By: John Poehler
Going to university is an extremely fun and exciting time of life. Most students juggle an intense class schedule, social life, and dorm living.
For the most part, it is the first time a student will be away from their home for the first time.
Let’s face it. It can be pretty overwhelming and stressful.
We all know the consequences of feeling stressed out and overwhelmed:
- Our overall functionality decreases
- Sleep is adversely affected
- Eating habits go down the drain
- Physical symptoms manifest in the form of stomach issues, headaches and more
- Anxiety increases
- The list goes on and on
This may sound a little doom and gloom.
Alas, never fear.
There is hope in managing your mental health while attending university.
Follow these 5 tips and you will be ahead of your peers.
1. Get Involved
Getting involved is almost a certainty when you go off to college. There are so many wonderful and exciting opportunities. You almost have to get involved.
Sometimes, with so many options, it can get to be a bit too much to handle.
To ease the stress, start with less.
Start by exploring a new interest and build on the ones you already have.
Finding groups and activities with your same interests will get you involved.
Exercise is one of the top activities you can do to better your mental health.
There are so many positive benefits to exercise:
- Decrease in anxiety
- Lower blood pressure
- Better quality of sleep
- More energy
- Increase in focus
Find a type of exercise you enjoy and stick with it.
You will reap the benefits in no time.
3. Find Some Alone Time
Put thousands of students together on one campus and it can become an exception to find any alone time.
For the sake of your mental health, it is important to find some time by yourself.
It is important to connect with others, but it is also important to connect with yourself.
Alone time can entail reading a book, visiting a coffee shop, drawing, writing and going for a run. The possibilities are endless.
4. Keep and Stay Organized
A chaotic environment can contribute to a chaotic mind.
Keep your living quarters organized and in order.
If you have not used a calendar before going to university, now is the time to learn. I enjoy using a physical calendar that I can carry around. Others may simply use their phone or tablet.
5. Do Not Over Extend Yourself
It is okay to say “no”. I used to have a real problem with this.
I quickly learned that committing to too many activities overwhelmed me.
Determine the number of extracurricular activities you can handle and go from there.
Remember, your first priority at university is to learn and earn your degree. All the extra stuff is just gravy. You don’t want any of it to interfere with your studies.
These 5 tips helped me to manage my mental health while off at college.
When it comes down to it, find opportunities and events that you enjoy. Your time will already be at a premium.
Most universities have a health center and other resources with a focus on mental health.
If you need some help learning the ropes, simply reach out. There are people there to help and support you.
Going to university is an amazing opportunity and managing your mental health will help lead you to success.