I can hardly believe I am graduating in a few days. My freshman year was four years ago, but it seems like yesterday. I’ve grown a lot in the last few years, and I often think about how I felt at the start of my degree. In this blog, I hope to share some ideas and resources that have helped me to not just ‘survive’ but thrive in college!
The importance of good sleep is old news on the RecWell blog - in fact I’ve already dedicated a whole post on how much of an effect poor sleep can have on one's life. This was something that I had struggled with in high school; come my freshman year I reached a point where I had to make a change.
I was formally diagnosed with insomnia and greatly appreciate the help of my doctor and counselor. It can be scary to walk into these spaces but understand that they are here to help you! Everyone should be sleeping at least 7 hours on a consistent schedule. In order to fix my sleeping patterns I set specific bed and wake up times. I also used sound-canceling headphones or white noise such as a box fan or the app BetterSleep along with techniques learned in my counseling sessions.
2. Get organized (and motivated).
A good planner can help you reach your academic and personal goals. This may be a physical planner or something online. I personally carried a notebook or daily planner then at the end of the day entered important due dates into a google calendar. My google calendar leads into the next and maybe most important point of this topic: motivation.
What motivates you to complete your work? For me, I loved to make things look aesthetically pleasing. I color-coded my google calendar, created Pinterest moodboards, and used studying websites such as LifeAt to keep myself motivated and organized. Explore different studying techniques - what works best for you?
3. Understand your relationships.
We make a lot of connections in our daily life. It can be hard to find where you fit in, or to figure out which relationships are actually a positive influence. It can be scary to put yourself out there or walk into new spaces. - but college provides us with so many opportunities to do so! Getting involved in a new sport, joining a club, or something smaller like turning to the person next to you in a class can lead to connections.
Sometimes you may have relationships that aren’t so positive. It is ok to set boundaries with people in your life, whether it’s a professor, a roommate, or a close friend. Not sure how? Our Wellness Coaches and Wellness Navigators can help!
4. Find what helps you destress.
College is stressful and can make it feel like everything is in a state of constant change. It’s easy, and well sucks, to just sulk in your room all day. What do you actually enjoy doing and learning about? There is rarely a better time than now to figure out what makes you happy. Get involved in the community, read a book (is it pretentious to link my goodreads?), or try a new workout. Maybe you just need to take a long bath! Whatever it is, make sure that you set aside time for yourself and your well-being. What was hard for me to grasp is that I can’t always please everyone and that it is perfectly ok to have time dedicated to ‘nothing’. I often wrote personal time into my planner.
So there it is: 4 tips for 4 years. I hope anyone reading this can find ways to improve not only their college experience but their overall well-being. Peace!
By: Stella Sterling, WIT Peer Educator