullet journaling or are trying to hold yourself accountable, it ensures that you will put in the work to get organized.

Write down what every box has in them and then NUMBER THE BOXES! As you unpack, check off everything you pull out of the box, so you can make sure that everything you wanted is there.

That way, you realize sooner if you forgot to pack something instead of waiting until it’s storming to realize that you did, in fact, forget to pack rain boots.

Related: 90 Most Beautiful Good Girl Quotes – The Ultimate Guide

Dorm

1. Dorm Room Necessities

Even after you move into college and feel “settled” after move-in, there will always be things that you will need. Whether it’s trash bags or forks, make a running list of things you need to get every time you make a Target run.

That way, you have a place where everything stays organized that you can look to instead of having a billion reminders on your phone (like I once did) and forgetting something in the end (again, I’ve been there).

2. College Life Event Reminders

During my first year of college, I simultaneously felt like I never knew when things were happening and that I had to go to everything all the time.

There can be a lot going on all at once, but organizing it like @dark_sunlight can really help you see what all is happening instead of trying to keep it straight in your head.

Keep a calendar specifically for events put on by your university that you 100% want to go to.

Whether those are residence hall events, roommate mixers, resident assistant meetings, or move-out dates, an event log will help ensure that you never miss something you want to attend.

3. Bathroom Essentials

Arguably one of the most important places in a dorm room. Make sure to keep a tracker of bathroom necessities that you are running low on. Do you have soap? Toilet paper?

On top of that, if you have roommates, make sure in your tracker to write down who supplied what so that not only one person is paying for everything – especially if everyone uses it.

4. Dining Hall Meal Menu Days You Like

If your university is like mine, they repeat certain meal days – like Tender Tuesdays or Fajita Fridays. If they make a weekly or monthly calendar available, make a list of days that you for sure like so you know when they are coming.

Also, different dining halls may offer different things on different days, so make sure to keep track of everything you like so you don’t show up to the dining hall one day and use a meal swipe only to end up ordering food anyways.

It would be super fun if you followed a theme example like @everydaybulletjournal does here and then fill in the days with what meals are being served!

5. Favorite Dining Hall Meal Tracker

I know, I know! Another “favorite”! But really, these are my favorite kind of bullet journal logs. Rate the meals you like instead of just writing down the days they will be served at your dining hall.

That way, if you see something and you know you’ve had it, but you just can’t remember if you liked it, you have the answer right in front of you!

Self-Care

1. Habit Tracker

This habit tracker from @lqbujo is a great example of how to make sure you are practicing healthy habits in college.

While this user has 9 habits that they track, maybe just pick a few to start if you’re new to bullet journaling.

A good idea is to include a habit you already have down solid, like maybe drinking a good amount of water, and then picking other habits you want to work on, like fitness.

Once you’ve mastered one habit, add another. The beauty of a bullet journal is that you can always go back and change things to make it fit your life in the best way possible.

2. Sleep Tracker

Another great log from @lqbujo is their sleep tracker. I think it’s a universal experience in college to lose a little bit of sleep occasionally, but I also think it’s a good idea to track your sleep to make sure you are getting enough rest overall.

3. Inspiration

Every great bullet journal needs to be personalized. A great idea, in my opinion, is to start your “self-care” section with some words of encouragement.

It is easy to lose yourself a bit when things get overwhelming. It might sound cheesy but finding images or quotes that inspire you can only help you keep going.

4. General Health

I think this example from @dark_sunlight is great for college students because you can track your overall health to make sure that you are prioritizing yourself.

While she has sections like “sleep”, which could very well be its own log, I would start by choosing things that are important for you to track.

Did you take your medicine in the morning? At night? Did you exercise? Are your allergy symptoms bad? Anything that you want to track that is related to your overall health is a great idea to add to your journal!

Final Thoughts

I know I’ve presented a bunch of ideas and it still may be hard to know exactly what to include.

What I recommend is to really take a close look at what’s important to you, whether that be making sure you get your homework done or trying to build healthier habits.

Whatever the case may be, a bullet journal is meant to fit your life…you are not supposed to make yourself fit into a style that isn’t for you!

And always remember – everyone had to start somewhere. Maybe it isn’t the prettiest starting out, but you’ll get there. Just stick with it!

Check out this video on 2021 bullet journals! 

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Wellness

The Best Grocery List for College Students – The 2021 Guide

Are you having trouble forming your grocery list for this school year? We’ve got you covered! Check out this best grocery list for college students.

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Are you having trouble forming your grocery list for this school year? We’ve got you covered!

Check out this best grocery list for college students.

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Why is it important to have a College Grocery List?

