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New Year’s Resolutions – a realistic version

Lovely people, 

I warmly welcome you back to the ESN blog and hope you are at least half as excited as I am to kick this year off. I hope you all survived Christmas and the exam period. Personally, I’m still trying to process both; the exam period was the smaller challenge though. But let’s be optimistic; a new year has started, a new year in which, of course, everything will be “sooooo different”, “soooo much better”, and we all going to be “a better version of ourselves”. Yes, that was sarcasm. I’m dearly sorry, but I must say that latest in February, I always come to the conclusion that the pandemic is still not over, that my new diet is only new because it is even worse than before, and that my sleeping schedule did not get any better, I now only feel guilty about it. Of course, I write New Year’s Resolutions; I even hang them over my desk to look at them and praise my good intentions. However, this “completely different” year will be, well …, different. That we all break our New Year’s resolutions is not our fault, we just have to adapt them a little, make them more realistic and honest. Therefore, I’ve written a little list with examples of resolutions that could find their way on your list and which definitely make you a “better version of yourself”. 

  1. Set realistic goals.
  2. Only spend that much time on Instagram that you could still show your activity to others without feeling embarrassed.
  3. Learn how to say more than “Dankjewel”, “Lekker”, and “Gezellig” in Dutch.
  4. When people ask you to play music, embrace your taste to the fullest without this awkward social pressure. If they complain, play the most hated song you can think of.
  5. Remove your makeup and brush your teeth every night, yes, also when you’re drunk.
  6. Stop reading your assignment twelve times before you actually hand it in; even if you would detect one more spelling mistake, it will neither ruin your future nor your life.
  7. Stop. Ignoring. Red. Flags. They won’t change colour just because you close your eyes.
  8. If you buy fresh veggies and fruits, eat them before they become undefinable gunk in the last drawer of your fridge.
  9. Unfollow social media accounts that are toxic or not good for your wellbeing.
  10. Stop stalking people on Social Media that you unfollowed.
  11. Spend more attention on your lectures than on any app on your phone.
  12. Get a complete medical check, seriously go and do this.
  13. Pick a movie on Netflix fast enough to actually start it before falling asleep. It’s tough but I believe in you.
  14. Realise that the university is not more than a university, it is no catwalk, and it doesn’t matter what you look like.
  15. Enjoy a sunset without posting it.
  16. Stop feeling embarrassed for the most ordinary and casual things. Yes, this includes public sneezing.
  17. Smile when people look at you.
  18. Don’t ghost people. It is dismissive and hurtful. If they, however, deserve it, let them exceedingly friendly know that they are being ghosted.
  19. Don’t google your symptoms; if you have yet done so, calm down, it is very likely that you will not die right away.
  20. Delete the 17893 spam and trash mails in your Google account.
  21. Create Stickers of all of your friends, very useful.
  22. Be kind to yourself and others.
  23. Try something new. A language, an instrument, even if it’s just a new recipe, try it.
  24. Ask for help when you need it instead of watching your mental health dropping to hell.
  25. Don’t simulate Covid symptoms as an excuse not to see people. Instead, let’s normalise to say, “Thanks for asking, but I don’t feel like it.”
  26. Lastly, very important, wear your mask OVER your nose.


And? Don’t they sound a little bit more realistic than “Learn to speak French, Russian, and Japanese fluently”? At least I’ve tried to learn French for 12 years, and my language skills still do not exceed “Je parle un petit peut français”. Okay, I admit that I could be the problem in this case. But anyways, I hope I’ve been able to help you out a little. Oh, and before I forget, in case you will break one of your resolutions, the most important one is “Don’t be so hard on yourself.”


Written by Elli Winetsdorfer.