Having now begun my third year of university as a law student (let’s not dwell on that too much, it makes me feel old), I’ve learnt a thing or two about this further education malarkey, particularly in regards to study. Every September for the last
few (too many) years I have made ‘academic year resolutions‘ to myself, comprising of certain study promises I am to uphold throughout the year in an attempt to improve my learning and subsequently my grades. I can confirm that each and every year I have failed miserably at keeping these resolutions, as I’m sure many fellow students who partake in a similar routines have also. They don’t work. I would love to be able to say I kept my promises to study each night for a couple of hours, attend every lecture and complete all required reading, but I have not. Life gets in the way, I get lazy and quite frankly there are not enough hours in the day to full immerse yourself into the world of university study.
Having now learnt from my past academic year resolution failures, I decided not to make any this year. If I read for two hours a night, then great! But if I don’t I will not consider myself a failure, nor will I feel too disheartened or disappointed. Personally I don’t follow routine too well, particularly when it comes to study. I would much rather spend my evenings sat in bed watching ‘Breaking Bad’ and eating a bag of chocolate buttons, which is how I predominantly spend the majority of my evenings, hence the pristine text books sat in the corner and my overly large bum. However I do know when I need to pull my socks up, get my head down and work my large ass off to achieve good marks and continue through to the next year of study. This is possible without setting yourself goals and resolutions. It may have taken me several years to come to this realisation, but my education has not suffered for it.
Motivation to work does not come from resolutions. I’ve not heard of anyone achieving great things by telling themselves “I made a promise last September to read 100 pages a night and so I must do this if I don’t want to be a failure.” If you are capable of sticking to these resolutions which I’m sure the majority of us make to ourselves then that is fantastic and I am envious of your dedication to yourself and your studies. But if you’ve already neglected your highlighters in favour of one too many nights out and a lie in, then I shan’t declare you a terrible student and a failure. Just dust off your text book and put in that little bit more effort next week. No harm done.
Do you also make unattainable academic year resolutions?
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