For many students, college represents the first time they’ll be living away from parents or guardians for extended periods.
This is exciting, but also challenging, as you’ll need to be able to manage every aspect of your life by yourself.
In this article, we’ll explore ways in which you can maintain good health and keep your well-being in check throughout the academic year.
Watch What You Eat
It’s easy to simply go for the cheap or easy option over and over again when feeding yourself, but this isn’t always healthy. Take care not to try and survive on fast food or ramen noodles, as the salt, sugar and cholesterol levels of many of these foodstuffs are off the charts and can give you lasting problems. There’s nothing wrong with grabbing a burger or pizza with friends occasionally, but this shouldn’t be your regular port of call. Instead, learn to cook a few healthy meals from scratch.
Why not make big batches and freeze them to save money and time? Check out the reduced items in your local store for short-dated items if you’re planning to freeze things, as they’ll only need to last for as long as it takes to prepare them, plus it will help you save.
Try to keep an eye on everything you spend, from your rent to your snacks, toiletries and nights out. We recommend entering absolutely every element of your income and expenditure into a spreadsheet. This will show you how much you’ve got left over at the end of the week or month.
Once you know this, you can either decide to treat yourself or to put it away as savings for the next period. If you know that you’ll struggle to stay on top of school tuition, you can always take out a private student loan for certain areas of study such as graduate medical school.
Get Some “Me” Time
At college, you work hard and you play hard – but even having fun with your friends can be a little tiring. If you find that you’re burning the candle at both ends, perhaps it’s time to look at your schedule. Try to organize your time so that you have set periods each day for independent study and socializing, but always leave an hour or two where possible to just take things easy and relax.
Share Your Concerns
If you’re worried about anything – from your academic performance to your finances to your friendships, there will be someone on the faculty or campus that you can talk to.
Don’t be afraid to approach tutors in order to ask questions or ask for help from a counsellor if you’re feeling stressed. They’ll help you to manage your problems and set you on the right track.
Fresh air and exercise are a great healer. Try to get out and about as much as you can, as not only will it keep your body healthy and in shape, but it will also release endorphins to improve your mood and keep your mind sharp.
It can be easy to coop yourself up in your dorm for hours studying, or to be persuaded to spend half of your time hanging out in bars. You need to balance this with exercise and a regular dose of vitamin D to maintain a good lifestyle.