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New year, new resolutions - what students have planned for 2022

The beginning of the new year is the best time to set the right intentions for the future and start with a fresh mindset. For students, that can translate to defining goals and mastering a plan in order to follow through. In this article, you will find the best resolutions for students and advice on how to achieve them in 2022.

New year, new resolutions - what students have planned for 2022

They say “Out with the old, in with the new”. The new year has arrived and what better time to start fresh? When you are a university student, that may seem like a very difficult task, especially because you probably often feel stuck in your day-to-day regime of studying and doing assignments. And with the never-ending pandemic, everyone’s motivation has plummeted – many have lost their part-time jobs, been stuck in isolation and studying online or simply felt the increased pressure. However, a silver lining can always be found. Typically, the new year symbolizes a new beginning and change in perspective. How can that be implemented by students? This article will explore some effective ways in which students can hit the reset button and reach their full potential – both academically and personally. It is time to take matters into your own hands, set goals and seize every opportunity!

At the top of anyone’s list: five priorities for the new year

Many studies conducted over the years have shown that approximately 80% of new year's resolutions fail. The majority of people give up within one to six weeks of starting, and many of these resolutions are repeated year after year. Most people blame their failure to fulfill resolutions on a lack of time, resources, or motivation, or a loss of enthusiasm after starting. So, how can you actually follow through and achieve your goals?

Researchers found it was necessary to have self-control, but also deliberate action, planning, the ability to prioritize and also some tolerance for the discomfort that could come from the effort. Sounds simple enough, right? In theory, yes, but it all depends on what your priorities for the year are and how you plan on staying motivated. Here is what many students around the globe are hoping for in 2022:

1. A better attendance record

One of the biggest ways in which the pandemic has affected university students is the introduction of the “new normal”, aka virtual classrooms and online lectures. Although they offer some convenience and flexibility, especially when in lockdown, or to foreign students who are unable to travel, several studies have shown that virtual learning can do more harm than good. In general, online coursework results in worse student performance than in-person coursework. Students who are less intellectually prepared or who are pursuing bachelor's degrees suffer the most unfavorable consequences of attending online courses. According to evidence from 2020, the migration to online course-taking during the epidemic resulted in lower course completion rates. So, one of the goals that many students have set for the new year is to attend more in-person lectures.

Effective education requires concentration and focus. Classrooms, laboratories, and lecture halls provide distraction-free learning settings with all of the equipment and space you need, allowing you to focus on the lesson rather than the bothersome vehicle alarm, barking dog, or ringing phone in the background. Furthermore, some subjects and programs require extensive practical training, such as learning how to repair a machine or perform a medical procedure, which has to be done in person in order for students to gain hands-on experience. The verdict is: if you can, attend as many in-person lectures as you can, because you can only benefit from them.

2. Less procrastination, more focus

It is easy to get stuck in a rut, especially when social life is at an all-time low and motivation is at a deficit. Yes, mastering up the willpower to “just do it” can seem tantalizing, but with a few simple tricks, it can be totally achievable.

Every year, a more planned study routine is on the New Year's resolution list of many students. Begin studying on time, arrive to your seminars well-prepared, and start your assignments sooner. In this case, the following rules apply: You should make realistic goals for yourself in order to follow the strategy regularly and stick to it. What exactly are you hoping to alter? And how do you intend to put that into action? Once you answer those questions and come up with a plan, seeing it through is that much easier. Pro tip: a good reward system always helps, especially when it involves sweet treats or relaxing rituals.

3. Time to reduce the stress

Speaking of relaxation, if there was ever a right time to let off some steam, it is now. The pandemic has taken a toll on all of us, but especially on university students, who are stressed enough without having to deal with the added pressure of keeping social distance and isolating for extended periods of time. You should declutter your daily life if you want to be more organized and serious in your studies while also wanting more relaxation and less stress in the new year. Many students work part-time and struggle to balance between their job and studying, leaving no time for destressing and having fun. It is essential for your mental and physical health to dedicate some time to doing what you love or just doing nothing at all. Sleep deprivation is notoriously frequent among college students, yet it can have negative consequences related to academic performance, such as a bad mood, lack of productivity, and poor information retention. For busy students who juggle substantial academic, work, and social commitments, getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night might be difficult. One way to begin is by establishing regular sleep and waking schedules, as well as minimizing unneeded leisure activities such as reading through social media for long periods of time.

4. Mental and physical health matter

You can have countless resolutions and try every tip in the book, but if your health is suffering, nothing will work for you. Improving overall health is the most popular new year’s resolution not just for students, but for many people around the world.

It might be a challenge for university students to eat healthily. They may be tempted to choose processed "convenience food" over more nutritious meal options because of demanding schedules, restricted budgets, many social commitments, and a lack of access to cooking equipment. Consuming nutritionally deficient and highly processed foods on a daily basis, on the other hand, has severe health repercussions and can produce brain fog and exhaustion. Students may improve their diets by establishing a foundation of nutritious meal staples, eating enough of fruits and vegetables, and carrying snacks and drinks with them on the move to avoid being tempted by fast-food options. Another important component is regular exercise. Maintaining excellent physical and emotional health requires physical activity. Daily exercise may seem daunting to individuals who are accustomed to a more sedentary lifestyle, but there are numerous resources available to assist students in getting into the habit – on-campus gyms, university sports teams, riding a bike, taking walks or at-home workouts by watching online videos – the opportunities are many.

Anyone navigating this important time of life should prioritize maintaining mental wellness and preventing burnout. For students seeking expert help, many institutions provide low-cost counseling services. Others may want to improve their mental health through healing activities such as yoga and meditation, as well as creative outlets like as painting and knitting.

5. Laying the foundations of a successful future

While focusing on the present, improving your wellbeing and relaxing, it is also good to take the right steps towards your potential career development. The new year provides the opportunity to put things in perspective and come up with a plan for the time ahead, even after graduation.

For example, you can start with smaller steps: get more involved during lectures, put your hand up, join discussions and brainstorming sessions and stay concentrated. That will not only improve your academic performance, but also get you noticed by peers and professors, which is a great way to start building reputation. Some studies even suggest that active participation will help you learn information more easily than if you just sit and listen. You can also do more outside of class, like joining a student union, volunteering or simply organizing study sessions with other students, which would help exchange ideas and, in some cases, enhance the processing of the learning material.

If you are further along in your studies, now is also the time to start thinking about what you want to do after you graduate. Establishing a positive professional path is a process that many students begin well before graduation. Students can attend regional or university-wide job fairs to learn more about the industry they want to work in and to submit their resumes to company representatives. That is guaranteed to kickstart your professional development, even if it is just by getting your name out there.

Seize every opportunity and let 2022 be your year

No matter when you are reading this during the new year, it is never too late to start your self-improvement journey and pick resolutions that work for you. All in all, this is your personal experience and even though students usually have a common perspective and goals, you may want to focus on your health more than your career development.

It is a good idea to set achievable goals for yourself. It is not advisable to try to juggle between too many things, because you might just bring on more stress instead of relaxing, so keeping the list short but effective is the way to go. Resolutions bring things down into a bite-sized piece – that is exactly the way to approach new goals. One step at a time you can climb up to the top of the ladder and even have spare room to grow and set new goals. Just remember: take it easy and enjoy the ride!