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Getting rid of old habits for the new year

January 16, 2020

It’s time for those New Year’s resolutions to come pouring through, but do you actually follow them? I know I have trouble fulfilling them, but this time, I’m determined to not slack off and be more mindful of my health and body. Therefore, I’ve listed some suggestions to help your university semester go along smoothly.

Make sure you get enough sleep

This is important to keep your circadian clock in check. Try to go to bed around the same time every night, and stay away from bright screens for at least an hour before bed because it’ll make falling asleep easier. If you have to use the screen, adjust it to the orange-red brightness setting.

Eat healthier

Please avoid junk food and ordering out. Instead, prepare your own meals and choose healthier options at the cafeteria. Avoid processed foods and anything with preservatives. Try eating fresh. Empty nutrition and excessive calories can lead to a poor lifestyle in the future. Your grades and mind will suffer, because food is ultimately medicine.

Avoid all-nighters

Avoid all-nighters because it can lead to binge-eating and unhealthy behaviours. Also, you may end up being cranky and not right in the head if you’re interacting with people the next day. Instead, plan your activities accordingly and do assignments in advance with lots of time to proofread and get help from the prof.


Take advantage of the free gym at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre. There are also Mood Walks that occur every Wednesday at noon outdoors. You can also participate in intramural/extramural sport teams and fitness classes. If you’re an introvert (like me), try jogging around local parks or walk to local destinations instead of taking the bus or car.

Don’t lock yourself in your room

Get out there and socialize with other people. Attend parties, clubs, social events, meet-ups, or even study with your classmates. Since mental health is important to be successful in school, being in stress-free environments from time-to-time can make a significant difference in your academic performance. Importantly, make time for your friends. This is probably the only time in your life where you can talk to an unlimited number of people, so take advantage of it.

Save money if necessary

Avoid eating out or buying drinks, because every dollar counts! If you can, cancel any unneeded subscriptions and ask yourself if you REALLY want the item. Take advantage of campus jobs. I like to budget my expenses and purchases using the Mint app.

Set a routine for yourself

I use my phone’s calendar app to put in due dates, work shifts, classes, etc. Make sure you attend classes regularly and get to know the profs for those job references. During my long bus rides from school, I study on my phone using flashcard apps like StudyBlue or Quizlet.


I like to study at school around other people, as it will give me motivation and the feeling that I’m being “supervised.” Also, actively participate in class discussions and ask your prof for clarification on the material or assignments. They’ll appreciate your effort and see that you care about learning. Also, try alternating between subjects every hour of studying so you don’t feel bored.

Overall, I feel like my studying habits and attitudes towards my well-being have considerably improved into my second year of university. It’s normal to feel somewhat unstable in the beginning, but it’s important to seek advice and support if necessary.