2020 was quite the year for so many of us, especially students. So many things did not go according to how you might have expected.
You’ve been studying online rather than having in-person lectures, you may have had more coursework and fewer exams, travel plans may have been cancelled, and you likely haven’t met as many fellow students as you would have during a typical year.
We can only hope that 2021 is an improvement and that things start to pick up again. If there’s anything that 2020 was good for, it was making us appreciate the precious time we spend with others and making us more comfortable with being with ourselves indoors.
With that in mind, New Year’s resolutions for 2021 might look a little different. Here’s how you can make the most of this year with our New Year, New You: 2021 Edition:
Make a Reading List
No need to panic! We don’t mean your academic reading list (although maybe you should get to work on that too). Making time to read books for leisure is a great way to expand your mind, reduce stress and even improve your memory and concentration levels.
Make yourself a list of books to get through this year and check them off as you go. If you don’t know where to start, check out the website Good Reads for some inspiration or ask your friends and family for recommendations.
Reduce Your Waste
Waste is a huge problem in the UK and environmentalists are calling for more to be done. But, while we wait for more environmentally sound solutions to be implemented into the mainstream, there are plenty of things individuals can do to help, such as:
- Always bringing shopping bags with you to the supermarket
- Buying loose fruit and veg
- Bringing a reusable coffee cup to coffee shops
- Recycling where possible
- Avoiding single-use items
- Buying second-hand
- Shopping at zero waste shops
Plan for Future Travels
2020 was the year we all stayed at home, and at this moment in time, we don’t know when this may change. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t start making plans for those eventual travels. Sit down with your friends and plan a fantastic trip away for the future. Even if you don’t have any dates yet, you can still pick the destinations, take a look at potential accommodation, excursions and start putting away those pennies in preparation. Perhaps start a travel journal or create a Pinterest board for your future plans. Who doesn’t love having something to look forward to?
Buy Less of What You Don’t Need
Some people took the opportunity in 2020 to clear out their homes; others spent it buying more stuff online out of sheer boredom. But chances are, you have a lot of things you don’t need.
The temptation to buy is all around us, even when we’re not going out to shops in person. This year, why not make a pact to buy less? If you see something online that you want, make a deal with yourself not to buy it for 30 days. At the end of the 30 days, if you still want it, you can buy it, but chances are you may realise that you didn’t want it that much and you’ve forgotten about it. It’s a great way to avoid the endless impulse buys brought on by boredom from being stuck at home.
Drink More Water
A lot of people don’t drink the amount of water they should each day. So, in 2021 make a pact to drink more. Consider replacing your second cup of coffee with a glass of water. Keep a water bottle (a reusable one!) next to your desk to drink from throughout the day and refill as you need.
If you find water a bit boring, slice up some fresh lemon or lime to give it a citrus kick.
Keep a Journal
Journaling regularly can help relieve stress and anxiety. It’s also a great way to track your year and look back on all your achieved and relive some of the great times you had with friends. Even if you feel like not much is going on right now, a journal can help you navigate your emotional state and keep track of your mental health.
Pick Up a New Hobby
With so much time spent indoors, you’d be crazy not to try and learn something new. University is a great time to pick up new hobbies in the form of clubs and societies. Things have been very different this past year, and many societies won’t have been operating as usual, but you can still pick up a new hobby while you’re at home or in your student accommodation, such as:
- Crochet or knitting
- Learning a language
- Learning an instrument
- Starting a herb garden
Learn Some New Recipes
Cooking is one of those skills that everyone needs at University, and 2021 is the perfect time to get creative in the kitchen.
If you’re sick of the same old spaghetti bolognese and fajitas, why not learn something brand new? There are millions of recipes online to help you get started, from broiling to baking. Get started in the kitchen by experimenting with new foods and dishes; you might surprise yourself.
Save for the Future
We don’t know yet what the future will look like, but one way you can help plan ahead is to save as much as you can. Whether it’s to save for travelling or to put down as a deposit on a future house, having savings is the best possible way to prepare. There are plenty of online resources to help you save those pennies, whether it’s by giving up takeaway, cancelling streaming subscriptions you hardly use or vowing not to buy any new clothes this year.
In 2021, make this the year that you better yourself, spend more time with loved ones (even if it’s online) and save for the future.
From everyone at CityBlock, we hope this year is an improvement and you get back to your usual student activities soon. You can always talk to a member of our team if you’re struggling with anything. If you’d like to book accommodation for the next academic year, we have student accommodation in Lancaster and student accommodation in Reading available.
Contact us today to find out more.