While it is nice and convenient to eat out when you’re in college, in the long term, it’s not ideal. Unless you have an unlimited budget to finance $15 to $20 per meal every day, in which case, this would be a good option.

But eventually, food from the same restaurants will taste and feel the same, and you’ll ask yourself, is it really worth your $15?

Another option is to buy your own groceries and make food that you’ll love.

I know grocery shopping can take up a lot of your time – as a college student, I used to think it did, too, but setting aside one day in your week for your shopping is life-changing.

Let me make it convenient for you by providing you with the best grocery list for college students. That way, you will know the basic things to get so you can make meals in your apartment or dorms with ease, as if you’re eating out from a restaurant!

One thing to keep in mind while grocery shopping is to always have a list. Sometimes, I would go to grocery stores blindly and just take what I felt like I needed.

While this can be fun, after getting back to my apartment, I realized that I did not need some of the things I got, and worse, I did not have the right ingredients and tools to help me prepare my meals.

This would prompt another trip to the grocer, and as a college student, that’s one thing I want to avoid.

If you really value convenience and ease, follow along to see the best grocery list for college students so you don’t have to carve out precious time for an extra grocery trip.

Meal Ideas

Breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day, and no, just coffee (even your fancy cold brew) doesn’t count as a meal. Start your day right with these easy breakfast meal ideas for college students, and maybe you’ll get some easy grocery ideas along the way, too.

Breakfast

  • Avocado Toast
    • Best and easiest breakfast ever? I think so too! Avocados are a staple on my college grocery list. You can make so much from them, from avocado salad bowls to my favorite breakfast, avocado toast!
    • Literally, just slice or mash your avocados and add them on top of your favorite toast. I sprinkle mine with Himalayan pink salt and some pepper for added flavor.
  • Scrambled Eggs
    • Scrambled eggs, in my opinion, are a canvas for almost any breakfast you can think of. Eating them plainly would be just as good as eating them with tomatoes or spinach. That’s why I always make sure to add eggs to my grocery list, because they are a must-have. If you have a microwave, you can scramble your eggs in a microwave-safe bowl and cook them, or if you have access to a stove, cook them the regular way!
  • Cereal
    • A truly no-sweat breakfast is a bowl of cereal. What you buy at the grocery store is up to you, but whether your favorite is Cap’n Crunch or Fruit Loops, cereals are the easiest breakfast foods you can get.
  • Breakfast Burrito
    • If you want a breakfast that’s more on the savory side, then a breakfast burrito is a perfect choice. When I only had access to a microwave, I would do this by cutting my bacon into small pieces and putting them in the microwave. Then I’d scramble some eggs in a bowl and add the cooked bacon bits, and put it in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes until the egg was cooked. I’d then grab my tortilla and put the egg and bacon inside and roll it as you would a burrito.
  • Easy Sandwiches
    • Cold cuts are a staple on my grocery list! Sandwiches are so easy to make. Whether it’s breakfast or lunch, you can add cold cuts to your favorite bread with some sliced cheese. If you have spinach or arugula, or maybe lettuce lying around, you can stick that in there too and have a nice, filling sandwich. Or, if you have lots of eggs and mayo, you can make an egg salad sandwich by boiling the eggs and mashing them together with the mayonnaise.
  • Fresh Fruit
    • If you want something light but filling as a breakfast meal, then fresh fruits can get you through the day! If a banana is your choice of fruit, or if you have time to slice some apples and mix it with some sliced strawberries, then go for it! Fruits are always nice to have for breakfast.
  • Granola Bars
    • One thing your grocery list should include is granola or protein bars! A box of it can last you a week! The bars can be both breakfast or snacks, and if you are too busy studying to have lunch, this can act as a substitute (although hearty meals are preferred, especially for on-the-go college students!). I find granola bars very filling and easy to eat. No preparations are needed!
  • Easy Fried Rice
    • I love to have fried rice in the morning! It gets me full and will last me until my next meal. It’s very convenient when I have back-to-back classes and I really don’t have time to go out for a meal. What I do is I cook rice, or use leftover rice, mix it with cooked scrambled eggs, and then I add some green peas and carrots. I top it off with some soy sauce for flavor!

Lunch

We all tend to forget about lunch! It’s a weird hour (depending on when you eat) that’s usually around noon, or right before dinner. Usually, I’m in the middle of class during these hours and I tend to ignore the fact that a mealtime exists!

I end up having to force myself to remember to eat, so I’m here to remind you, one college student to another, that: Lunch! Exists! And here are some amazing lunch ideas you can follow.

