When you think about starting university, you expect to be filled with excitement about what the next three or four years of your life will be like. But you may still be nervous about what the whole experience will be like. This is completely normal, and we've put together some common concerns from students and how to deal with them.
5 New Year’s resolutions for students
Happy New Year! It’s time to wave goodbye to 2017 and say hello to 2018. With a New Year and new semester here, now is the perfect time for a fresh start. And to help you get off on the right foot, we’ve 5 New Year’s resolutions for the year ahead…
1. Attend ALL lectures & seminars
We all know how amazing those extra couple of hours (or even minutes) of sleep can be. And how much more desirable staying in bed is than getting up and going to university; especially in the cold, dark and wet winter months. But before you hit the snooze button (for the eighth time) and head back to dreamland, consider what you’re missing and how much it’s costing you.
You’re spending a lot of money on your education. So, it’s worth considering how much you’re robbing from yourself each time you opt to take that extra-long nap opposed to attending class. And it’s not just the financial cost; the odd lectures skipped here and there could cover key information to that one exam question you just can’t get your head around, so why risk it?
2. No more procrastinating
The procrastination fairy can often be found on our shoulders around the time of revision and assignment deadlines. Sitting and whispering, “not today, do it tomorrow”. But tomorrow does have a nasty habit of showing its face quickly, and so too do those deadline dates.
Instead of staying up until the early hours of the morning cramming for that same day hand in, brush that despicable procrastination fairy off your shoulder and get going on the task in hand. Which, we know can often be easier said than done because of distractions. But, identifying your distractions can be the route to avoiding them. Be it a self-imposed ban from YouTube/Netflix, locking away your phone while you work or finding a quiet environment; you’ll thank yourself in the end.
3. Sleep more
Whilst we don’t encourage sleeping in during morning lectures (see resolution 1), we would most definitely recommend getting a good night sleep by going to bed that little bit earlier. And although saying to get more sleep is easy enough, we know it’s not always as simple as that. So, decide on an ideal amount of hours sleep and set yourself a realistic target based on your history.
For example, if you’re a night owl and usually get 4-5 hours sleep, aim to increase that to 6-7 hours. Doing small things such as turning the TV off or putting your phone on charge away from your bed to avoid the temptation to scroll through it whilst in bed, will all help to increase your chance of a good night sleep. And when you do, you’ll notice the benefits almost immediately. Giving your body a well-earned rest will make you feel refreshed; allowing you to fully concentrate and stay focused at uni, while also reducing your stress levels. And who knows, getting that extra bit of sleep, you may find getting up for those 9am lectures a breeze!
4. Stay on top of your housework
Ever heard phrases such as “tidy room, tidy mind” or “clear space, clear mind”? Well we certainly agree with them; there’s nothing worse for concentration or peace of mind than a chaotic and dirty flat or room. If you’re sitting down to work, you’ll probably find it impossible to focus with a cluttered desk, scattered papers and books, empty food wrappers, dirty washing and plates stacked up.
However, keeping your room tidy will provide a much calmer working environment. You’ll have space to spread out important lecture notes, open text books and organise everything you need to do work. And not only for your own sake, but for any housemates you may be living with, it’s always best to get those dirty dishes washed up and out of the way sooner rather than later.
5. Eat healthier
The temptation to eat out or grab a takeaway can be particularly high this time of year when you need a little pick me up after the holidays. But instead of ordering another takeaway, try cooking something new yourself. Not only will you save yourself some money, but you’ll probably feel much better having eaten something that’s home cooked and healthier than a takeaway. It can also be a great way to socialise with your flatmates and get to know them better, as you can all work together and cook as a group – or take it in turns to cook for the flat. See here for some simple but great tasting student recipes.
…(Bonus) Find time to relax
As important as it is to work hard and make sure you’re putting 100% into your studies in 2018, it’s equally important to relax and enjoy some down time.
The pressure of deadlines and revision for exams can put serious demands on the body and mind, and cause excess stress levels. So, taking a little time out here and there for yourself is required for your physical and mental health.
Find something that helps you relax and make sure you take the time to enjoy it, be it video games, watching a film, baking or just scrolling through social media. Take these fleeting moments of calm and take the time to appreciate them and prioritise some, “me time”. And for the times you’re busy working, remember to take regular breaks – a few minutes here and there, especially to eat. And if you’re having food, don’t eat while you work, take the opportunity to move away from your desk, books or laptop and have a breather.
Sticking to these New Year’s resolutions will help towards making 2018 a productive, healthy and happy year while you study.
If you’re studying for the academic year 2018/19, why not stay with us at Host? We have student accommodation available across the UK and Ireland, available to all students regardless of year of study. Take a look at our locations or contact us for more information.
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