New year, same lazy me

Why students’ resolutions are easily broken

Nothing quite signifies the New Year like running through the sweaty crowds of whatever pub or nightclub you’re jammed in, desperately hiding from the poor soul chasing you in a vain attempt to “seal the deal” with a midnight kiss. It’s as you finally glimpse the safe shadows of the bathroom that the clock chimes out the first second of 2018 and the first of the “new year, new me” hashtags grace your Instagram feed.

This form of reinvention seems like the best idea when you’re a student. For those of us living away from home, it’s the ideal moment to parade your independence, to show the world just how well you thrive in the big city. And what a better way to go about it than with some hearty New Year’s resolutions, the perfect opportunity to redeem yourself for last term’s most mortifying moments. Gone are the days of sneaking into your lecture hall 30 minutes late or surviving off of the €11 left in your bank account because you took the phrase “treat yo’ self” to the extreme.

But that was the old you and like a newly reborn Taylor Swift, the old you can’t come to the phone cause they too, are dead. So bring on 2018. Get ready to embrace a new lifestyle filled to the brim with healthy foods, organised timetables and those running pants that you bought in Penney’s on a whim, because you’ll surely have the motivation to put them to use this year, right?

Wrong, so so wrong. And it’s all down to our motivation. Often the problem with New Year’s resolutions is that we expect immediate results, which usually results in complete abandonment of our aims within two weeks of undertaking them. Take my resolution to stop procrastinating for example – a goal that I have gradually watched fly out the window as I stare into the abyss that is my long overdue readings, neglected assignments, and closing in deadlines that I will likely do nothing about until the night before.

Student resolutions are hard to maintain, it’s true. You promise yourself to drink less and suddenly, RAG Week is glaring you in the face as you chug down a naggin of vodka before staggering your way onto a bus bound for the nightclub lights. How can you maintain a healthy diet when you know that straight after previously mentioned nightclub appearance, you’ll be first in line at McDonald’s, miscounting your change and annoying the server as you frantically attempt to scrape together enough brown pennies to afford a good greasy burger. And as for making it to all your 9am lectures? That’s the last thing on your mind when you wake up at two o’clock in the afternoon the next day with mascara smeared on your pillow and a headache that makes you want to die.

Yet as an experienced procrastinator and overall lazy person in general, I’ve found that student resolutions have the funniest ways of working out. Take, for example, the common resolution to get fit; simply run to college in the morning after sleeping through all your alarms. And if your resolution is to get up a little bit earlier in the morning, simply follow in my footsteps and leave all your assignments until the very last second, that way, you have no choice but to wake up at 6am to finish them. And that Netflix documentary you watched when you should have been doing said assignment will leave you loathing even the idea of chicken nuggets.

Of course, for anyone with a shred more willpower than myself, maybe all you need is a little kickstart to your resolution, or simply approach it with baby-steps. Use a free hour between lectures to hit up the student gym or maybe go to the library to make a plan on that one essay for that one module that you absolutely detest. Save a bit more money for any summer plans and instead of paying €3.50 for a mediocre coffee, buy a decent flask and make your own at home.

There’s no denying that resolutions are hard to keep, but they’re not impossible to maintain either. With a little time and a pinch of effort, you can make 2018 your year to flourish. And if, like me, you’re already lagging a bit behind on your goals then fear not. After all, January is just a free-trial period anyway.

Mairéad McCarthy

Mairéad McCarthy is a former Deputy Life Editor for Trinity News.