  • Pasta
    • Pastas are easy lunches to make. Grab and cook your favorite noodle (or add it to your grocery list so you don’t forget) and your favorite bottled sauce, grab some cheese and other things you’d like in your pasta (I love adding sausage!), and mix it all for a nice lunch.
  • Salad Bowl
    • Salad bowls are so easy to make! Both healthy and filling, this is the perfect lunch for college students. When you’re at the grocery, grab your favorite leafy greens (mine? Arugula, of course!) and your go-to salad toppings like croutons, cheeses, nuts, etc. If you want, you can add grains to your salad bowls like quinoa or couscous, or add something like peas or beans. Then, top it off with your favorite dressing!
  • Pizza
    • Pizza can be paired with a salad (see salad bowl above!) or can be eaten by itself. Either way, it’ll be a filling lunch. There are microwavable pizzas if you don’t have access to an oven, and there are oven pizzas for the vice-versa scenario!
  • Grilled Cheese
    • Another easy lunch option is grilled cheese. Add a loaf of bread and sliced cheese to your grocery list and you can make grilled cheese! This is perfect because it’s easy and fast to do.
  • Chicken Wrap
    • One thing I highly recommend to put on your grocery list is a rotisserie chicken because it can be added to so many meals! Salads? Yes! Sandwiches? Yes! Wraps? Yes! You can make a chicken wrap by adding veggies, chicken, and dressing to a soft tortilla, and voila!
  • Quesadillas
    • Using the tortillas and sliced cheeses from the previous meal ideas (grilled cheese and chicken wrap), you can make your quesadilla!
  • Meatball Sub
    • Grab your favorite bread and add some microwaved meatballs to make a meatball sub. Top it off with your choice of marinara sauce and enjoy!

Dinner

It’s hard to decide what to eat for dinner! But have no fear; below, you can find some dinner ideas that, hopefully, you’ll love!

  • Mac and Cheese
    • The $1 microwavable mac and cheese cups are not only cheap but easy to have for dinner! Just pop your favorite brand’s cup in the microwave and you have dinner in front of you. Pair it with your salad and chicken and now you have a complete meal.
  • Salmon
    • Salmon is uber delicious! If you only have a microwave, it’s are microwavable, too. Season your salmon in a microwavable plate (with cover is preferred) and then cook it for around 3 minutes and check if the center is cooked, then pop it in for another 2 minutes. If you have access to a stove, searing your salmon is the best way to cook it. You can add your salmon over instant mashed potatoes or your green salad.
  • Green Salad
    • Green salads don’t have to be complicated. At the grocery store, don’t forget to grab your favorite dressing and leafy greens. It’s easy to put together, just mix! If you want, you can add more mixins, but I usually pair my green salad with poultry or fish!
  • Eggplant/Chicken Parm
    • One of the best dinners I’d recommend is eggplant or chicken parm! It’s very easy to make, and it makes me feel luxurious whenever I cook it in my apartment.
  • Meatballs Over Noodles
    • Take frozen meatballs to the next level by putting them over noodles and sauce. It doesn’t have to be marinara sauce; what I do is I melt butter, add some salt, pepper, and parsley, and mix it all up.
  • Sheet Pan Potatoes/Loaded Baked Potato
    • You can either cut potatoes and bake them in the oven, or wrap a whole potato with a wet paper towel and pop it in the microwave for 3 minutes or so until it’s tender. If you’re making sheet pan potatoes, make sure you season them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. For the loaded potatoes, add cheese, sour cream, and bacon bits!
  • Pesto Pasta
    • Pesto pasta is probably the easiest pasta to make. I buy a jar of pesto from the grocery store, boil a regular spaghetti, and mix it all up when I need a satiating dinner.

Related: 30 College Meal Prep Ideas Every Student Should Try

Snacks

  • Hummus
    • Hummus is my favorite dip! It’s perfect with pretzels or any chips, and sometimes with toasts. This is truly a perfect snack for a college student.
  • Popcorn
    • Make sure to add popcorn to your college grocery list, because it is a must-have! Very low calorie, but also indulgent enough. Perfect for movie watching or curing late-night hunger. My recommendation? SkinnyPop with salt or Popcornopolis’ Naked Popcorn.
  • Yogurt
    • If you are looking for a cold treat, then yogurt is the best snack! I recommend the Chobani Nonfat in blueberry! It’s truly a delicious snack.
  • Baby Carrots
    • I love snacking on baby carrots! With or without a ranch dip, it doesn’t matter. Baby carrots are so satisfying to chew, and it is the perfect snack for college students.
  • Trail Mix
    • If you love variety, then trail mix is the best snack for you. You can have it all, from nuts to chocolate, because a trail mix jar provides it all for you.
  • Cheese and Crackers
    • Another easy snack is cheese and crackers! It can be real cheese or the spreadable kind. When your next meal is not anytime soon, having this as a snack is amazing!
  • Grapes
    • Grapes are the best snack! They’re so easy to pack and don’t require any peeling.
  • Chips
    • The classic snack. I love a good chips moment, especially when it’s on the spicy side.

