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Advice for Students

5 tips if you are struggling with the new year

18 January 2023


More often than not, the new year is seen as an amazing time to reflect on the past year and create new goals for the year to come. But while the new year can be a celebration for most, sometimes it can be scary. Looking back at the resolutions you didn’t complete can be defeating. Seeing that you aren’t where you hoped to have been by this time may be upsetting and even cause anxiety. For me, these emotions come in waves when the new year comes about. This year I have accomplished so much and had fun doing it.  I managed to:

  • Complete my last musical in high school
  • Welcome my new niece into the world
  • Learn to love reading again
  • Get accepted into an amazing journalism program 
  • Graduate high school
  • Spend the summer enjoying both the company of family and friends while learning to love my own company
  • Work a job outside my comfort zone
  • Make it through my first term attending university across the ocean  

Though I made it through the lows and enjoyed the highs, I still get hung up on the things I didn’t do:

  • Didn’t learn guitar like I had hoped
  • Didn’t make all the friends I had hoped in my first term of school
  • Didn’t work as much as I could’ve this summer
  • Didn’t stick to the workout I set at the start of the year

I believe it is important to talk about how New Years can be a time that we get hung up on what we didn’t do. You may want to look at what you didn’t do and try to figure out why. Was there not enough time? Were you too scared like I was? Did you give up too easily? These questions can also create anxiety when simply sometimes goals are just that, goals. They are something we aim for.


Now, I’m not saying we shouldn’t reflect on this past year with a little critique in ourselves. But instead of getting hung up on what we didn’t do, also look at what you did accomplish. The little wins that were a part of your year. The things that you didn’t expect but happened anyway. Life can’t always be focused on the resolutions that may or may not be achievable. Look at the year as a whole.

Now let me give you some quick tips if you are struggling with the thoughts that come with the end of the year:

  • Surround yourself with the people that matter most. New Years is a celebration of making it through another year of life. Celebrate that with people you genuinely care about.
  • If you want to reflect on the year, make a list of both the things you achieved and the things that you maybe didn’t get to. But also reflect on the memories you made, what you learned, and what you want to continue to strive for. Remember, the journey is just as important as the end goal. 
  • Make or grab some good food to end the year on a strong note. Take a book and read at a coffee shop or blast your favourite music while you cook. Just let yourself be human.
  • Dress up in what makes you feel good. I love to get all dolled up and go out with friends to take end of year photos. These photos can simply be to add to your memories or show you that you got this, this is your life, don’t let anyone else mess with it. 
  • The most important tip: do what works for you. If resolutions are your thing, great, make them. But if they aren’t, don’t get hung up on what society has deemed as a fresh start. It’s never too late to create goals or start something new and a new year doesn’t need to be the time to create the shift. Anytime of year is the time to better yourself.


Don’t let the new year act as a stressful time, but if you are struggling with the new year, know that you are not alone. Use the student connect page to talk to students or staff who can help. Just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean there has to be a completely new you. Be easy on yourself and ring in the new year feeling good about where you’re at. Happy New Year, I hope it’s a great one.

Lilly <3