Many can attest to the feeling of sludging through Spring Semester, just waiting for the sweet release of summer break. But it doesn’t have to be this way. The key to having energy and staying focused to the very end of the semester is starting off in a way that sets you up for success. Focusing on establishing good habits in regard to wellness doesn’t have to be difficult, and might make things easier down the road. Here are some things anyone can do to make the most of this semester.
Get organized and cut back
Spring Semester almost always starts in a whirlwind, with many wondering how break went by so quickly. Before classes get too far underway, it is important to sit down and map out a routine. Whether you’re a paper planner or Google Calendar type of person, be sure to fill out your scheduling method of choice before the second week of classes. Identify things you want to make more time for, and activities you can forgo if necessary.
If you found yourself overworked last semester, it’s likely the same thing will happen this semester if you don’t make some changes. Don’t be afraid to cut an extracurricular or a class from your schedule if it’ll give you more time to focus on your personal wellness. If you’re having difficulty deciding what exactly to cut out, start by listing everything that currently takes up some of your time. This will give you a concrete idea of where your time is going, and write out exactly how much time you’re going to invest in each activity. Cross off anything you don’t need or don’t want to be doing, and if you can eliminate it from your schedule, start taking the necessary steps to do so.
Spend time on yourself
With so many things to do and so many people around in college, it can be difficult to carve out productive or relaxing “me time.” Start finding places in your schedule now that you can use to focus on personal wellness. Whether it’s to take a fitness class, practice a skill or read a book you’ve been meaning to get to, there are plenty of things your mind and body will thank you for taking a break to do. If necessary, mark this time in your schedule and treat it like you would a class or job, and don’t let other things overlap it.
Enhance your financial literacy
It’s never too early to know where you sit financially. Before you have to worry about retirement plans and paying back student loans, get into the habit of making and sticking to a budget. Lots of college students are struggling to make ends meet, and sitting down with someone who has knowledge on the subject can be a tremendous help. The Student Wellness Center offers financial education and coaching offering support in multiple areas, such as budgeting and student loan repayment.
Prioritize the basics
Eating right, sleeping and getting regular exercise are the cornerstones of wellness — but often they’re the first things to be overlooked in a busy college student’s schedule. Getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night is important for staying healthy, focused and energetic. According to the Harvard Women’s Health Watch, sleep deprivation can alter immune function, making you more susceptible to that Buckeye plague going around the residence halls.
Additionally, eating right, staying hydrated and exercising can seem like daunting tasks when facing a full class schedule, extracurriculars and a part-time job. Team up with a friend or roommate to hold each other accountable for making healthy eating choices and hitting the gym, and make sure to always have a water bottle on-hand. Also make it fun — forgo the monotony of the treadmill for a more involved activity like rock climbing or a fun fitness class.