January has always been a month for new starts. New Year’s resolutions, ‘new year, new me’, new diets, new attitudes; a new, happier, more productive self. Cut out the booze, the fags, the junk food, the late nights; become someone who gets up early, who eats kale, who starts essays two weeks in advance, who jogs. But how often does that work out? We’re near the end of January now and, whilst I can’t speak for everyone, I’ve already pulled three all-nighters, eaten two boxes of Sainsbury’s muffins in one sitting, slept through multiple lectures, and done at least one small sick in a club toilet. I have not renewed my gym membership.
But instead of beating ourselves up for falling off the wagon and failing to make pinterest-perfect granola bowls every morning, maybe we should instead embrace our messy sides? Let’s be real here – everything fun is either unhealthy, illegal, dangerous, or expensive. As students, most of us don’t have the budget to really treat ourselves in the way we deserve, and here at qmunicate we would never encourage our readers to do anything illegal (cough). But there’s no point in lying to ourselves – chips and cheese are delicious, late nights feel like adventures, sleep is amazing and people drink and take drugs because it’s fun. The fact of the matter is, we are all, always, slowly dying; we might as well have a good time while we’re at it.
I’m not saying ditch every healthy thing on earth; exercise keeps you healthy and is good for your mental health etc, etc; as much as your parents repeat it, you are at uni to get a degree; fruit and vegetables are tasty and help you poop. But when people talk about balanced lives, balanced diets, they forget than fun needs to be somewhere in that balance too. A ‘balanced’ diet definitely includes more chocolate cake than Gwyneth Paltrow thinks it does.
We’re all reminded again and again, from childhood, that nobody’s perfect – so why on earth to we try to be every time January comes around? This year, maybe try embracing your messy, perma-hungover, sesh-loving self. Try new year, same you. You just might love it.
[Clare Patterson – @clarepttrsn]