After getting dropped off at your fill in the blank University, you realize becoming more independent never felt so great! It’s your first lick of freedom and you’re soaking up every minute of it. You are free to come and go as you please, you have the ability to stay up as late as you’d like and no one to stop you from your midnight snacks. Then between the late night classes, over-caffeinated nights and the half-awake mornings; you may find yourself wondering what the hype about college was in the first place. College— it’s a learning curve, but not too worry, you’ll get through it. Here are some tips for dealing with friendship, health and happiness while staying sane at college:
A lot has changed since your high school days. You might be wondering where you fit in, whom to hang out with or if you will make friends. Keep in mind, these are normal feelings and you’re not alone. College is much different than high school—and in a much better way. Friendships in college are wonderful and meeting people can be scary but take my advice on a few ways to meet more people:
- Meet as many people as you can. In the resident buildings, you’re practically forced to introduce yourself to every resident in your hall. Make the best of this opportunity and find a way to really connect with people who share your similar interest. If you’re a transfer or a commuter, make an effort to befriend people in your classes or neighbors in your apartment complex. Most students are looking for connections with others and chances are, you’ll hit it off.
- Join what you can. Have you looked at organizations on campus yet? Your university is practically begging you to join something and become involved. Don’t see anything you like? Create something new! Joining groups is a great way to meet new people who share a similar passion as you.
- Finally, remember to embrace this experience. You’re incredibly fortunate to have this opportunity to advance your education, take advantage of everything this university has to offer. Go outside the classroom to get real-world experiences that professors can’t teach you. Explore different majors, minors and adventures that are literally at your fingertips. If you ever feel like you’re struggling, home sick or unsure of you next move– reach out. There are resources out there to help you.
After you feel like your mental health has been fulfilled, it’s time to start thinking about staying fit and eating well—even though it may not be the first thing on your mind.
For those of you living on campus, the dining halls are both a blessing and a curse. Never in your wildest dreams could you imagine a full spread of food open for the taking. But be mindful! Even though the food is endless, the calories aren’t. The freshman 15 is more like the freshman 30 if you let your taste buds get the best of you. For those students living off campus, remember there is such thing as a grocery store. It might be easy to run to the McDonald’s drive-thru, but big macs add up and not in a good way. Plus, getting groceries will help you save some money in the weeks to come, which can be better spent to enjoy the weekend. Here are some tips to enjoying your food while keeping health in mind.
- It’s okay to indulge, just don’t do it for breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Choose water instead of juice or pop.
- Even though dessert is always offered, it’s not always needed.
- Hit the gym! Not only will you be increasing your health, it’s a great way to blow off steam when your classes get the best of you.
- Pack healthy snacks to avoid vending machines mid-way through your day.
Health is all about having a plan and sticking to it. It’s not rocket science, just making smart decisions. A healthy mix of sweets and exercise changes as you do. So get in a groove and maintain, maintain, maintain!
Perhaps the most important aspect of all is your happiness. Classes are stressful, teachers are aggravating and roommates push your limits. Sometimes happiness seems light-years away. Deep breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth—here are some tips on finding your happy place.
- Happiness is a mind-set and it doesn’t always mean you need to spend money. Most universities offer free events on campus; whether it’s a comedian, hypnotist, or student-run organization presenting. Cracking a smile or enjoying a good laugh with your friends can melt away stress and realign all that is wrong in life.
- But maybe staying home is more your thing. So grab a glass of moscato, your best friend(s), Bridesmaids and get comfortable! Staying in and vegging out is just what the doctor ordered. Or if you’re feeling crafty, whip out Pinterest and see what kind of magic your hot glue gun and craft sticks can slap together today.
- When all else fails, surround yourself with people who can make you laugh and find happiness in the dullest of place Everyday is reason enough to smile and enjoy the little things.
College is a new and exciting time and it will be done before you know it. Remember there’s always way to make the experience memorable and enjoyable. Follow these tips and create some of your own to make this experience unique to you.
By Contributor Writer: Megan Shankland