Epigram is an independent and neutral newspaper, aiming to publish opinions from across the student body. To respond with an opposing opinion, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or join our Facebook writers' group.
By Scarlett Sherriff, Fourth Year French and Spanish
We should leave New Year's resolutions in 2018. They do not work and are a nauseating reflection of our own self-absorption.
I get quite suspicious when my phone bombards me with adverts, but lately, it has been listening to me complain about needing to exercise and go on a diet. The adverts are all over Facebook: articles giving dieting advice, gym subscriptions. The world is preying on my post-Christmas angst.
The New Year always starts with people trying to con you. It is the innocent, ordinary consumer that has to start afresh and transform themselves. Corporations will even use algorithms to catch you just after you have looked at your untoned arms and increasingly chubby stomach in the mirror.
Between June and August 2017, the Citizen’s Advice Bureau found that nine out of ten people were initially refused when they tried to cancel a gym membership.
There is aspiration and then there is stupidity. We have busy lives and exercising falls wayside. Signing up for a gym just because it is January has bad monetary consequences and makes us feel like failures. Ultimately the first of January is just the start of a cold, dark month in which most people are grumpy and broke and will not get joy from going for a 7am run.
It is time to move on from New Year's Resolutions.
I am not saying do not change for the better. Getting up earlier is helpful. Procrastinating less reduces stress. Applying some organisation to muddled essay notes and a haphazard time schedule is vital. But New Year resolutions are ineffective and there are some pretty obvious reasons why.
Most obviously, they do not work. According to Business Insider, 80 per cent of our resolutions fail by February - so they are pretty useless.
There is aspiration and then there is stupidity. We have busy lives and exercising falls wayside.
This is partly due to their motivation. Change is normally kick-started by necessity- like when you go to the pub less because you finally logged into online banking and found that you are ridiculously far into your overdraft. Or you start a proper study routine because you are terrified of upcoming exams. The first of January is rubbish for this kind of reasoning, because it is no different to the 31st of December.
As well as this, we are a generation bombarded by both multinationals and now our peers with ‘NYE 2K18/19’ posts, telling us that we have to be perfect and that everything must be a social media worthy occasion. Some will argue with me and say that it is nice celebrating what you and your friends have achieved that year, and making resolutions for the next.
You may call me a party-pooper but there is a massive reason why they are missguided.
Like a lot of people I have over 700 friends on Facebook and I have admittedly added a fair few people for superficial, if usually practical, reasons. I am not particularly interested in their year, and I would be deluded if I thought they were interested in mine.
**The NYE hype is just narcissistic showing off. **
It is nice that so many people have time, energy and motivation - but we never hear about those that do not. More importantly, I certainly do not hear many people resolving to be nicer, and in an age of online competitiveness and utterly nauseating self-obsession, it is high time we finally rejected gimmicky New Year’s resolutions.
As a generation that has come of age in the midst of a housing crisis, we will not be able to afford our own homes for a long while yet. That is why we value experiences over material objects, but with hypes like New Year’s Eve, we are objectifying experience. Experience is not a box to tick, it just happens.
Life, perfect or imperfect, is to be lived to its fullest. Why should I lie to you and tell you I am aspiring to perfection? To be quite frank, I will be equipping myself for survival in 2019.
Sure, there is fun to be had, exercise to be done, work to be completed, but I am not making any resolutions.
I know I will not keep them and more importantly, who cares if I exercise more or miraculously become organised on the first of January?
Are you making New Year's resolutions as 2019 begins? Let us know in the comments!