Welcome to 2021, Pubs and Publications readers! It feels surreal that it’s a new year already, with 2020 feeling like it lasted five minutes for some of us and ten years for others. With hope in our hearts, the whole Pubs and Publications team is wishing you all a happy and healthy new year! In the spirit of January and the start of a new semester, our committee is sharing their New Year’s resolutions this week.

Craig Lennox, Publicity Editor

I am not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions as no one ever sticks to them but I do often take the time to reflect on what went well in the year (not too much in 2020) and where improvements could be made in my own work, studies, parenting my now almost 3-year-old, and in my health and wellbeing. Here are some edits that I want to make to my approach to life in 2021.

  1. Aim for more work/ life balance as 2020 was insane with work, studies not to mention life. 
  2. Learn to say no more often as winding down for the Christmas break, I really felt burnt out and exhausted from just how busy I had been.
  3. Throw myself into Bourdieu as he is complex, challenging and he is one task that I often avoid but really need to tackle for my PhD. Any tips on mastering him warmly welcome.
  4. Organise more activities with my son such as baking, painting and building dens to hang out in. We did this over the festive break making me realise how much of a toddler I am at heart.

And above all, be more patient and kinder to myself and to others as I find this brings more happiness and contentedness all round.

Giovanna Pasquariello, Chair

In a famous meme two aliens make fun of us for celebrating our planet completing a full circle around its star. Well, today I believe that this is something worth of celebration! After our experience of 2020, I will never take anything for granted anymore. 2021 marks for me the possibility to empower my mindset. Last year has been draining and, although I know that nothing really changed when the clock struck 00.00 of January 1st, I find this ‘new beginning’ kind of refreshing. I do not want to set career or life goals this time, I want to focus on my mindset and how I will cope with the – big and small – challenges this year will offer. First of all, I will not demand from myself things that I am not able to do serenely anymore. I will ask myself if the things I am doing really make me happy and I will try to abandon what is wearing me out more than giving me satisfaction. I want to focus on what is really important for myself and for our planet. I want to engage and fight, have a purpose which gets beyond the completion of my PhD. And more than everything, I wish I will have the energy and perseverance to carry these resolutions through the year.

The aforementioned meme, source unknown

Séveric Yersin, Contributions Editor

This year, I’ve made two resolutions – and I will stick to them. Both are in some ways a response to how the pandemic has affected me, both in my professional and personal life – in short, my resolutions aim at making a better job at going through this crisis. First of all, I need to regularly have a physical activity. Since my sports club was closed for a good part of 2020, my physical activity reduced considerably, partially because of the uncertainty of how long this situation would last. Now that I realized that we won’t be having any kind of normal life in the coming weeks, or months, it’s time to act – and thus having an individual physical activity. This is something I hate, especially pointless exercises like push-ups, but it is something that I reckon is necessary to keep true to the Greek adage, you know, mens sana in corpore sano [“healthy mind in a healthy body”]. Second, I need to reduce on tech, really. I’ve come to notice how much time I spend in front of a screen, or how little time I spend away from any kind of screen when I’m not sleeping, and this has to change. Like many others, I’ve tended to choose an easy-going TV show over a good book to relax – but this is not really a relaxing activity. On the contrary, I find it rather stressful. So here too, back to the pre-Covid normal life – a “healthier” (define it as you wish) daily screen-time, in particular when not professionally necessary. Wish me luck.

Megan King, Publicity Editor

For 2021, my New Year’s Resolution is simply to make better use of my planner. I love stationery. From note pads to journals, I just can’t seem to get enough, so throwing away my used/like new planner from last year was genuinely saddening. So, for 2021, I’m going to make sure that I use my new planner reaches its full potential. We’re talking prioritizing teaching responsibilities, PhD tasks, daily workouts, and household chores. We’re talking mindful journaling. We’re even talking grocery lists. I’ve set up monthly goals, weekly targets, and daily to-do lists. By checking in with myself daily, I feel as though I’ll be better equipped to stay focused and motivated in my personal and professional goals. 

Vesna Curlic, Topical Editor

Though I feel like there is something embarrassingly earnest about New Year’s resolutions, I can’t resist the spirit of self-improvement. I actually struggle to rein myself in when it comes to resolutions. Every January 1st, I want to become a kinder, more productive, more creative, healthier, more motivated person all at once. So, this year, I’m focusing on making the goals measurable and attainable.

  • Spend minimum 4 hours a week writing: Though I probably average more than this over the course of a semester, this resolution is essentially intended to break my bad habit of binge-writing. I tend to read and research and reflect for ages, then write in a mad frenzy. This method has worked until now, but I want to develop a more measured and consistent approach to writing in 2021.
  • Read more books for pleasure: Before 2020, I usually averaged 15-18 books per year (not including academic reading). In 2020, I managed to read 25 and in the hopes of keeping the momentum going, I’m aiming for 30 in 2021.
  • Lower my social media usage: My greatest vice is Instagram. I really enjoy looking at pretty photos, but I’ve realised that I spend far too much time scrolling. It’s a waste of time and I don’t get very much out of it (except the dopamine that keeps me scrolling).

We’d love to hear your academic or personal resolutions on our Twitter, Facebook or in the comments!