College Grocery List (for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks)

Now onto the best grocery list for college students:

Breakfast

  • Eggs
  • Loaf of Bread
  • Fruits (Bananas, Apples, Oranges, Blueberries, etc.)
  • Avocados
  • Protein Bars
  • Instant Oatmeal
  • Instant Coffee + Creamer
  • Tortillas
  • Sausage
  • Bacon
  • Spinach and Tomatoes
  • Yogurt
  • Frozen Pancakes/Waffles
  • Pancake Syrup
  • Sliced or Shredded Cheese
  • Instant Brown/White/Cauliflower Rice

Lunch

  • Leafy Greens
  • Salad Dressing
  • Croutons
  • Baguette/Sourdough Bread
  • Cold Cuts
  • Mayonnaise
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Relish
  • Pasta Noodles
  • Bottled Pasta Sauce
  • Frozen Pizza
  • Pre-made Salads
  • Roasted Chicken
  • Frozen Peas
  • Frozen Carrots
  • Quinoa or Couscous
  • Chickpeas
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Soy Sauce
  • Canned Tuna or Chicken

Dinner

  • Frozen Salmon Fillets
  • Frozen Meatballs
  • Pesto
  • Microwavable Vegetables
  • Potatoes
  • Instant Mashed Potatoes
  • Salad Bags
  • Canned Mushrooms
  • Hamburger Patties
  • Ground Pork, Beef, Turkey or Chicken
  • Canned Corn
  • Hot Dogs
  • Canned Onion Soup
  • Canned Cream of Mushroom Soup

Snacks

  • Popcorn
  • Pretzels
  • Hummus
  • Cubed/Slice Cheese
  • Trail Mix
  • Baby Carrots
  • Instant Ranch Dressing
  • Chips
  • Grapes
  • Crackers
  • Instant Ramen
  • Fruit Cups
  • Cookies

Check out this list so you can download, print, and cross off groceries as you shop!

Related: How to Live a Vegan Lifestyle as a Broke College Student

Essentials for Cooking

In order for your college meals to be a success, you’ll need more than just the best grocery list for college students! You will also need these essentials for cooking and making the best meals in your apartments or dorms.

Microwave

BLACK+DECKER Digital Microwave Oven with Turntable Push-Button Door, Child Safety Lock, Stainless Steel, 0.9 Cu.ft

A good microwave is essential for a good college meal. If you are in a rush and can’t use or don’t have access to a stove, then a microwave is a perfect way to cook your meals.

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Mini Rice Cooker

Dash DRCM200BK Mini Rice Cooker Steamer with Removable Nonstick Pot, Keep Warm Function & Recipe Guide, Black

I use a rice cooker not only to cook my rice, but for the countless rice cooker fried rice and pasta recipes that the Internet has provided me with.


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Meal Prep Containers

Amazon.com: EZ Prepa [20 Pack] 32oz 3 Compartment Meal Prep Containers with Lids - Bento Box: Home & Kitchen

An important part of planning your college meals is meal prepping!

The grocery list for college students is just one step to convenience if you really don’t want to spend your time making food.

Save one day for grocery shopping and meal prepping. These containers will help with that!

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Knife Set with Blade Guards

Cuisinart C55-12PCKSAM 12 Piece Color Knife Set with Blade Guards (6 knives and 6 knife covers), Jewel - Amazon Exclusive

Good knives are important for slicing your ingredients! Make sure to get them with blade guards so they don’t rust, and for safety purposes, too!


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Multifunction Egg Boiler

Elite Gourmet EGC-007 Easy Electric 7 Egg Capacity Cooker, Poacher, Omelet Maker, Scrambled, Soft, Medium, Hard Boiled with Auto Shut-Off and Buzzer, BPA Free, White

This multifunction electric egg boiler is a godsend. It doesn’t only boil eggs for you; it can poach them, scramble them, and even make omelettes for you!

It’s really important for meals with eggs in them.


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Microwave Bowls

Cereal Bowls - 26 OZ Unbreakable Wheat straw Bowls For Kitchen-Eco Friendly Durable Pack Of 4 Lightweight Bowl Set-Microwavable and Dishwasher Safe-For Cereal, Rice, Noodle, Soup Bowls

If you’re going to be using the microwave, make sure that you have access to bowls that are microwave safe!

