New Year resolutions aren't much use for university students. January is slap bang in the middle of the academic year. If you've left all good intentions until now, you've left it too late. But late is better than never, so here are my New Year resolutions for 2010.
1) Drink more alcohol. Many of my most productive study sessions have been while battling a hangover. Guilt is a powerful motivator. If you go out when you promised yourself that you would stay in, you work damn hard the next day to make up for it. If I want a First, I'd better bring on the booze.
2) Don't hand in essays at the last minute. In the first year, you got an enjoyable buzz from handing essays in 30 seconds before they were due. My friends would hand their essays in hours before the deadline, losing valuable studying time. Suckers. Now, the undignified sprint from the library to the history department is a pain. In 2010, my essays will be completed early enough for me to stroll (or at least just jog) to the department.
3) Learn to shut windows properly. Last month my house found out what happens when you don't: you get burgled. These are the valuable life skills you pick up at university. "There's a reason robbers love student houses," says a police sign on my road sporting pictures of laptops and iPods. Another reason could be that police stick signs up telling robbers where students live.
4) Eat properly. I have been feeding myself independently for nearly three years. Despite this I have yet to progress beyond the pile of pasta and Bolognese or pesto combination beloved by students. 2010 will see me turn into a culinary master, or at least stop eating cereal as a main meal.
5) Dissertation. I should probably start that at some point.
6) Accept that time spent in the library isn't always constructive. Coming home after eight hours in the university's library rarely equates to eight hours of work. It generally consists of a half-read article, two episodes of Top Gear on iPlayer, three overlong breaks and an abundance of Facebook stalking. Sadly, few of these activities count towards my degree. Telling people you spent all day in the library and then accepting their praise is no longer allowed.
7) Get more sleep. The student's body clock is a confused beast. A part-time job that finishes at 2.30am mixed with 9am starts and often quite late study sessions does not create a healthy sleep pattern. 2010 will be the year of early nights and early rises.
8) Make the most of it. There are thousands of opportunities at university, and you're a fool if you don't take as many as you can. I only have six months left. This means six more months of innocence before experience slaps me round the face with a double whammy of student debt and few job prospects. The destination might stink, but at least I will have got something from the ride.