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3 New Year’s Resolutions Every University Student Should Make

university students new year resolution

Joanne Poh

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As a university student, you might not be jaded enough to have given up on New Year’s resolutions altogether. Year after year, you make the same old resolutions to study harder, party less and sleep earlier. Singaporean students have expressed pessimism about their financial future, and this year, it’s time to do something about it.

Here are three New Year’s resolutions that you’ll find it a lot easier to succeed at than ridiculous ones like going for a run every morning at 6am or breaking your habit of procrastinating.

 

1. Explore three things you might actually like to do for a living

Maybe it’s spending a hectic childhood shuttling from tuition session to tuition session with no time to reflect, or just gloomily assuming you’ll try to go for the highest paying job you can get when you graduate.

Whatever it is, many Singaporean university students are either clueless as to what they want to do when they graduate, or appear to be making their decisions by default: I’m in an engineering course, so I guess I’ll try to become an engineer, never mind that I have no interest in the field.

Well, here’s news for you. In the first few years of your working life, many of your peers are going to drop out of their initial careers and try something else. Some will even job hop for years until they find something they like.

Instead of making the Terrible Twenties more turbulent than they have to be, identify three things you might actually like to do for a living, and then dedicate this year to exploring each one of them, allocating to months for each.

These three things don’t have to be jobs per se. Don’t worry about whether or not they’re considered profitable. Your goal for the year is just to explore how you can use them.

Maybe you’ve realised you like to write, in which case you would spend four months exploring how to use your writing skills. You might contribute articles to the university’s newsletter, find out how to become a freelance writer or start your own blog.

On the other hand, if you’ve realised you’re passionate about entrepreneurship, there’s no better time than the present to put your business ideas under the microscope and talk to other young entrepreneurs who’ve made it.

If you still have no idea what you’d actually like to do, you have some soul searching to do, and 2015 is the year to do it. Trust me, it’s better to do all this now than to wait till you’re stuck in a job you hate.

 

2. Save a small portion of your allowance each month

Unless you’re one of the lucky few with a decent allowance, you probably get barely enough to pay for a couple of McDonald’s meals each month. Singapore university students tend to be divided into two camps—those who work part-time, whether as tuition teachers, waiters or call-centre employees, and those who don’t. The former tend to either go crazy shopping at Cineleisure and Far East Plaza. The latter tend to live from allowance injection to allowance injection.

No matter which category you fall under, this year, promise to put aside a small portion of what you get every month. It could be $10, $20 or $50, or even more if you can afford it. You can open a second account and transfer the funds to that account each month, stash it in a piggy bank or even invest it.

You’re probably not going to be rolling in a bathtub of dollar bills at the end of 2015, but you’ll finally know what it feels like to have some savings, and realise how much effort and time it took to get there.

 

3. Participate in one of your university’s programmes

While some of your fellow classmates might indeed be crazy about CCAs and spend all their time running around campus organising events, many others show up for the occasional class and then disappear mysteriously until the exams.

This is a pity, as Singapore universities have so many programmes these days that I feel like enrolling in one myself right now. From the NUS Overseas Colleges programme that enables students to take on internships in Silicon Valley, Beijing and Israel to a whole host of community engagement opportunities at SMU, you’re spoilt for choice.

Even if you’ve always been the too-cool-for-school sort, in 2015 make it a point to check out at least one of the many opportunities your university offers.

You might have no idea what you want to do with your life now, but participating in activities like the above can help to nudge you along the path to self-awareness more than lying in bed all day watching TV series will.

Are you a university student with a great New Year’s resolution to suggest? Let us know what it is in the comments.

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.