Student Guide


Ah, the New Year. Smells like hope, promises, and the impending failure to fulfill our shiny New Year's resolutions, which is probably the only thing most of us have been consistent in every January. After the year we had of broken promises, perhaps we owe it to ourselves to at least have these ones honored, for the sake of self-care and doing our part in the world.

/ 31 December 2020

It would be so easy to let the New Year come without a second thought, especially with how warped our concept of time has gotten because of the whole pandemic. What does a “new year” even mean anymore?

Yearly traditions call on us to start preparing our New Year’s Resolutions, with promises to ourselves and the people around us to do something new, or change something up about the way we’re so used to living our lives. And though most of us are probably wondering what the point even is when so much of the world is so messed up and out of our control, we believe it’s even more valuable now to hold fulfilled promises to our hearts, and keep our word, if only to ourselves. At the very least, doing so could fill in the holes of our unaccomplished goals in 2020, and broken promises from our leaders.

As cliché as it sounds, a new year is the perfect opportunity to start anew and initiate a change—in our own lives, and the lives we touch everyday. If multinational corporations or global leaders can’t fulfill their end of the bargain in terms of doing something about climate change, poverty, and other societal issues, let’s do this for each other and our own peace of mind. On top of that, let’s make a pledge to go the extra mile for our own mental health and wellness, considering how much this year has taken a toll on all of our mental strongholds.

Instead of us going outward and hoping for change from other people, let us make 2021 the year we make some moves to change our lives, and the lives of many. Because if 2020 taught us anything, it’s the incredible weight of disappointment we can get from putting our faith on the wrong people—may that be friends, employers, public servants, or just the universe that’s been against us this whole year.

So here are 21 things we all probably need more of in the coming year. Hopefully at least one of these spark your interest for something new to try or something different to do in 2021:

  1. Be more mindful of the companies and organizations you support and consume (check out those brand values—both the explicit and implicit—and ask yourself if you want to contribute to that).
  2. Limit social media time (especially before sleep).
  3. Live more eco-friendly with sustainable alternatives, and reduce your environmental waste.
  4. Find an organization to support and donate to.
  5. Be a plant parent (if you aren’t already).
  6. Read at least one book every month.
  7. Read the news (and not just your Twitter feed).
  8. Maintain a savings target every month.
  9. Invest in yourself with free lessons on YouTube, or full paid courses.
  10. Aim to get on the Dean’s List, or get a promotion.
  11. Learn something new with your hands (knit, play an instrument, paint, etc.)
  12. Commit to more personal quiet time.
  13. Cook something new every week.
  14. Be more purposeful in the content you consume.
  15. Use a planner to set out goals and milestones.
  16. Take up financial investments.
  17. Join online communities for your interests (a book club, a bicycle beginners group, Vegan recipe exchanges, etc.)
  18. Exercise regularly.
  19. Ride a bicycle to near destinations.
  20. Check in on your friends more regularly.
  21. Check in on yourself more regularly (try journaling!).