A new app is designed to help Ryerson students meet new people virtually and hold one another accountable for their 2021 resolutions
Campus knct is running a New Year’s resolution initiative to bring students together while offering community support for those who want to follow through with their goals this year. Starting on Feb. 1, university students from across Ontario will be able to meet others with similar resolutions on the upcoming knct app.
Rohit Menon, the Head of Operations for Campus knct, wants students to be able to connect with each other so they can have a community to turn to during their university years and while they’re adjusting to virtual learning.
“The main point of sharing your resolutions is to have a purpose which enables you to meet and talk to like-minded people,” said Menon. “We strongly believe that when like-minded people come together, that is when amazing things start happening.”
With an ongoing pandemic, many students are stuck at home, isolated from friends and in some cases, even family. Campus knct’s own research suggests that 50 per cent of students have difficulty forming a group of friends. Menon recognizes that the pandemic has made this worse by physically isolating and disconnecting students from each other. A 2020 Ipsos poll found more than half of Canadians say that physical distancing has left them feeling lonely or isolated.
“Humans are social beings. We love the safety and security of being part of a community, a group of people who understand and relate to us,” said Menon. “It releases critical hormones such as serotonin and oxytocin which regulate our mood and happiness.”
In the midst of COVID-19, 53 per cent of Ontarians worry about their own mental health according to a survey conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights on behalf of the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Menon hopes this Ryerson initiative will offer support for those who are looking for positive friendships and communities of students with similar resolutions.
After all, New Year’s resolutions are a great way to set personal goals and help boost your mental health.
“Make sure you are doing things that are, you know, serving your mental health”, Toronto Clinical Psychologist Maneet Bhatia told Global News. “Honour your capabilities, your limitations, and your own needs.”
Some of the top resolutions last year were to exercise more, save money, get more sleep, and learn a new skill among others reported in a 2019 survey conducted by YouGov. All of these goals can help improve mental health — even during a pandemic.
Kevin Wang, a first-year business management student at Ryerson, is a member of the Campus knct Ryerson group and understands the struggle of keeping resolutions throughout the year.
“I’m a person that lacks self-discipline and it’s the biggest flaw I would like to improve upon myself,” he said. “Which is why I have been focusing on many short-term goals rather than one long-term goal.”
According to a 2015 Ipsos poll, 31 per cent of Canadians set New Year’s resolutions and 73 per cent of them eventually break them.
Making a list of resolutions is easy, checking each one off the list at the end of the year isn’t as satisfying when you aren’t checking any off. Wang believes that maintaining a resolution is like exercising, in that it can be more fun and effective when done alongside others to motivate you.
“It can have a tremendous impact by the end of the year if people are dedicated to holding each other accountable for their resolutions,” he said. “We hope that many friendships can be developed through that dynamic.”
Being a student in a pandemic is not easy.
“We live in a time where positivity, encouragement, and hope are more valuable than ever,” said Wang. “Reaching out and socializing with others is the best way to spread that.”
“Take your resolutions day by day and don’t hesitate to reach out to others when you are struggling,” said Wang. “Stay patient because many times we like to skip to the end instead of enjoying the process.”
Almost 600 students across Ontario have signed up for the initiative to date. Students are still free to sign up until Jan. 25.