• That Nasty Feminist


Recycle materials, not trends.

Written by Emily Dudley

By now every student from here to Inverness will have be inundated with the trite annual trend of #newyearnewme. Regardless of which social media platform you’re partial to, there is no avoiding this yearly obsession founded on the unyielding social pressures to change things about ourselves. Happy New Year, by the way.

The scope of the hashtag in online communities has arguably contributed to, or even perhaps facilitated, the superficial nature of the published content it tags. We know that a post on social media is not an accurate indicator of a person’s entire character or lifestyle but we also know that what we curate on social platforms reinforces the persona we emanate in online spaces and, unfortunately in the digital age, this image is often considered paramount.

Let’s make this clear. You don’t need to change a thing about yourself for anyone else or for a fleeting internet trend, especially changes to your outward appearance. We are all works in progress, growing and developing who we are as people, but can we omit the myth that it happens on one specific night per year at the toll of 12am. The turn of a new decade can’t compel an instantaneous transformation into our ideal selves yet every year we hope for it and are disappointed when we don’t meet those impossible self-inflicted expectations by the end of January.

So forget the whole concept. Maybe it works for some people, but the rhetoric can be largely negative. Perhaps instead of a resolution, make a small, manageable, well-intentioned adjustment. If you want a kick-start, here are just some examples which double up as good deeds (remember that being kind to yourself 100% counts as a good deed).

  1. Be More Eco-Conscious. Our planet is in severe danger now. If you don’t recycle, start today. Turn off lights. Be conscious of water usage. Invest in a heated blanket (they’re fab). Reduce your carbon footprint.

  2. Make Time for People. Family and friends are important to us all and we are all guilty of taking that for granted. Call a relative on your commute or in between lectures, give a friend in need a hug, buy a stressed out course-mate a coffee and offer a helping hand. Make their day–and yours–that little bit more cheerful.

  3. Volunteer. There’s not enough words or time to list the various ways you can positively contribute to your community or your planet. If you only help one person, that’s plenty.

  4. Get Proactive. No, this isn’t your typically futile “get fit, eat healthy” tip (if you hate the gym, don’t go). Instead this example is an encouragement to engage in some social or political activism. If you struggle to find passion or purpose check out campaigns surrounding a social cause you’re interested in and get involved.

  5. Make Healthy Choices. Whether they be mental, physical or emotional, start prioritising yourself and your well-being. Students can have it just as tough as any other community so never feel like your stresses are invalid.

Wanting to develop yourself isn’t a crime, but a new year doesn’t demand it. If you have to make a resolution, let it be something realistic and proactive rather than an unachievable goal. Be kind to yourself and others and have a wild 2020.