With every new year comes new resolutions. For those unfamiliar with what New Year’s resolutions are, well, they’re promises to do something differently in the new year. But let’s face it, most New Year’s resolutions just don’t seem to stick. Why? Because they’re often challenging and in some cases, completely unachievable.
Many believe resolutions have to be life-altering instead of something small. Here’s the thing — making resolutions is easy. Staying motivated and continuing resolutions throughout the entire year is not. Especially when you try to balance school assignments, exams, work and your social life, it might seem impossible.
The small changes you make soon become habit and a part of your everyday life. When you set realistic goals, and achieve them, it feels good and encourages you to push for more. So on that note, here are seven realistic and achievable New Year’s resolutions any student can make for 2019.
Learn a new skill
As a student, you’re already learning various new skills through your program. But what we mean with this New Year’s resolution is to pick up a new practical skill. Think of this as a hobby. This could be cooking, learning to code, woodwork, photography, dancing — really anything of interest to you. To achieve this, you might consider picking up an elective course or joining a club on or off campus. Finding a new hobby gives you something to look forward to when you need a break from school. In addition, if you’re ever feeling stressed, a hobby can help relax you.
Our partner school, Brock University, offers dance classes, 3D modelling tutorials, virtual reality experiences and more!
Make time for family
Family is everything. It’s important to maintain strong relationships with your parents, siblings and other members of your family. We know it’s an obvious point, but having a strong bond with family is good for your mental health and well-being. As a student, there’s a good chance you’ve moved away from home. As an international student, well, you’re likely far from home. This is reason enough to set aside more time to connect with your family. Even if it’s ten minutes out of your day, surely your family is keen to hear how things are going for you. With today’s technological advancements, you can connect via Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime and various other apps. Family time is truly precious — treat it with good care.
Live a healthier lifestyle
This resolution includes getting more sleep, being more conscious of your eating habits and exercising more. Take advantage of your school’s fitness facilities (fees are typically included in your tuition), and if you don’t like going to the gym, choose a sport or other athletic activity that gets your body moving. When it comes to sports, it doesn’t have to be competitive. You can get involved with an intramural sport which is simply recreational. If you prefer something individual, why not take up running, skating or walks through the park? When it comes down to food, we know it’s easy to make instant ramen or to pop a frozen pizza in the oven. However, there are many healthy alternatives you should definitely consider. Finally, don’t forget to sleep. Many students struggle with a good night’s rest but keep in mind, you will be more alert, more positive and more productive.
Decompress and meet other students at one of York University’s cafe breaks!
Read this blog post for tips on how to stay healthy during the school year.
It’s very common for students to stress over their financial situations. Seriously, what student doesn’t? But there is a way to avoid such stress. The best way to achieve this particular resolution is to set a budget for every month. Put aside money for your groceries, activities, social events, etc. Of course, you should factor the cost of rent and tuition into your budget as well. This way, you can better manage your money and are much more aware of your spending habits. This altogether is a great way to start saving money. Another way you can save money is by collecting any extra change you may have in a jar or container of some sort. Put a couple dollars into your jar every time you go to the gym or get a good mark. At the end of the month, you can treat yourself with the savings built in your jar! Finally, consider applying for scholarships. There are many of them out there provided by schools, the government and other associations, you just have to search.
Make new friends and expand your network
School is a great place to meet and make new friends. Whether it’s in your residence, classes, clubs or elsewhere, you are sure to expand your network on campus. Similar to our first suggested New Year’s resolution, when you decide to get involved on campus, be it through a club or a new course, you are exposed to more people. This is an opportunity to connect with likeminded students who share a similar interest as you. As with all of these New Year’s resolutions, this one has long term benefits in that you continue to expand your network for the future.
Our partner school, University of Waterloo, offers an International Peer Community mentorship program. This program supports new students and international students while they adjust to their new environments. Western University also offers various mentorship programs, workshops, hackathons, startup summits and more!
Travel somewhere new
These days, travelling is increasingly more encouraged for students and is indeed beneficial long term. When it comes time to apply for jobs, many employers view travel as an asset and what sets applicants apart from one another. It shows you’re adaptable, open-minded, confident, culturally sensitive and perhaps even know another language. As an international student, you already have the travelling part down. But it’s important to make good use of your time abroad! Travel to neighbouring cities or countries on long weekends or holiday breaks. Explore a new part of the city you’re living in with your new friends. Do something outside of your comfort zone — you’ll create great memories and even better stories.
Volunteer and “give back”
This New Year’s resolution is certainly an easy one to do, and overall, makes you a better person. To volunteer and give back to the community not only feels great, but it also looks good on your resume. It also motivates others you know to do better! Your school campus likely offers volunteer or charitable opportunities. This may include a food or clothing drive, volunteering at a soup kitchen, teaching underprivileged students or something else. Alternatively, if you don’t find something that fits your interest at school, you might look elsewhere. Many cities are home to numerous associations and charities, both local and international, you can volunteer your extra time for.
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