The heat is winding down. School books are piling up. It’s late August, and colleges across the board are opening their doors again — this time, in person.
After over a year of remote learning, faculty, parents, and students alike have felt out of touch with regular routines. Morning commutes became morning roll-out-of-beds; participating in class became unmuting your microphone; Zoom University became the nickname for your childhood bedroom.
As we tip-toe back to life, there’s an inevitable mix of emotions. Many fear the return to the classroom, but the transition shouldn’t be marked by alarm. If we learned anything from COVID, it’s the ability to adapt swiftly and beat the odds.
We’re providing 5 healthy habits to make every student’s return to school a tad easier.
1. Make a daily to-do list
It’s easy to get lost in a seemingly endless list of tasks, but checking off priorities is a step in the right direction — keeping motivations high and anxiety low. Research on the psychology of goal-making has proven the benefits of this practice, as reported by CNN Health last summer. Besides enhancing organization, focused planning improves time management.
2. Stay hydrated
If college students have drunk at least 10% of the world’s caffeine supply, we wouldn’t be surprised. The fuel for their long days and nights has become more of an addiction than a craving. It goes without saying that drinking water is a daily must. Since hydration is crucially associated with energy and brain functions, a good rule of thumb is investing in a reusable water bottle, especially for classes on-campus. Some say less is more, but in this case, more is less!
3. Sleep well
Good grades, a social life, and a structured sleep schedule: the college myth is that you can’t have all three. Yet with a balance of each, any student can get the best of both (or all three) worlds. A common misconception is that a healthy sleep schedule means going to bed at the same early hour every night. Instead, your sleep schedule should be aligned with your classes. A prerequisite for your dreaded 8 am should be an early bedtime, while a 2 pm could accept some flexibility for an inner night owl.
Between eternal assignments and lots of extracurriculars, students barely find time for themselves. Exercising should be an exception, though. Dedicating 30 minutes of your day to move your body — regardless if you’re a beginner or pro — should be mandatory. This habit will improve your mood and, ironically enough, provide you with the energy needed to get work done. Most colleges offer free gym services for students, and many off-campus have discounted memberships.
5. Ask for help
More often than not, college students — primarily freshmen — are reluctant to ask for help. Whether it be to address mental health concerns or academic frustrations, colleges have resources that are designed to guide you in these circumstances. Getting into the habit of talking things through is a healthy approach that will yield long-term benefits.
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