Attending college means opportunity, excitement, and new beginnings. But it also means sleepless nights cramming for exams, filling up on junk food, and freedom from your parents. In order to be successful in college you need to balance your life choices to remain healthy and capable of reaching your goals and focusing in class. Here are 10 things all college students must remember in order to succeed with a healthy mind and body.
1. Keep Partying to a Minimum
Partying is part of the college experience. Even though students attend college to get an education, there’s no denying that parties occur and that students will inevitably attend. But it’s important to keep partying to a minimum for several reasons. Partying will compromise your sleep and time spent on school work and other obligations. There’s also the risk of participating in underage drinking, which can lead to health and criminal complications. It’s okay to party once in a while but do so responsibly.
2. Invest in the Meal Plan
One of the first things that is compromised when students attend college is their diet. This happens for several reasons including lack of routine, no parents monitoring their diet, and the convenience of fast and fattening foods. To avoid gaining the illusive “freshman 15” and feeling sluggish, it’s important to eat healthy while on campus. One way to do this is to invest in the school’s meal plan. Campus cafeterias usually offer well-balanced and healthy meal options. Here you’ll have access to fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, meats, and other healthy options. Eating healthy meals throughout the day will help cutting down on cravings and binge eating later on. Also try keeping your shelves and mini-fridge free from fat rich snack.
3. Hit the Gym
Many universities have world-class gyms and exercise facilities just waiting to be used. Take advantage of these resources. Try hitting the gym at least three times a week. Go with a friend so that you can motivate each other. If working out in the gym isn’t your style, stay active in other ways. Walk to class, work, and other activities whenever possible. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or join a sports team on campus. There are countless ways to stay active while at college and they’re all important. Exercise will help you maintain a healthy weight, relieve stress, and feel the positive effects of the feel good endorphins exercise provides.
4. Avoid Cramming for Tests
Most professors provide a syllabus at the start of the semester, outlining your coursework. A syllabus usually lists dates for specific lessons, tests, and projects. Use this document to your advantage. If you know a test is coming up, start studying at least a few days prior. Don’t wait until the last minute to cram for an important exam. This usually leads to lack of sleep the night before and stress over your performance. Without a good night’s sleep you’ll feel fatigued and unfocused on test day. Join a study group or hit the library with friends to make studying a social activity.
5. Make Friends
Speaking of social activities, making friends in college is another important part of the experience. Some people create bonds in college that last a lifetime. But having and making friends in college means venturing out of your comfort zone, exercising your confidence, and becoming social and accepting. Avoid isolating yourself from friends and new people. This can lead to feelings of depression. Interacting with others, laughing, and attending social gatherings will help elicit feelings of happiness and calm, which help to counter the stress of your academic work.
6. Stay Connected with Family
Just because you’re dorming on campus doesn’t mean you need to lose touch with your family. In fact, it’s important to stay in communication with your parents and other family members while away at school. After all, your family knows you best. They might pick up on stress or anxiety that you’re not aware of. They may notice changes in your behavior and attitude that require intervention. Family also provides you love and support, which can help you stay focused and on task in school.
7. Get a Hobby
College isn’t all work and no play. You should also enjoy your time away and this includes finding a hobby you enjoy. Something that relaxes your mind and body, releasing pent up stress and frustration over your new, demanding schedule. Try yoga or pilates. These activities are great for your body and mind. Perhaps you enjoy arts and crafts or gaming. Find activities or clubs on campus that support your creative side. Believe it or not, giving your brain a little break could actually improve your test scores and academic performance.
8. Make a Schedule
The best way to stay on task and avoid feeling overstressed or overwhelmed in college is to create a schedule and stick to it. This includes setting an alarm for class, going to bed at a reasonable hour, and scheduling both study and homework time. If you have a job or participate in a sport or club, these activities also need a place in your schedule. You can keep these events on your phone or tablet or hang a calendar in your dorm room. Sticking to a routine will help you stay focused and feel purposeful and productive, boosting your mood and sense of pride. All important factors for health and success in college.
9. See a Doctor
Just because you’re away at school doesn’t mean your health should take a backseat. In fact, staying on top of your health is especially important at college. That’s because you’re entering a new environment with new people, new experiences, and new germs! Whether you find a physician on campus or one nearby, be sure to go for an annual physical. Get a flu shot come flu season and stay on top of taking any prescription drugs you may need. Maintaining a healthy body promotes a healthy mind.
10. Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol
Alcohol and caffeine are two things that most college students are all too familiar with. Alcohol is often at many college parties. Remember, drinking underage is not only illegal but dangerous too. Alcohol consumption can lead to poor judgment and prolonged use can negatively impact your liver. Many college kids reach for the caffeine to help stay awake during class and study sessions. It’s important to monitor your caffeine intake and not consume too much in a short period of time. Trade your coffee and energy drinks for natural energy boosters like ginseng, vitamin B12, and exercise.
For most young adults college is the time of their lives. It is a time to explore possibilities, to have new experiences, and to make new friends. But in order to see your full potential, it’s important to keep your health in check. Making some easy changes like the ones listed above will help you remain focused and productive while still having the full college experience.
Article Submitted By Community Writer