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Healthy Habits to Get You Through College

Being a college student, especially for the first time, is never exactly what you expect it to be. You suddenly have all of this newfound freedom, but you don’t always want this new independent life! Forcing yourself to get up for your 8am class is a struggle, even though you’ve been going to school at 7am for the last four years. You’ve always wanted to live off of ramen and cereal, and with no parents to force a vegetable onto your plate, you can! The excitement of college wears off pretty quickly, though, and leaves you with stress. The best way to ease this stress?

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Establish a routine

Having a routine is essential to success, no matter what stage of life you’re in. But it’s especially important as you enter a new stage of life. Establishing a routine for yourself at the beginning of the semester will not only help ensure that you stay on top of your classes and curriculars, but it will help you feel balanced in the other, non academic, areas of your life! It doesn’t have to be anything super rigorous. Get a calendar, write out the days and times of your classes, and build your routine around that! Try to pick a day to go grocery shopping every week, which days you can make it to the gym, and when you’ll have time to do homework. Your schedule and routine will adapt as the semester goes on, but starting with a routine will help you throughout the entire semester!

Set a budget

College students are notorious for being broke. Whether you’re relying on scholarships for your grocery money, your parents are helping you out, or you’ve got a job in the evenings, setting up a budget as soon as you get to school will ensure you don’t run out of money. Make sure you’re aware of what’s in your bank account, and maybe pass on expensive activities if you know it’s not in the budget that week! There are plenty of ways to have a lot of fun and eat great food on a small budget, but you have to actually budget it out first!

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Don’t register for any early morning classes

Just trust me. At least, don’t register for any early morning classes your first semester. If you think you can handle it next semester, go for it. It’s not that you should set low expectations for yourself this semester, but that you should have realistic goals! Waking up early, especially if you’ll be hanging out with friends or working in the evenings, just isn’t always realistic. Having classes a little bit later will give you more time to get those precious zz’s, and if you’re naturally an early riser, you can use that time to shower or catch up on homework.

Get to know your roommates

Listen, you may get some really weird roommates. The ones who leave half eaten food on the counter for months but then yell at you if you throw it away. The ones who pee with the door open. The one who invites random hookups over without telling you. But, you may also get some great roommates who you’ll develop friendships with and actually want to spend time with. You’ll never know until you get to know them. And even if they end up being a weird roommate, it’s helpful to have some sort of a relationship with them, in case you have an emergency and need help, or need backup on your way to your landlords office to tell them you really need them to fix you sink for the third time that month. Even if your roommate doesn’t end up being your friend, it doesn’t hurt to be a little friendly.

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Schedule your doctor’s appointments

Or make your mom do it. No judgements here. But being in college shouldn’t be a reason for you to slack on your health. Most college campuses have discounted medical services on campus, so you can easily get to all of your doctor, therapy, and dentist appointments even if you don’t have a car or rely on public transit to get around. Seriously, don’t neglect your health while you’re in college. If you do, you’ll end up regretting it in a few years when your gums hurt or your back hurts or you think you have a stomach ulcer. And this includes all areas of your health! Don’t let your mental health suffer, or turn to self medicating, in order to cope.

Make a study group for your hardest classes

Study groups always seem like one of those things that your professors force on you in order to have you do group projects. However, if you have a class that is really tough, see if any of your classmates(who actually do the work) want to join you for a study group. As long as you join forces with other students who are actually doing the homework and don’t just want to mooch off of you, you’ll find the workload to be a lot easier, and the concepts more comprehensible.

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