Student Guide to New Years Resolutions

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Image: Isabelle Ross

The New Year can be a time to think about how to improve yourself and be a better, happier student. Whether it’s to do more work or learn to take time off and not burn yourself out. Maybe your resolution is to get the ‘work hard, play hard’ balance just right. The first semester of the year is always a hectic one, starting off with fresher's week and finishing with a lot of assignments and exams, so it could be time to reflect on what you have learnt about yourself. We’ve asked a few Bournemouth University students from a variety of courses what their New Year’s resolutions are from what they have learnt so far... 

‘I’m going to be more organised with food prep so I can balance university work with my sport’, says Jade Walker, a Sport Science student. 

‘Aiming to prioritise keeping up to date with work rather than going out, and get a better balance between the two’, Leah Garvey, third year Marketing Communications student. 

‘Look at content for seminars and workshops before the timetabled session, so I know what to expect and can make them more productive. Going into workshops in first semester without looking at them before-hand made it very difficult to get all the tasks done’, says Chloe Francis, a second year Psychology student. 

Ioan Fowler, Business Management student said, ‘Communicating more in group work and not being afraid to delegate more tasks to other people when I’m taking on too much of the workload’.  

‘To attend every class even if I don’t think they are going to be useful for my assignment, they could be useful later or next year’, says Tom Edwards, Criminology student. 

‘Keeping up with lectures as I go, rather than waiting to do them as they all pile up - and to only make more relevant notes that will help me in my assignment’, Riya Spreadbury, Media Communications student. 

Meghan Blumsum, a third year Journalism student said, ‘My New Years resolution for my degree is to do more interviews on topics that can raise awareness and lead to people changing the way they think or act about certain situations, so I can have a positive impact’. 


Okay so you’ve got some inspiration from real students for your New Year Resolutions, but here are some other common ones to get you thinking about making the most of your time at university. 

  1. Get more involved outside of your degree. Join a club or society, a sport team, a volunteer program or get involved with Nerve Media (don’t forget there is the Magazine, Radio, TV, Photography and Sport sections as well as our online articles here at Nerve Now). 

  1. Start a part time job. This can help a lot of students to decrease financial stress, some may have to work to afford basic weekly essentials but for others it can mean less reliance on parents for money, having extra money for going out clubbing or for a nice dinner or maybe even save for travelling/festivals in summer. Having a part time job also helps you develop workplace skills like communication and time management and showing future employers that you balanced this alongside your degree is impressive. Get in touch with Careers BU for any advice on CVs and part time work. or look on indeed for jobs.  

  1. Find an exercise you love. Take up jogging along the beach, try surfing at Bournemouth or Boscombe pier, try a class at Sport BU The opportunities are endless, and enjoying exercise is key to being consistent with it, so use trial and error to find a form of movement you love and aim to do it a few times a week. 

  1. Create a timetable. Allocate study time each day, then fit in time for your exercise of choice, socialising, part time work. Doesn’t have to be a strict schedule but having something to aim for each day/week can help make sure you get everything done. 

  1. Prioritise better. For University students this may be one of the trickiest. Writing lists for what you need to get done this day, this week and for the whole month, then prioritising the most important, or close due dates first so that you have time to socialise and fit in time for yourself, can massively reduce stress.  

  1. Work on your wellbeing and mental health. If at the end of first semester you found yourself burnt out, feeling down or just not feeling yourself, now is the time to put a plan in action. Practicing mindfulness or meditation isn’t for everyone, but simply doing more of a hobby you love or getting more movement each day can boost mood. From homesickness, feeling overwhelmed and stressed to more severe feelings of anxiety and depression, find someone to talk to. Surround yourself with people at university that you feel you can talk to, or reaching out to BU’s student counsellors could help you work through concerns. Look at the health and wellbeing services offered by BU here:  


Make your resolutions stick... 

  1. Be ambitious and dream big. Set a variety of bigger goals that are more long term and shorter easier ones. Maybe the smaller ones all aid the big one. 

  1. Now break them down into small steps and give them a reasonable and measurable time to be completed. 

  1. Understand why you want this for yourself and why you need a change. 

  1. Commit to yourself. Respect yourself enough to commit to your goals and create a plan to get there. Make yourself accountable. 

  1. Reward yourself. Maybe each time you get a 1st or 2.1 in an assignment reward yourself with a meal out or something on your clothing wishlist.  

  1. Forget perfection. If your goal was to go to the gym 5 days a week but you only make it for 3 days a few times, that’s still better than nothing and maybe you are learning to listen to your body better.  


It’s great to be inspired by others but it’s important to focus on yourself and not what everyone else’s goals for next year might be. Remember why you came to university and think about how you can enjoy it and make the most of it. As we live through a pandemic, perhaps one thing everyone can take into 2022 is kindness, to those around you and most importantly, to yourself.  


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