As we enter 2024, many of you may be contemplating resolutions and setting goals. You might also be feeling somewhat between the familiarity of university and the uncharted territory of professional life. We have therefore come up with five New Year resolutions to guide you through this transitional phase. These are designed as goalposts to help concentrate your efforts throughout the year with the hope of bringing you that one step closer to your career goals.
1. Kick out the stress
The final year of university often brings a lot of stress. The combination of stressful exams and job hunting can be overwhelming. To navigate this, it’s important to implement effective stress management techniques. Beyond the typical advice of scheduling your time better, consider this approach. Set a two-minute timer on your phone as a dedicated space for emotional release. During this brief window, allow yourself the freedom to breathe, reflect, and acknowledge your feelings. Giving yourself this time to reflect can be refreshing and ultimately rewarding so why not give it a go?
2. Managing graduate expenses
Your final year of university can often come with financial uncertainties, especially when you are waiting for your much-anticipated student loan! It is important to initially create a budget. One way you can do this is in Excel. There are many tutorials online for how to create a budget. Alternatively, you could use a wide range of budgeting apps. Each offers a unique set of features to cater to diverse financial needs.
Here are some examples of budgeting apps available:
3. Get in touch with your hobbies
Amid the stress of exams and coursework, hobbies are often dropped. The new year provides a great opportunity to get back to what you love to do. While you obviously will still need to study, taking time for activities that you enjoy is crucial. While it might be difficult it is important to shut off from time to time. Reconnect with your passions, whether that may be playing an instrument or rejoining a sports club. This will bring a sense of purpose and joy into your downtime.
4. Start exercising
Getting involved in physical activity comes with several benefits. Establishing a consistent exercise routine can help you with your mental resilience. These workouts will offer you a mental reset. It is important to remember that a brief break from your studies to engage in physical activity can offer a refreshed mindset and renewed motivation. This will make you feel a lot better when returning to the challenges of post-graduate life.
5. Prioritize mental health
Discussions around mental health have become less of a taboo to speak about. New Year resolutions are incomplete without an idea dedicated to mental health. One way in which you can reduce stress is through mindfulness techniques. This can come in the form of breathing exercises, visualisations, and meditation. A great app that has a wide range of exercises like this is Headspace. You can also fit regular exercise into your schedule. It is also important to ensure you are well-rested. Finally, consider detoxing from the digital noise of social media.
In summary, as the calendar turns its pages to reveal 2024, you may feel somewhat at a crossroads of possibility and uncertainty. The resolutions outlined above serve as an idea of ways to manage the year and give you the best chance of reaching your goals. We recommend that you consider bringing up the topic of resolutions with your mentor, they can offer further guidance on how best to navigate the year and manage your post-academic life!