January Blues: a Survival Guide

By Becky Whittaker

January is one of the toughest months in the year for a university student (at least that’s how it feels). It’s a month of half-hearted disappointment after several weeks of laid back chocolate eating, and sofa slouching pondering over the idea of doing something productive.

By the time January comes round to slap us in the face with revision, last minute crammed exams, a looming future to prepare for and a diminishing bank account, we feel torn between success and just hoping we can wing it for the rest of our lives.

Every year, whether we are students with exams, or people with actual worries there is always a yearly pressure to improve yourself, to reach perfection. Brainwashed by the media into the idea that we must start to aim for our peak in physical fitness, to become vegan, and to never drink again; which of course are ideas that often barely last a day.

So here’s a help in hand to making it through this wintery welcome to the New Year.

1. Coffee chats – A coffee chat is a meeting with a close friend perhaps one that is good at gossiping or seems to have a dramatic life. These meetings usually involve eating cake and drinking coffee whilst it gives you a chance to complain about life, talk about other people and of course pretend you don’t have any work to be getting on with. Coffee chats are a perfect way to get through January.


2. Abandon social media – Let’s face it do you really need to know who is the latest person from your old secondary school to have had a baby, or to get engaged, and to post pictures of their new cat. The answer is no, you don’t need to know any of this stuff; you stopped actually speaking to these people several years ago. So if you want to know the goings on in the world read the news.

3. Go for walks – Walking is a good form of exercise and can help your concentration, and is a lot less effort than running so will actually be a pleasant study break from the looming pressure of exams.

4. Netflix – Are you guilty of binge watching series after series whilst you watch revision and assignments pile high? Well, the majority of us are, and we should probably stop, restrain yourself from that next episode and do something productive!

5. Music – We all have different ways of escaping what we have to do, but, music allows you to escape and just do nothing.

6. Food – Where there is food there is happiness, and in January we need more happiness so eat as much as you like and be happy. No consequences, no resolutions, you weren’t going to keep them anyway.

7. Take up a hobby – Doesn’t matter what it is, felting or Morris dancing – just try it!

8. Plan a trip – It may seem to not be the most practical thing to start doing in the middle of exams, but, even if it’s out of budget a holiday is one way of forgetting the wintery welcome of January and start to seek the laziness of summer.

9. Party – You can’t starve yourself of going out, you’ll start getting withdrawal symptoms from Christmas. Remember partying is a skill you have to nurture, if you don’t use it you lose it!

10. Birthdays – Remember in the midst of your January blues, there are people out there, poor souls who have to suffer the January Birthday. People with January Birthdays have to put up with the misery of others going on diets, giving up alcohol, lacking in money. These tragic January mishaps result in reduced presents and an empty party.   

So maybe instead of living in a state of worry, take a step back and realise just because you’re not getting a 1st in every module, whilst running a marathon and feeding the homeless, doesn’t mean you’re going to be a failure in life. Stop panicking about the future and focus on now, enjoy your subject and hobbies, go out, drink, let yourself go and eat as much as you can, don’t conform just have fun. Happy January everyone!