Life moves fast when you're in college. If you're like most students, you have a full academic schedule, papers to write, and exams to prepare for. After a while, you may take a look at yourself and feel like your life is falling apart.
In this article, we'll explore a few things you can do to get your life together in college so you can focus and enjoy your time.
How to Get Your Life Together in College
As a college student, you are on overload with meeting new people, studying for multiple exams at once, completing assignments on time, and participating in new activities. All of this “newness” can make you feel stressed and overwhelmed.
You may even be feeling like your life is getting out of control. This can lead to an increase in anxiety and if you don’t have a plan to help you get back on track, you may experience a crisis, either physically, mentally or academically.
Here's how to get your life together in college.
Before college, your life was filled with structure that was created by your high school and your parents. In college, you are responsible for creating your own structure. This can be hard when you first begin college because you are experiencing freedom.
This feeling of freedom makes it tempting to rebel against structure.
Doing so, however, can eventually lead to a drop in grades, poor social decisions, and financial problems.
Getting organized is one of the best tips for getting your life together. Structure is good and prevents feeling overwhelmed and anxious. When you plan out each day, you don’t have to worry about when you will study and when you will socialize. You already know.
The more you plan, the more routine your life will be, and the more likely you will succeed in college.
Get Good Sleep
Getting a few hours of sleep a night is not good enough. You need at least seven hours of sleep each night to help you concentrate in class, have the energy to complete daily tasks, and make good decisions.
Good sleep means you have a nightly routine that prepares you for sleep. You brush your teeth, turn off technology, read or listen to music that helps you fall asleep. It means you go to sleep at the same time most nights, so your body’s circadian rhythm is on point.
Good sleep means the room temperature and mattress are comfortable. It also means there are no interruptions or distractions while you are sleeping.
A positive sleep routine will allow you to see immediate positive changes in your life.
Treat Your Body Well
Research has found that the mental health of a person has a lot to do with what they eat. You have neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin that exist in your brain. Even more of them exist in your gut.
This means that if you are eating junk food all the time, those neurotransmitters will be negatively affected and unable to release “happy” chemicals or messages. You will feel more anxious, depressed, and irritable.
On the other hand, if you are feeding your body a healthy diet, you will notice an increase in energy, improved mood, and better concentration.
Pay attention to what you eat and make good choices. This is another way to see quick improvements in your life.
Ask for Help
Seeking help from peers, professors or professionals is a sign of strength. It is hard for anyone to succeed on their own. Everyone can use help at some point.
Resident advisors are trained to guide you to the right resources on and off-campus. You can also meet with your academic advisor. Whether you need help to stop partying, a learning disability, study skills, or anything else causing stress, help is available.
It’s very smart to reach out for help. The sooner you reach out, the sooner you can get back on track personally and academically.
Learn to Say “NO”
It’s hard to say “no” to your peers, especially when they want to include you in a fun activity. Even though it is hard, you must learn to turn them down when it is not good for you. And you must learn to recognize when it is not good for you.
Before saying “yes” to anything, ask yourself questions that will tell you if it will benefit you first. Will this activity cause me to lose sleep? Will it cause me to lose study time? Will it cost me money that I need to save?
Those are sample questions you can ask yourself to determine whether you should participate or not.
Good friends will understand and accept your decision.
Many college students think they need to complete college in the least amount of time, for the least amount of money. This type of pressure can cause a student to struggle throughout college.
Taking too many classes in a semester, while also trying to work and stay social, can be overwhelming. It’s okay to slow down.
There are not many employers looking to hire the student that finished their degree program the fastest. They are looking for candidates who know how to maintain a healthy life balance, as well as complete tasks thoroughly.
You can even find ways to slow down in your personal life. You don’t have to participate in every college experience available. You don’t have to attend every party to have a good social life. Choose positive activities and skip the ones that offer little.
Finally, it is understandable to want to acquire the least amount of debt while in college. But pushing yourself past your limits to do so is not a good idea. Your mental and physical health is more important than money.
If you need to take an extra semester to complete college in good health, then that is money well spent.
In conclusion, it is never too late to get your life together in college. You can start today implementing some of these ideas. Get organized, take care of yourself, make good decisions and regain control of your life. You can do this.