With college comes choices, with choices come consequences — good or bad. You’ll find out things you never knew about yourself and the world around you. It’s important that you make the most out of the education and experiences that surround you. It’s also imperative that you find ways to balance your life to stay mentally healthy while going through so many new and exciting changes. Here are a few tips on how to stay mentally healthy as a college student.
While mom is away, the kids will play. That means it’s up to you to develop healthy sleep patterns as you adapt into a high-functioning college student. You may think four hours of sleep is plenty to function properly, but your body says otherwise. Your memory becomes impaired, the body develops more fatigue, and you may even notice general sluggishness in your everyday routine. Are you adding regular partying to your college experience? Moderate your wild side to ensure your grades aren’t suffering alongside a failing liver.
Communication majors aren’t the only ones in need of constant communication. Develop regular contact with friends, study partners, professors, and roommates. Learn who people are so you can talk to the right person about different issues. You may even find yourself approaching wild roommates to keep down the noise to make sure you get enough rest for the big exam. If you’re having personal struggles, speak with your professor. They may extend a due date instead of having you fail the course. Generally, people are happy to work with you if you communicate in a friendly and open way.
If you’re striving to be mentally healthy, remember there is a time to have fun and a time to study — make sure you make time for both. Your brain needs breaks, so take time to veg on the couch or hang with your friends. With only so many hours in a day, make sure to accomplish your necessary class work and studying before you lose track of the time.
Top Ramen can’t sustain you forever, Bubba. Consider what mama taught you and eat those healthy foods to properly fuel your college experience. A balanced diet will do wonders to a brain in need of a high attention span. Gobble your pizza and slurp the soda, but space out the binging to limit the strain on your mind and body. Include fruits, veggies, and nuts in your diet. A good rule of thumb, if everything on your plate is the same color, you’re probably not getting enough nutrients from your food.
Don’t procrastinate; get a planner. This could be a physical book or a planner app on your phone — use it. Most likely your teacher will hand out schedules at the beginning of the semester, but take the time to write down the big assignments or test days. When the teacher makes changes in class, jot down those changes in your planner. This will save you from missed assignments and forgotten tests.
College really can be a wonderful experience, but it only goes as far as you — and your body — allow it. Sure, the “Freshman 15” is a common saying for a reason, but if you prioritize your education and proper living habits, you’ll have a wonderful time and finish with a degree, a balanced experience, and new friends.