How to Keep Your New Years Resolutions On Campus

By Kevin S

Congrats on surviving 2017 and making it to 2018! The start of a new year is a time of hope and optimism, a time to plan for the next 12 months. Unfortunately for us, that time collides with the start of a new semester, making it hard to keep up with resolutions as you’re thrust into a new schedule, new classes, and new assignments. But resolutions are much more manageable if you can tackle them on campus. Here are some ways to meet your goals at the U of A.

5. Get Active

One of the most common resolutions is to exercise more and get fit. But it’s hard to keep up with massive goals like going from never exercising to running every day at 6:00 a.m. — or planning to, anyways. It’s much easier to stay committed when you join a team or program. Campus and Community Recreation has everything from hockey to Elk Island snowshoeing trips. You can search programs and see pricing here. If you do want to try the gym, access to the Hanson Fitness and Lifestyle Centre is included with tuition, and you can even borrow equipment from their service desk.

4. Save Money

Textbooks are the obvious first step to save money, and the Students’ Union has some tips on how to do so. But an easier-to-overlook cost is having small daily purchases add up over time. A daily morning coffee might seem cheap at $2, but that can add up to over $100 over the course of a semester. And then there’s snacks, lunches, dinners, and other costs that come up. Instead, bring food from home if you’re able to and use an insulated mug to bring coffee or tea. If you need some caffeine NOW, I’ve found tea at Daily Grind to be one of the cheapest options — and it’s surprisingly good, too. Also keep an eye on food and drink specials around campus, such as RATT, Dewey’s, and Taco Time’s Taco Tuesday.

3. Eat Healthier

Eating healthier often goes hand-in-hand with saving money if you’re able to pack your own food. But if you do need to buy food on campus, there are a few healthier options than, for example, Taco Tuesday. For some healthier choices, there’s Chopped Leaf and Booster Juice in the Van Vliet Centre, Filistix in ECHA and CAB, and various salads and such in the CAB, Education, and ECHA cafeterias. Sobeys also isn’t as far as it seems, whether by bus or walking, and you’ll pass Burrito Libre and The Greenhouse salad bar on the way. Many seemingly “unhealthy” establishments also have healthier options, like salads or wraps.

2. Make Friends

Getting involved, meeting new people, and making friends are great goals for a new semester. But it’s hard if you’re not sure where to start. Luckily, there are student clubs for all sorts of interests. BearsDen has a mostly complete list of student clubs, and there will be a Winter Clubs Fair in SUB from January 15 to 17. Your faculty or department likely has its own student group that you can get involved with. You can also combine this goal with getting active; intramural sports are a great way to meet other people.

1. Be More Productive

I’m terrible at getting stuff done during breaks between classes. I had a four hour break last semester but still found myself doing readings and work later that night instead. Halfway through, I started going to Rutherford Library instead of noisy lounge areas. The change in atmosphere helped a lot, so I highly recommend trying out different spaces to see where you work best; it’s different for everyone. The UAlberta Campus Map has a filter for Study Spaces under the “Quick Finds” tab with some suggestions. Some unlisted spots I can recommend include the ALES atrium, a big sunny study space in NREF, a bright and quiet common area on second-floor CSC, and many oddly hidden workspaces in the Education buildings.

These are just a few tips to try to keep your resolutions on track while on campus. If you have your own suggestions, feel free to share them in the comments, or tweet them at us at @YouAlberta!