The tradition of New Years Resolutions derived from the mythological Roman King Janus who had two faces, one looking backwards at his past and the other looking forward to the future. If Janus was an art student he would be looking back at all-nighters with double-sided tape and sketchbooks, hangover fuelled Friday Mornings PP (Post-Pitcher) and eating questionable food he’d bought from the reduced aisle in Tesco’s.
New Years Resolutions are a pain to keep up, especially being a student when often all we want to do is eat frozen fatty food and and hang out with our best friends, 4oD and BBC iPlayer. Here are my tips on how to keep up your Resolutions whilst keeping on top of your budgets and uni work:
Resolution 1, Get fit: If your Resolution involves being more active or losing a few pounds, the Riverpark Leisure Centre has excellent facilities and is great value for money. It’s right next door to campus so there are no excuses there! Pack your trainers or swimsuit and take it with you to uni and pop over afterwards. If you’re determined enough, go beforehand! Flash your student card and a swimming session is only £1.65, a Gym Session is £6.70 and the classes are around a fiver. The full programme and price list is on their website.
Resolution 2, Drink Less: This is a resolution with blurred lines; for some students this rule is tricky to stick to but after the first semester, the alcohol has started taking its affect on our bodies. Swap your pre-drink vodka for Schnapps, it tastes better, its cheaper and it not as harsh on your body. If you like your wine, Weight Watchers have a small selection with less calories. As for intake, limit yourself and take out less money so you won’t be tempted.
Resolution 3, Eat Better: The convenience of microwave pizzas, fast food and putting cheese on absolutely everything gets the better of us. Learning to cook has been the best way for me to start eating healthy because you know what is going into your food. Student cookbooks are the best way to learn, the best one I know and I use regularly is Sam Stern’s Student Cookbook, with awesome recipes on a budget. Other tips are cook with water instead of oil and cook in large batches and freeze the leftovers for healthy mealtimes throughout the month.
Resolution 4, Quit Smoking: If you’re trying to cut back on the cigarettes this year, order a QuickQuit Pack from the NHS. This fantastic package includes a ‘Quit Planner’ to help you record your progress, patches and gum to satisfy your cravings and tons of other useful information about how to improve your health and keep you motivated. Order it for free on the NHS website.
Resolution 5, Save Money: I think this goes for all students. The demonic budgeting crisis. My tips are: Go to Tesco’s on a Wednesday which is when they put out their deals. It’s 3 for £10 on excellent cuts of meat at the moment and there are always offers the end of the aisles to look out for. Check out the reduced section and freeze what you buy straight away. Choose which nights to go out on and stick to it. Don’t do what I do and be persuaded by that certain house mate (we all have one!). Remember to take into account that as Art Students, we have to spend a lot of money on materials, so think about whether that night out is going to be worth it. We don’t want to go into overdraft because of a Pritt-Stick!