You don’t want a burning incident. Make sure all the bowls you use are microwave safe.


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Microwave Cover

Microwave Plate Cover,Microwave cover for food 11.5 Inch BPA Free Dishwasher Safe

To prevent splatter, make sure to get some microwave covers, too. This is perfect for cooking salmon because you don’t want the fish exposed to too much radiation.


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Electric Kettle

Cutting Board

Toaster

Resources

Phew! Grocery shopping and preparing meals in college is a lot of work, but it is a small price to pay for a good, cheap, and easy meal.

I also know that there are a lot of other factors to consider when making grocery lists as a college student like budgeting or organizing the products that you want to buy.

Plus, if it’s a really hard week like finals or midterms, there is simply no time to go to the grocery store, and even less time to prepare your meals.

While these extra things to consider might seem stressful, have no fear! You don’t have to do it all on your own.

  • Digit (Savings App)
    • One application that can help you save and monitor your spending habits is the Digit app. Digit lets you link your bank account to the app and analyzes your spending habits while helping you save money by putting whatever’s left (post-expenses) into a Digits savings account. I love that the application has a low balance protection option, because this gives me the power to control how low my checking account goes. This app is perfect for knowing how much to spend in the grocery store, as the app keeps track of the expenses and how much it subtracts from your checking account balance. Plus, if you want to save for your upcoming grocery trips and not go overboard with your personalized college-student grocery list, then you can inform Digit that you want to save for groceries! PS: If you sign up with our unique link, you’ll get $5 for FREE. 
  • Ibotta (Grocery Shopping App)
    • If you want to save while doing your grocery shopping, then the free Ibotta app is your friend! Ibotta has partnered with a lot of stores, from Walmart to Safeway, that can help you earn money for every purchase you make. One thing I love about this app is that it’s very simple to use; you pick the store where you want to do your shopping and find products on the Ibotta app with cashback options. Don’t lose the receipt, because you have to show the Ibotta app your proof of purchase before you get your money back! This is the perfect way to save money when grocery shopping.
  • $5 Meal Plan (Weekly Meal Planning Service)
    • Sometimes I find it hard to know what meals I am going to have for the week because I get too busy to even plan that out. If you are experiencing this, let the $5 Meal Plan, a weekly meal planning service, help. This meal planning service provides you with low-cost, easy-to-make meals for the whole week. The best part? You can try it for free for up to two weeks and then you pay $5/month to continue the service, which is not bad, especially if you think of the ease it will provide. This plan offers five dinner entrees with sides plus lunch and breakfast! What I absolutely love about the $5 Meal Plan is…drum roll please…it provides you with a grocery list and lists what meals are going to use the ingredients! No more taking minutes off your day writing down ingredients, just take a picture of the grocery list the plan provides and you are good to go. Check it out here.
  • Hello Fresh (Delivers Fresh Ingredients and Healthy Recipes to Customers)
    • If you really don’t have time to plan your meals and shop for the ingredients, which is totally me whenever it’s finals or midterms week, then HelloFresh can guarantee that you’re eating a hearty and delicious meal. What I love about HelloFresh is that I can pick what kind of food I prefer, from quick and easy meals to calorie smart! HelloFresh doesn’t only give you meal recipes, but they send the actual ingredients to you! Meaning? No more time-consuming grocery shopping, perfect for when you are grinding out a paper or cramming for an exam.

Related: How Diet Culture Can Harm College Students’ Relationship With Food

Main Takeaways

I hope this helps you when you next go to the grocery store! Remember, the key to having the best grocery list for college students is planning.

Know what meals you love to eat and tailor your shopping list to that. I’ve included some meal ideas above to get you started, but your options are limitless!

I simply think you’ll save a lot of time and money when you make meals at home.

As college students, going to the grocery store can be hard, especially if we are prioritizing other things, but meal planning and only going once a week can change our spending and eating habits.

If you really cannot make time for it, then the meal programs and apps above should help you. Happy grocery shopping!

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30 College Meal Prep Ideas Every Student Should Try

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Two glass containers with rice and veggies and two forks at the top left corner
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College is the best time to take full advantage of all the opportunities to grow into the person you want to be.

Whether taking on extra classes, joining a club, or interning in your potential career, it is the time to fully work on yourself.

These healthy college meal prep ideas will help you focus on becoming yourself without the worry of eating unhealthy or spending a lot of money on food you might forget about. 

There are a variety of meals listed here that can be eaten throughout the year, and all of them made with simple ingredients.

Don’t be discouraged if you can’t make some of the recipes completely. These are made to be altered to the best of your ability!

