(Don’t let my beautiful coffee cup photo I took in South Dakota fool you; this post is full of Michael Scott gifs.)
I am horrible at taking care of myself. There are times I forget to eat, drink water, or do basic activities unless I have written them down in my planner. However, over the past two months, I have been proactive in making positive life changes in order to better enjoy my college experience. Below are five tips that are given all the time but are too often ignored. Sometimes we need a friendly reminder of the obvious things in life in order to make lasting change.
The first thing I tell any incoming freshmen is to prioritize sleep. It is really easy to think that you need to stay up through the wee hours of the night to get your mountains of homework done and/or to maintain your social life. The truth is that most of the time, it is better to recharge than to try and cram subpar effort into a homework assignment. Trust me, sometimes it will do you a world of good to just hang up the towel for the night and take a crack at it in the morning with a fresh set of eyes.
2) Learn the Magic Word
You think the magic word is, “please” don’t you? WRONG. It’s a little two-letter word that does wonders. Say it with me now: N-O. NO! It’s great! And you know what? It will NOT be the end of the world if you say “no” to something. All the things that are filling your calendar could be relatively good things. However, if you are spending most of your time being stressed out by your to do list, it’s time to take some things off your plate. Thankfully, I have people in my life who have helped me take better care of myself by calling me out when I start to get to the point of being overwhelmed. Sometimes saying “no” to a good opportunity will open you up to even better opportunities in the future.
3) Set aside 15 minutes a day for you
This is something my vocal professor started telling me last semester and it has been a part of my bullet journal for the past two months. In the midst of crazy class schedules, work, and extra-curriculars, it’s easy to feel like you don’t have time for yourself. No matter how busy you are though, it is so important to take time to do things that bring you joy, even if its for a short period of time. Whether it’s coloring, playing Super Smash Bros, playing the ukulele or taking your dog on a walk, set your timer for at least 15 minutes a day to do something that does not involve a textbook.
4) Use your resources
I am extremely blessed to go to a college that has many free resources available to us as students. I have spent a lot of time both in the tutoring center and the counseling office. Access to free homework help and therapy has been unbelievably helpful. Take time to figure out what resources your school offers and take advantage of them! You’re already paying for it, might as well get the most out of your student fees.
5) Be plugged into community
Everyone needs friends. More importantly, everyone needs friends who are on the same wavelength as them. My first semester of school was rough in the friend department. I felt like I was on an island most of the time and with being an extrovert, that was terribly lonely and energy draining. Sometimes, it takes stepping out of your comfort zone for ten seconds to be able to see opportunities at new friendships. So join a club, attend that RA event or talk to your neighbor in Spanish. You never know when you’ll meet your next great pal.
College can be one of the most stressful things you ever experience in life, or it can be one of the best stages of your adulthood. For a while, school was something I dreaded, but as I’ve begun to take better care of myself, I’ve learned how to better handle the constant stress that gets thrown my way. When you take care of yourself, you tend to be happier, and when you’re happier, trials that come up in life don’t seem as frustrating. It is so important to take care of your physical, mental, and emotional health. So I challenge you to find at least five things you can do to better improve your overall state of being. You owe it to yourself to be the best student you can be!
Until Next TIme,