You must have your New Year's resolutions list already hanging on your wall, just staring at you, waiting for you actually to do something. We've all been there, and that list probably revolves around your life at university. The challenges you encounter at this stage is a great inspiration to have both long-term and short-term goals. By the new year, you'll probably have learned many lessons from the previous year, both good and bad, and you should try to incorporate them into your resolutions. Every New Year's Eve, we have a brand new list of habits, activities, routines, and decisions that we plan to follow through during the new year but let's face it, by the second week of January, we pretty much bury it under all those assignments and coursework and forget about it! You're not alone, it's a statistical fact that 25% of people fail to stay on track with their resolutions by the second week of the new year!
Now the two main questions here are why do students bail on their new year's resolutions and how to avoid bailing year after year? Having an effective plan that you can work around would be the first step. Still, before that, you should know the most common resolutions that students like you abandon.
Here are 5 New Year's resolutions you might consider but find hard to stick to.
1. I Will Efficiently Manage My Time
Yes, we've all said that. After a year of struggling to meet deadlines, you mostly have this resolution on the top of the list! You tell yourself you'll have better multitasking skills, that you'll send assignments a day early instead of begging your professor to take it an hour after the deadline. What you need here is to strategize your studying. The first step to do that is to avoid cramming everything in one session, accompanied by a ton of caffeine! It would help if you aimed for active learning strategies, not passive ones. Passive learning is when you memorize and scan information instead of actually understanding them. It makes you less involved in the learning experience and stops you from getting the best out of your lectures. To have the best university learning experience, you should get involved in a class by asking questions and trying to reach the information on your own. This way, the notes you take in the lecture will actually come in handy while you're revising.
Another thing you should steer clear of; the big ugly monster that is procrastination! Drop the "one more episode" and the "there's still time" mentalities and get on top of things as soon as you can. Otherwise, you'll have piles of coursework lying on your desk without a plan, which will completely tank your strategy and, therefore, your resolution.
2. I Will Start Saving Money
Your 'new year, new me' probably includes killing that 'broke college student' cliche! Sure, it can be challenging to save money in college, but it's just one of those things you have to learn to do. Are you wondering how your money is mysteriously disappearing? I have two words for you: take out! You don't realize this since fast food is cheap, but probably it's what's draining your bank account along with the endless coffee-to-go you buy. Eating out or buying quick take-outs is tempting since it's fast and easy, but besides your bank account crying out for help, so is your body! This type of food gives almost zero nutritional value, and you will need loads of energy to ace those tests! Why risk spending even more money for a doctor's appointment?
Another thing that is most likely hurting your wallet is transportation. If you're new to a city, you're probably not well acquainted with the best ways to get around. Well, you need to delete that Uber app and google public transportation routes and start exploring!
An excellent hack to save on transportation is getting accommodation that is close to your university or to transport links. Check out our affordable student accommodation here and choose the country you're studying in to view the desired accommodation options.
Here's what you need to do to combat money draining. First of all, make the decision to have home-cooked meals most of the week, save the take-outs for weekend outings with friends. If you don't know how to cook, it could turn into a new fun experience with your roommate to learn together. There's no need to be extravagant, cooking simple meals that give you the needed energy for the day will be enough. Here's a hack: meal prepping during the weekend saves so much time! When it comes to your daily dosage of caffeine, make a pot of fresh coffee, and pour it into a thermostat to take to class. Be careful while shopping for groceries, going with a full stomach is a must to be able actually to stick to your list, and that's another priceless life hack! Check the various street markets in Australia and London to get the best deals! When it comes to textbooks, your motto should be "borrow, don't buy." whether it's from the library or an older student, you'll find yourself saving a lot of money by doing so.
The most important thing is not to be so hard on yourself while trying to save money. For example, if the pace of the day requires a snack or a second cup of coffee between classes, it wouldn't mean you completely threw out the resolution. Just make sure to use your credit card for these emergencies only to limit your spending.
3. I Will Have an Effective Daily Routine
Who doesn't want to have a perfect daily routine that makes them feel like they have their life together? It's completely normal to have busy days during university, filled with tasks, lectures, and assignments. Here's a reality check: 'winging it' or 'going with the flow' doesn't work. Ever. It makes it harder to keep track of your to-do list and more prone to getting distracted.
Planning your day or even the whole week will make things go smoothly. You should mainly follow your lectures' schedule and adjust everything else around it. For early lectures, make sure to have enough sleep a day before. Late ones can give you space to go through the assignments you have throughout the week or have a morning stroll with a friend.
An essential part of your routine should be to choose a studying place that helps you stay focused on finishing studying sessions. Whether you prefer quiet places or you don't mind having some background noise. Make sure to have an ample desk with decent lighting. The key is to avoid, as much as you can, any distractions that will divert you from your established routine.
4. I Will Maintain My Physical and Mental Health
Oh yes, almost everyone's list has 'hit the gym' at the top five resolutions. Who doesn't wanna get in shape both physically and mentally and live their best life? Let's be honest, college life can be quite stressful; all those long nights and deadlines can cause you anxiety. It's not a surprise that 80% of college students feel overwhelmed by studying and college responsibilities, 40% of them do not seek help or try to find an effective method of solving their issues. These stressful feelings could lead to unhealthy habits, especially consuming junk food. You'll be surprised to find that the percentage of students who become overweight during their busy university life is 23% due to unhealthy meals and eating on-the-go. Those are all statistics that we need to change this new year!
The key to a healthier life starts with healthy eating habits. A balanced diet is integral in keeping you in shape and boosting your energy levels. Staying hydrated is even more important, water is the source of life, and it will bring all your organs back from the dead! Drinking 8 glasses of water should be a part of your daily routine. A consistent sleeping schedule boosts your metabolism and energy levels, so try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. No more pulling all-nighters or endless scrolling through social media in bed. Having a psychological clock waking you up is better than hundreds of snoozed alarms! Taking care of your body is also taking care of your mind, so make sure to squeeze some exercise during the day. You can use the on-site gyms provided in many of our student accommodation, you'll feel more lively and stress-free in no time.
5. I Will Engage More in Real Life Instead of Social Media
It's time to put the phone down, my friend. Social media can be addictive, stressful, and a waste of time, so your decision to detach from it for a while should be on-effect immediately. You'll notice how much it was affecting your focus and distracting you from the important things once you limit your use. Not to mention that spending too much time online drains your energy and makes you miss out on the real world.
Try to engage in real-life events or hobbies with friends or meeting new people face-to-face instead of FaceTime! Apply your decision gradually by spending the first and last hour of the day away from your phone, resisting the urge to check your newsfeed and notifications. If you feel like You just can't. You might want to read our blog, Addicted to Social Media? 6 Reasons We Just Can't Stop to try to understand the problem.
Realistically speaking, it is usually hard to leave social media entirely behind since it is your way of communicating with your family and friends back home.
In the end, you need to understand that we're all humans and we all fall short on sticking to what we promise ourselves on doing every year, so go easy on yourself and know that self-discipline doesn't come overnight.