1. Smoothie Bags

MeowMeix is a health-conscious influencer who demonstrates various healthy food swaps and meal ideas.

She has helped many college students realize that healthy eating is possible with just a few changes.

These smoothies are great and meal-prep friendly. Leave them in your freezer for rushed mornings and you’re set for the day!

Berry blast smoothie bag on the top left, tropical dream smoothie bag on the top right, green machine smoothie bag on the bottom left, chocolate cherry smoothie bag on the bottom right

2. Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are a popular breakfast meal prep food, and they can be very delicious.

CotterCrunch has an impressive one that is not limited to the mason jar, so small additions can make it even better if you are worried about not having a fulfilling breakfast.

I prefer it this way so I can start my day with a fruit or veggie.

2 glass containers, the left container with an egg, oats, a piece of orange and nut. The right container with oats and pieces of grapefruit

3. Egg Cups

Egg cups are a simple meal idea and last for a surprisingly long time. I’ve tried various ones myself and they haven’t disappointed me at all.

It all depends on what you put into it and what toppings, if any, you add to it as well.

You can even have this with an English muffin or as a side to your overnight oats. Let Show Me The Yummy help you prep!

a muffin pan with egg cups in it

4. Yogurt Parfaits

Yogurt parfaits are the best breakfast, dessert, or snack. If you need something sweet but want to stay on the healthy side, this is a great option.

Gathering Dreams has a great guide to choosing your fruits and granola, and which ones pair best with each other.

Or you can get your favorite fruits and layer as you wish!

3 cups of yogurt with berries and coconut shavings on top

5. Vegan Hummus Sandwich

An easy way to eat healthy college meals is to prep vegan dishes.

This vegan hummus sandwich might not be an attainable college meal for everyone, but the best part about preparing your own vegan dishes is that you can put your more preferred veggies instead.

The Simple Veganista has a lot of great vegan recipes that are simple and easy to prep, even for college students.

2 sandwich halves stalked on top of each other with avocado, tomatoes, and greens

READY to prepare these DELICIOUS Meals?

You are going to need the following to get started! We suggest you bring these kitchen essentials to your college if you plan to cook in your dorm room. 

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An important part of planning your college meals is meal prepping!

The grocery list for college students is just one step to convenience if you really don’t want to spend your time making food.

Save one day for grocery shopping and meal prepping. These containers will help with that!


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6. Chicken Tacos

Lunch and dinner are easier to plan for, so you don’t have to be so picky about what you would want to eat. For instance, chicken tacos are so versatile and easy to meal prep.

Tasty has a whole website on easy recipes, and many dedicated to college meal preps.

Like a couple of recipes on this list, you can make a big batch of chicken and save it to add to whatever veggies or leftovers you already have. Convenient and budget-friendly!

2 chicken tacos with tomatoes and guacamole sitting on a white plate

7. Taco Bowl

Another use for big-batch protein is making your extra protein into a taco bowl, also convenient if you don’t have tortillas or lettuce for wraps.

Since this is a recipe for a taco bowl, the ingredients are set to reflect it, but if you are using a big batch protein, you can change it to your liking or budget.

Honestly, Sweet Peas and Saffron have become my go-to because they give a lot of alternatives!

4 glass containers with rice, corn, tomatoes, onions, a lime, and meat

8. Sun-dried Tomato Pasta

Hopefully, cheap ramen and unseasoned spaghetti are not all you end up eating in college. You can always upgrade this dish with uncomplicated swaps like choosing a pesto sauce instead of tomato.

This sun-dried tomato pasta with spinach by Little Broken is so simple and flavorful that you will never want to eat plain pasta again!

a plate of sun-dried tomato pasta

9. Sesame Noodle Bowl

My favorite meals in college are the ones that are filling but don’t take a lot of time. This sesame noodle bowl has become a great takeout replacement.

Edamame may be hard to find, so switch it out for peas if necessary. No guilty eating with Pinch of Yum’s recipe!

4 glass containers with noodles, edamame, avocado and meat

10. Black Bean and Corn Salad

Every once in a while, I see a vegan recipe that I wouldn’t mind incorporating into my weekly meal plan. This straightforward, no cook meal even works as a healthy lunch in between classes.

With this black bean and roasted corn salad, there’s no ingredient that is impossible to find! Simple Veganista has blessed us again.

a bowl of taco salad and a metal fork on a green napkin

11. Caprese Chicken Bowl

This Caprese chicken salad bowl by Sweet Pea and Saffron is honestly the best meal I have ever prepped in college. It is so tasty that I cannot live without it.

It is also a very healthy college meal so I highly recommend it. The mozzarella is sometimes pricey if bought individually, so opt for some big packs.

