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New Year, New You - 10 New Things to Try in 2021




27 January 2021

Just because 2021 started with a national lockdown, that doesn’t mean it has to be boring... You can make it productive, creative and fun simply by keeping yourself occupied, trying new things and setting yourself goals. So, if you’ve pretty much completed Netflix and another day scrolling through memes in bed seems too much to bear, you could probably do with a few new ideas on things to do in isolation and goals to complete in 2021. Here's our top 10 list of new things to try this year:


1) Learn a language

Remember all those times between modules when you said you'd learn French, Spanish or Italian but just never got around to it? Now’s your chance. 

These three languages are all available for Chapter residents to learn on our Online Resident Experience Platform via handy videos and on-demand courses.

Or if you really want to challenge yourself, why not try your hand at sign language? It’s the perfect skill to add to your CV and also available on the platform.


2) Donate to charity

This might be something that you’ve done before or do on a regular basis, but how about donating to a different type of charity or making a different kind of donation. It doesn’t just have to be a monetary contribution – you can donate food, clothes, toiletries or volunteer your time.

Check out Charity Choice’s list of London charities to consider donating to here


3) Reorganise your room

What says New Year, New Me more than a new bedroom? Reorganising your room really can make it look brand new and feel a lot less chaotic. Here's a few smart tips to get you started:

  • Colour code your wardrobe
  • Roll towels instead of folding to save space
  • Use baskets to store smaller items
  • Maximise your wardrobe with storage boxes and shoe racks
  • Store items under your bed
  • Use a coat rack for extra hanging space
  • Get a hanging laundry hamper for the back of the door
  • Arrange your drawers horizontally for more space

And if you want to have a once-over while you’re moving things around, check out our blog on 5 Hacks for Spring Cleaning Your Student Room


4) Grow something from scratch

We’re all spending a lot more time at home lately, so what better opportunity to try and grow something completely from scratch? Whether it’s your favourite vegetable, some handy herbs or a cool houseplant, it’s the ultimate way to test your patience in lockdown. Plus, houseplants will add humidity to your room so keeping cosy during winter will be effortless – better get started.

We previously treated Chapter residents to some Grow Your Own Sunflower Kits to keep them entertained during lockdown – why not give them a go?


5) Take a bike ride somewhere new

Solo exercise during lockdown creates the perfect excuse to hop on a bike and explore some more of the local area that you don’t know so well.

The Santander Cycle Hire Scheme offers bike points across London – it works by picking up a bike from a station and riding it to another stopping point. After paying an initial £2 bike access fee for the day, the first 30 minutes of each journey are free. Then if you want to take a longer journey on the same bike, it will cost £2 for every additional 30 minutes.

Or if you have your own bike, all Chapter properties have secure bike storage available for you to make the most of.


6) Make a COVID time capsule

In 10 years’ time, we’re hoping this lockdown will be a distant memory of a time when the world stood still. What better way will there be to reminisce on these crazy times than with a time capsule filled with COVID related memorabilia. Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

  • A mask
  • Hand sanitiser
  • A screenshot from a Zoom call
  • Something you made at home during lockdown
  • A book you've read at home
  • An NHS rainbow
  • Messages from someone you haven’t been able to see in person
  • A letter to your future self


7) Cook a dish from a different nationality

Whether you're already a fan of cooking a wide range of cuisines, or guilty of sticking to your favourites, spending more time at home this year is the perfect opportunity to perfect your culinary skills and venture out a bit further. European, Middle-Eastern, Asian and dishes from so many more nationalities can all be tried and home and we think it's worth a shot while our favourite restaurants are closed.

Check out a list of national dishes from around the world here for some inspiration.

8) Keep a gratitude journal

In a time as uncertain as now, we think it’s a great idea to think about the positive things going on in our lives and what we can be grateful for. Remember, no matter how difficult and overwhelming life can sometimes feel, there is always something to feel grateful for. Whether it’s having a good night’s sleep, the local supermarket stocking your favourite treat, or a friend checking in with you unexpectedly, sometimes it’s just about the little things.

Plus, regularly journaling about the good things in your life can help prepare and strengthen you to deal with the rough patches when they pop up.


9) Explore your horoscope

Whether you genuinely feel that astrology can predict the future, or just fancy checking your horoscope for fun, why not sign up for a daily horoscope? It can be nice to have a little cosmic insight into what to expect from your life over the coming 24 hours, and maybe a few hints as to how to manage your day.

Sign up for a daily horoscope reading here


10) Learn a musical instrument

Learning a musical instrument is a great way to productively use your time in isolation, plus it can boost cognitive ability. It’s also a skill that you will carry with you for the rest of your life, long after lockdown is lifted. Why not try learning one of these instruments, which are supposedly the easiest to pick up:

  • Bass guitar
  • Ukulele
  • Harmonica
  • Recorder
  • Piano
  • Drums

If you're also looking to get outside more in 2021, check out our blog on Open Spaces to Enjoy in London This Winter here

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