Miscellaneous · Personal

So this is the New Year!

I can’t quite believe that it’s 2014 already and that my blog turned one year old 11 days ago! Time definitely does fly. I’m also only one view off 5,000, which I realise isn’t a huge amount in the grand scheme of things, but when I started this blog, I really did not expect that some student’s rants about mental health and life and culture would actually attract any interest. So, thank you for sticking with me, and a Happy New Year to you all.

Now, I’m not so keen on the concept of New Year’s resolutions. Part of me says that if I want to change, I will do it at my convenience rather than simply because there is a new number at the end of the year. Part of me says that making up resolutions just because you feel obliged to only means that you’re setting yourself up for failure. The entirety of me says that to make a change in your life, you must really want it and work for it, rather than just making yourself empty promises, which only lead to disappointment.

However, every year, like the hypocrite I am, I find myself writing a whole bunch of resolutions anyway. This year, I think I’ve kept them achievable, as they’re all things I’ve wanted to do for a long time now. The change of year, to me, just acts as a reminder that time is gradually slipping away and that my choices must be acted upon. These are long-term plans to which I’ve simply assigned a starting date – hopefully I won’t need an end date, planned or otherwise. This year, I aim to:

1. Get away from the screen more often. Like a huge number of people in my generation, I am hopelessly addicted to technology. I spend hours and hours on my laptop each day, achieving very little, then when I go to bed, I must check my phone one last time from under the covers. And for what? Certainly not for any real purpose. It may seem fun at the time, but it just leads me to a huge sense of guilt when I look back at the end of the day and realise I’ve done virtually nothing, when I could’ve been doing something much more healthy. Technology is great, of course, but I’m fed up of it sucking me in every day.

2. Create more. This is kind of related to the last one. I have a real passion for creating things, in all shapes and forms. It’s who I am. It’s how I grew up and what courses through my body. However, because of my slight addiction to my laptop, I rarely pursue my creative whims anymore. As I step away from the screen, I will instead step towards a notebook and pen, my art journal (another recent hobby I’ve picked up), a cake tin. Anything that results in something I can look back on and feel proud of bringing into existence with my own bare hands is a winner for me.

3. Get into Honours. Not so much a resolution as much as just something I need to do for my degree. Graduating after three years with an ordinary degree isn’t the end of the world, but I would feel so disappointed in myself if I didn’t make it onto Honours and get to stay for another year. I work so hard, and I hope my work will pay off, but there’s always that niggling voice inside my head saying “you need to really strive for this! Don’t just assume that you’ll do well – you need to make sure you do!”. The prerequisite for Honours is 50% or above for overall marks in second year, which I’m already achieving, but in my opinion, learning is not something to be lackadaisical about so I’ll still keep pushing myself.

4. Stop wasting money on unhealthy snacks. This is a real downfall of mine. I have this habit whereby if I’m walking past a shop or café that sells chocolate/cake/pastries/cookies/coffee with lots of cream and syrup, I will feel an overwhelming urge to make a pit stop. Even if I’m not hungry, even if I have no real craving to give into, I find myself scouring the aisles for something to snack on, because “why not?”. Well, I’ll tell you why not: because it’s a waste of money and there’s no need for it. I’ll allow myself to buy healthy snacks if I need them, but otherwise, that money could be put to much better use.

5. Explore new places. I originally wrote this resolution with the idea of all these glamorous travels in my head, but in reality, I don’t think that’s likely. I’m hopefully going to go to Cambodia next year, so that’s something to save up for, and I’d much rather save up for that trip than waste the money going places which are less of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. However, just because I probably can’t afford to go abroad this year, doesn’t mean I can’t explore. There are whole pockets of Edinburgh I still need to explore (I’ve never even been up Arthur’s Seat!), not to mention the rest of Scotland (and indeed, the UK as a whole) that lies practically on my doorstep. Time to broaden that experience!

6. Do things that scare me more often. Too often, I am held back by a lack of confidence and my horrible ability to turn absolutely anything into a “what if?” disaster scenario. I need to stop worrying as much and throw myself into things. If it turns out badly, then I can be scared because of past experience rather than misinformed preconceptions. If it turns out well? Well, even better. From introducing myself to new people, to applying for things which challenge me, to telling people how I really feel about them, I hope to be able to say that I’ve done them all by the end of the year and have learnt from experience.

What are your New Year’s resolutions?



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