I recommend prepping the night before instead of days in advance so that it is fresh. I usually swap the quinoa with lettuce or green beans, but it is amazing in every way!

2 glass containers with small tomatoes, rice, meat, and cheese

12. Cilantro Lime Shrimp Lettuce Wraps

Now I know seafood can be expensive for some college students, so don’t hesitate if you need to swap these cilantro lime shrimp lettuce wraps for ground beef or chicken.

You can use the same seasoning for any protein and make it your own. Lettuce wraps are the easiest meal prep you can achieve and will be one of the freshest every time.

The Recipe Critic shows us a very simple recipe that I am ready to make every day!

cooked shrimps on lettuce on a serving platter

13. Instant Pot Pork Carnitas

I Wash, You Dry has a great instant pot recipe for crispy pork carnitas. This is a great college meal plan recipe if you can make big batches for days to a week at a time.

Think Chipotle but without the added calories. Add this in a taco, burrito bowl or in a lettuce wrap, between buns or in a salad, and enjoy!

a pan with instant pot pork with limes on the top

14. Chicken Parmesan Casserole

Whether you grew up eating casseroles or not, Thriving Home will make you appreciate their versatility and time-saving recipes.

I love it because it is easy to add extra veggies or your favorite protein and it won’t ruin the dish.

Try to have a fresh addition to it, whether a side salad or some toppings like avocado or cheese to upgrade it after reheating. Casseroles are the ultimate college meal prep staple!

Chicken Parmesan Casserole in a clear dish with green leaves and bread crumbs on the top

15. Spinach and Beef Cannelloni

This method of stuffing pasta before cooking can take a bit of time, but it is so worth it at the end.

RecipeTin Eats has an easy recipe for spinach and beef cannelloni that can be made for days of prep! Think lasagna, but much tastier when reheated. There are also one-pot lasagna alternatives if you are really short on time.

Spinach and beef cannelloni on a plate with a metal fork

16. Cheesy Spinach Stuffed Shells

If you want something simpler, spinach and cheese stuffed shells can be frozen for days before cooking.

I recommend making as many as you can and freezing them in portioned-out containers. If you feel inspired to cook new things, try these stuffed shells with a different pasta sauce.

Use Kristine’s Kitchen recipe for a fulfilling meal!

Cheesy spinach stuffed shells with marinara sauce

17. Shrimp Fried Rice

Shrimp fried rice is a popular takeout food for college students and Damn Delicious has such a delectable recipe, it would be rude not to include this in your preparations.

This fried rice will still taste great when reheated, and adding more veggies can make it the ultimate meal. After having your personalized version, you won’t want to order out. Takeout who?

4 plastic containers with shrimp, fried rice, green beans, and peas

18. Vegetarian Chili Mac

If you are more interested in one-pot recipes, this vegetarian chili mac by Kristine’s Kitchen is a good one for any college student who preps their meals at the beginning of the day.

It is a slow cooker recipe, but there are plenty of others that are done in a much shorter time if that’s your preference.

a bowl of vegetarian chili mac in a white bowl

19. Make-Ahead Baked Taquitos

Every college student has stumbled into a 7/11 and ordered those taquitos without knowing what was in it. In order to avoid that mistake again, make your own! You will appreciate the flavor and versatility of these taquitos.

I love this very effortless meal by The Oven Light and its freezer compatibility. Have these as a meal prep or a party snack with fresh guacamole and tomatoes.

a plate of baked taquitos topped with guacamole and sour cream

20. Pesto Chicken Veggies

I love uncomplicated recipes and Tasty does an awesome job at helping college students recreate them. This recipe and cooking process is not even that difficult, so if you forget to meal prep, this can be a quick meal.

This pesto chicken and veggie recipe is one I find myself constantly going back to, and even changing up the veggies when I want to prep different meals!

4 plastic containers with chicken, green beans, and tomatoes

21. Honey Sriracha Crock Pot Chicken

Another excellent batch recipe, this time by Fit Foodie Finds, and it only needs five ingredients! Pair this honey sriracha chicken with rice, veggies, quinoa, or potatoes for dinner.

This chicken is also a great lunch in a salad or a quick sandwich. The possibilities are endless!

a hotpot of hot honey sriracha chicken

22. Honey Garlic Chicken

This is another big batch recipe, but not as big as previous ones, for college students with fewer storage options, or who simply may not have as much time to prep meals.

This one is by Diethood and you won’t be disappointed.

honey garlic chicken in a white bowl

23. Ground Turkey Stir Fry

Another takeout replacement, because we shouldn’t buy takeout every day, is this great ground turkey stir fry.

