There are no more home-cooked meals, you aren’t playing high school sports any longer, and new stressors have been added to a once comfortable life.
All of this can take its toll – physically and mentally. Yet, there are behaviors that will keep college students healthy, and they aren’t that hard. We will discuss five of them below, so keep reading.
- Watch the Diet
There is something called the “Freshman 15” – it refers to the average 15 pounds that students put on during their first year in college. The biggest culprit is junk food. It’s so easy to throw some coins in that snack machine, microwave a meal full of carbs and fats, and order pizza three nights a week. The alternative is not that tough, though. A weekly trip to the grocery store for healthier snacks (fruit, granola bars, nuts, low-fat crackers, peanut butter, etc.)you prefer frozen meals, there are healthy ones out there – it’s a matter of reading the labels and making better choices.
- Get Some Exercise
It’s so easy to sit around in a dorm room or apartment. Much of it is due to studies and assignments, of course, but other time is spent just hanging out, driving to class, or to a pizza place. Biking and/or walking is a sounder option, and it won’t even seem like an exercise after a while. Students can also set up a “buddy system” to go to the campus fitness center together. Intramurals are also great physical outlets.
- Sleep, Glorious Sleep
Contrary to popular opinion, getting additional sleep during the weekends is not going to “make up” for lack of rest during workdays. Lack of sleep has both physical and mental side effects – a lowered immune system, inability to focus, depression, and anxiety just to name a few. While students cannot avoid “all-nighters” once in a while, they should have a goal of getting seven hours of sleep a night as often as possible.
- Combat the stress of Academic Demands
60% of dropouts leave college because of the immense academic demands of college coursework. Exams and assignments (i.e., essays and papers) present stressors that students did not experience in high school. To combat this, many students turn to professional online writing services that offer university essays for sale. This can be a good solution when those writing projects are for courses that are not in a student’s major. It allows students to focus on their key coursework and lower the strain on their time.
- Protect your Mental Health
All the above can result in mental health issues. And those issues, in turn, may result in burnout, depression, anxiety, or worse. Following the above four tips will certainly help, but if students feel themselves slipping into emotional turmoil, there is help. Every campus has a counseling center, and getting professional help can make a difference. It’s impossible for students to deal with emotional issues on their own, once those issues are affecting their schoolwork and their personal lives.
The pandemic has contributed to emotional issues too. College students who once enjoyed the social aspect of campus life – something that kept them emotionally sound – are now isolated in an online learning environment. It is important for them to establish digital connections with fellow students, as well as to plan for social activities in a safe environment. Masks and social distancing can still allow for group gatherings.
Five Tips to the Rescue
College students should take these tips to heart. University life is totally different from the familiar environment of high school. Students are on their own and now personally responsible for both their physical and mental well-being. These tips will ensure that they will retain their well-being in order to be successful in college and far beyond.
Author Bio: Melony Hart is a writer about all things college-related. She speaks from personal experiences as well as those of many others. In her day-to-day life, Melony dabbles in gourmet cooking, animal rescue, and environmental initiatives.