Tobias Jellema goede voornemens – wouter holleman
Tobias Jellema Image credit: Wouter Holleman

“This year, I want to maintain a clearer separation between my private life and my studies”, says Tobias Jellema (22, Management of Innovation). Last semester, he noticed that he was not making good use of his free time. “That created a lot of stress; I constantly had the feeling hanging over my head that I was supposed to be doing something for my classes.”

In order to strike a healthier balance, he has drawn up a plan for this year, “I’m going to make a to-do list and schedule specific times in advance for studying and relaxation.” Tobias thinks that strict self-discipline is the best approach. “So no watching Netflix when you’re supposed to be working and no working during your free time.”

War in Ukraine

Kristina Rusalovych goede voornemens – wouter holleman
Kristina Rusalovych Image credit: Wouter Holleman

Kristina Rusalovych (21, Communication and Media) has plenty of resolutions, too. She wants to travel more, for instance, and is planning to write original songs and produce music. Besides New Year’s resolutions, the Ukrainian student also has wishes for the new year. “Most of all, of course, I hope we win the war and Ukraine flourishes again.”

Other than that, like every year, Kristina hopes that her friends and family continue to be in good health. She explains the best way to approach making resolutions, “Take a moment for yourself, alone in your room, and think about what you really want – what is important to you. Then write that down.” And does it work? “You have to go into it with good intentions and truly believe you can achieve your goals, and then it works.”

Andrei Moskvin goede voornemens – wouter holleman
Andrei Moskvin Image credit: Wouter Holleman

For Russian student Andrei Moskvin (24, Urban Management & Development), thoughts of the new year are coloured by the war in Ukraine as well. His resolutions for last year fell through because of the war. “I try to learn new skills every year, but I was in shock when the war started, so then things sort of went downhill with my resolutions.”

This year, Andrei hopes to offer better emotional support to his friends in Russia. “The situation is really stressful for them. They don’t know what’s going on, so everyone is afraid. It also means they can’t make any plans for the future.” In addition to emotional support, Andrei also provides his friends and family with information about the war. “I have access to both Russian and Western news, but they can only get the Russian side of the story.” Luckily, he has a more light-hearted resolution as well. “I want to speak fluent Dutch by the end of this academic year, so I can get a job in the Netherlands after graduation.”

Mottos, not resolutions

Sem van der Panne goede voornemens – eigen foto
Sem van der Panne Image credit: Own picture

“I use mottos, not New Year’s resolutions”, says Sociology student Sem van der Panne (22). Sem explains that resolutions do not work because, according to her, you cannot become a different person overnight. “A motto is gentler for yourself than a resolution: it expresses a wish for yourself, and you can repeat it whenever you’re having a hard time.”

Sem came up with the idea for a motto based on the wishes people exchange in the holiday season. “You spend the whole time wishing other people things like ‘Merry Christmas’ and ‘Happy New Year’. So then I decided to think about what I would wish for myself in the new year.” Now, every year around the holidays, Sem and her younger brother come up with a motto for the upcoming year. Mottos for previous years were ‘I can find the fun in this’ and ‘Everyone is welcome’. “This year’s motto is: ‘Things will work out in the end’.”

Charlotte van de Pol en Noor Eliens goede voornemens – wouter holleman
Charlotte van de Pol en Noor Eliens Image credit: Wouter Holleman

The majority of students at the campus have more modest resolutions. “I want to floss better”, master student Charlotte van de Pol (23) says in the library. Noor Eliens (23) is sitting next to her. She adds, “I want to eat a piece a fruit every day.” Do they have any other New Year’s resolutions? “Maybe to send fewer payment requests to friends – I’ll try to be a little more laid-back about that”, says Charlotte. Noor considers for a moment. “I think I’m going to help more people who need to conduct interviews on campus, like you.”