This is a great one-pan alternative as well and there’s nothing wrong with adding any extra veggies from other meal preps.

With The Girl on Bloor’s recipe, we will be eating low carb, fresh veggies, and guilt-free all through college!

4 containers with colorful ground turkey stir fry

24. Broccoli Stuffed Chicken

Cheesy broccoli stuffed chicken. Simple as that. Healthy Fitness Meals have made it easy to enjoy and endlessly appetizing.

This comfort food has been enhanced to be a healthier version, so you can eat this multiple times guilt-free.

Have some extra veggies to keep it low-carb. Keep this recipe around for those days you forget to meal prep. It’s that easy!

2 broccoli stuffed chicken in a pan

25. Jerk Chicken and Gingered Broccoli

Half Baked Harvest has presented us with this very fresh and Caribbean-inspired meal. Make sure you have the spices needed for this one.

Also, keep in mind that alteratiofns are not a bad thing! If you can’t find an ingredient, in this case edamame, opt for another veggie like snap peas or green beans.

As long as your seasoning is consistent, it will be a fulfilling meal. You’ll be excited to try something new with this dish!

3 glass containers with jerk chicken and gingered broccoli next to a bowl of limes

26. Chicken Noodle Soup

Classic chicken noodle soup for those days where you work too hard and need some rest. Make sure you stock up for flu season! Eating Well has an easy recipe with very few ingredients.

You are going to love it because it is quick to prep. This effortless comfort food will become your favorite to recreate all year.

3 bowls of chicken noodle soup sitting on a wooden table

27. Black Bean Soup

Maybe you want a no-meat option of the soup. Tasty does a great job at creating recipes that use several plain and cheap ingredients to create a delightful soup.

There are many veggie options for those that want an easier soup to freeze. Top with a fresh veggie like avocado or even enjoy with some tortilla chips.

a bowl of black bean soup with avocado and cheese on top

28. Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup

Or maybe you are like me and Chelsea’s Messy Apron and prefer creamy soups. This chicken tortellini soup is a little time-consuming, but so, so worth it in the end.

You can make this as a big batch soup and save it for the winter months.  Try it with some garlic bread if you have it!

two bowls of creamy chicken tortellini soup

29. Creamy Tomato Soup

Soups are uncomplicated and can be left in the freezer for days. Try this easy creamy tomato soup by The Recipe Rebel instead of opting for the can.

It tastes fresher, is easy to prep, and won’t cost you more than a fast-food meal. Don’t forget the grilled cheese!

plate with a small bowl of creamy tomato soup and two pieces of bread on it

30. Five Spice Beef Stew

Lastly, a hearty stew can get you through the week, especially during the colder months. They are easy to make and can last for a while, so plan accordingly.

The Cookie Rookie has a great, heavily seasoned recipe that is for sure to be the envy of your friends and roommates all through college. Add some toasted bread or sprinkle some cheese to improve the stew. Bon appetit!

3 bowls of spice beef stew, 3 spoons at bottom right corner of the image

(BONUS) Resources to Simplify Your College Meal Experience!! 

There are so many things that you have to worry about when it comes to preparing college meals that it can be overwhelming.

These tools have simplified my life TREMENDOUSLY so I am sharing them with you. 

1-Ibotta

Let’s face it! When you are a college student, money is always scarce. That is why I HIGHLY recommend getting this grocery savings app.

No matter what you are buying or where you are buying it, if you start with Ibotta, you will receive REAL cashback.

You can use the cashback and rewards to shop at your local Grocery Store, Walmart, Target, Amazon, eBay, & More!

I have saved hundreds of dollars using Ibotta. The app is FREE so it is really a no-brainer. Check it out here

2-$5 Meal Plan

One thing I realized really quickly in college is that time is ALWAYS limited.  I always feel that there are not enough hours in a day. Do you feel the same? 

Anyways, honestly speaking, sometimes, meal planning seems almost impossible because we are busy with a thousand other things. I started using the $5 Meal Plan when I was in my sophomore year of college.

My roommate recommended it to me and it has been life-changing. For just $5 a month, they will send you a delicious meal plan where every meal will cost about $2, and in most cases less.

I have saved so much money, time, and stress with this plan. You have no idea. I feel I have WAY more time now to focus on academics, college life, and S-L-E-E-P. 

The meals are delicious, healthy and VERY cheap.  I highly encourage everyone to check it out here

THAT’S A WRAP!  THIS POST WAS ALL ABOUT COLLEGE MEAL PREP. WAS THE POST USEFUL?  SHARE THE LOVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

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a college meal in a container that consists of tomatoes, avocado, quinoa and green veggies

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