For the early Christian’s, the first day of the new year provided an occasion to reflect on one’s mistakes and to think about what was needed in the future to better ourselves. The ritual of New Year’s Eve dates back to the 1700s when John Wesley, founder of Methodism, created the Covenant Renewal Service, a service held the night before the new year started. This was a spiritual service that consisted of hymn singing and readings from Scriptures where people gathered to pray and make resolutions for the coming year.
In the modern age, this has become more of a secular practice where instead of making promises to the Gods, people tend to make promises to themselves and use it as an opportunity to set the goals that they want to achieve for self-improvement. In London people not only take resolutions very seriously (although only 8% of us actually stick to them), but we also use the New Year as an opportunity to come together with family and friends to celebrate the year we have just lived.
What is London like on New Year’s Eve?
London never fails to disappoint on New Year’s eve – it is a big deal. The midnight fireworks show against the majestic London skyline is something that shouldn’t be missed. The fireworks kick off right after the twelfth stroke of midnight chiming from Big Ben and thousands of people gather by the Thames Riverside to see in the New Year – but it doesn’t stop there. There’s nowhere that enjoys a party quite like London! There’s always something for everyone. From large formal gatherings and lavish parties to swanky underground bars and themed events – You’ll be sure to have a great night.
However, if partying isn’t for you, then not to worry – there’s still plenty to do in London that doesn’t involve a drink, like Winter Wonderland. Winter Wonderland is a large Christmas event and has become somewhat of a national treasure for London. It’s held in London’s most iconic park, Hyde Park and is one of the best things to do over the holiday period, whether that be with friends or family. With a huge selection of festive entertainment and activities from ice skating to circus shows and Christmas markets to live music, it really does get you into the Christmas spirit. If this isn’t for you and you fancy a night by a cosy Christmas fire or in front of the TV watching Love Actually – then that’s ok too. You may even want to treat yourself to a cheeky New Year’s takeaway! There are so many amazing restaurants in London to choose from. In short, it doesn’t really matter how you choose to celebrate New Year’s Eve as long as it’s the way you want to be seeing in the New Year.
But as the year draws to a close, many people in the UK will be using this time to put their thinking caps on and decide exactly what they want for the year ahead. Whether that be something you want to improve on, something new you want to try or even something you want to do less of. Setting New Year’s resolutions is a goal-setting tradition that we embark on every year in the hope that we will better ourselves for the following year if we stick to them. But if there is no guarantee that we will stick to them then why do we do it?
If you want to improve your grades, for example achieving a 2:1 in a specific module, then you could set yourself a New Year’s resolution to help you reach that goal. It’s a good way to help you reflect on what’s important to you, clear your mind and focus on who you want to become and how you are going to get there.
Setting a New Year’s resolution will help you have some idea of where you want to be with a specific goal, which can actually help you make other better decisions. New Year’s resolutions are designed to help guide you along the right path when you are struggling to make a decision.
Setting a goal at a time when other people are also doing the same can encourage you and drive you to make the right decision. Having healthy competition will drive you to prove that you can carry out your New Year’s resolution and make it a permanent feature in your life.
Below are some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions:
- Living a healthier lifestyle (exercising more etc.)
- Reading more
- Learning something new
- Saving money
- Getting a new job
- Giving more time to charity
- Sleeping more
- Making new friends
How do I set my New Year’s resolution as a student?
As a university student, it’s hard to set goals that you know you will actually stick to, as most of the time your busy schedules will usually get in the way. Goals such as “eat healthy”, “sleep more” and “work harder” are usually interrupted by the typically fun lifestyles that students live. Instead, resolutions should be set that will make a difference to your overall experience. Simple resolutions that will need limited input but will have a big impact.
Below we have put together our 8 favourite New Year’s resolutions for students. Happy New Year!
1. Random act of kindness a day
Life at university can be stressful, so as trivial as it sounds, spotting an opportunity for one small act of kindness may actually make someone’s day. Whether it be washing up the dishes that your housemate left from dinner the night before, making your roommate a cup of tea or even holding the door open for another student, you have the potential to completely change someone’s mood. Kindness is a really good thing for others – but also for your own wellbeing. While they are small moments, they are wonderfully impactful.
2. Add some “me time” into your daily schedule
As a student, you will be constantly surrounded by people and sometimes this can be overwhelming and demanding. Taking time to yourself is vital for your mental health to ensure that you don’t feel stressed or run down. Taking 30 minutes each day to reflect and relax, will help you stay in control and will let your body recharge. Doing something enjoyable during this time such as reading, meditating or watching some TV will energise you and will help you feel more positive and productive.
3. Start a new hobby / join a society
If you’ve been thinking about taking up that spin class, joining the rugby team or going to a book club there’s no better time to start a new hobby than at the beginning of the year. There are so many opportunities at university to meet like-minded people through the love of a shared hobby. They also instil a sense of purpose while having fun and can be exhilarating if it’s something you have never done before. Challenging yourself and stepping outside of your comfort zone to try something new will have a hugely positive impact on your self-confidence.
4. Spend less time on social media
Using social media is inevitable, it is the way we all stay connected but the truth is, you may lose out on making an in-person connection while you are distracted by your online ones. Make sure to look up from your screen when you are on campus and observe the people, the space and the happenings going on around you. The in-person connections are the ones that we should be nurturing most.
5. Worry less about what others think!
University is the first time many students will be away from home meeting new people, living independently and trying new things. Don’t be afraid to try new things because of what other people think – and remember that you are all in the same boat! University is the time to have fun, you shouldn’t let anything stop you.
6. Get your housemates together to try a new recipe
Food really is the way to people’s hearts and there is nothing more social than cooking up a storm in the kitchen with your friends. You may not be an experienced cook, but improving your culinary skills while you’re at university will help set you up for the future, and it will give you a chance to show off to your family when you return home.
7. Spend less
For students that have started university in the Autumn, you will probably get a nasty shock when you go home for the holidays and take a look at your bank account. Especially if this is your first experience of living alone, it can take some time to get used to living on a student budget. The trick for 2022 is to be realistic, what can you cut out that will help you save some money – maybe don’t buy that new sweatshirt that you don’t really need or think about walking to class instead of taking the bus (trust me you’ll thank us later!).
8.Trying out a new method of study
You might have realised that you’re handing in work late or you’re losing concentration quickly when writing an essay. Why not try a new way of studying? The Pomodoro Technique is a time management tool that involves using a timer to set yourself 25 minutes to work on a task and then when the time is up, you can take a short break to make a snack or a hot drink. Doing short bursts of work coupled with short enjoyable breaks will help you feel energised and engaged.
Happy New Year!
New Year’s resolutions offer an opportunity to make changes and improvements. Often they are hard to stick to, but if you are controlled and passionate about the ones that you have set then there is no reason that they shouldn’t be obtainable.