Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cal Poly chapter.

Back to school season has arrived, and while your wardrobes and backpacks may be prepared, your brain may not be ready for the upcoming school year. . Whether your summer consisted of working or vacationing, you likely haven’t been focused on your brain health. This term refers to your ability to remember and learn new things and maintain a clear yet active brain. So, even though this may have been your last concern while you were on the beach in Cabo, it’s time to start focusing on your brain health so you can  start off this quarter right. 


There are a few ways you can focus on your brain health, one being paying more attention to what you eat. 


According to an article by Harvard Health, these are the top five foods linked to better brain power and prevention of cognitive decline.  


  1. Green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach and broccoli. These foods have been linked to helping in slowing cognitive decline, so basically they’re an anti-aging serum for your brain. 

  2. Fatty fish such as salmon and cod. Eating these types of fish twice a week can help in the prevention of Alzheimers. 

  3. Berries, strawberries and blueberries specifically, can help to improve memory. 

  4. Coffee and tea, due to their caffeine levels. These beverages can not only give you the morning boost we all need at the beginning of the school year, but can also help to solidify new memories. 

  5. Walnuts, in addition to being a great source of protein and healthy fat, can contribute to your heart health by lowering blood pressure and protecting arteries.


Although your diet is very important when it comes to brain health, it’s not the only aspect. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services worked with the National Institute on Aging, and found that a good night’s sleep is extremely important to brain health and overall function. Here are some tips from the National Institute on Aging to get better sleep. 


  1. Follow a regular sleep schedule. In college this can be quite difficult, especially on those late weekend nights, but it’s important and worth paying attention to.

  2. Develop a bedtime routine. Yes, you may just want to climb into bed after you finish that last paragraph of your essay at two in the morning, but taking part in a short night time routine can help keep you on schedule and also relax you. Studies show that the more relaxed you are before bed, the better you sleep. This can be as simple as reading a book, listening to soothing music, or rinsing your face with warm water. 

  3. Use lower lighting in the evening. Of course if you’re up late studying it’s important to have enough light to read, but that doesn’t mean they have to be bright. As you get toward the end of your day, turn off more and more lights to help signal to your body that it’s getting late. 


Another way that you can help your overall brain health, believe it or not, is socializing. Although going out every night may not be good for your overall well being, putting some time aside to socialize  can be good for your brain health because of the socializing aspect. The Cleveland Clinic did a study on healthy brains and discovered that those who socialize more experienced slower rates of memory decline. Here are some ways that you can implement more socializing into your daily life. 


  1. Branch out. Find people who have similar interests and passions as you. You’ll be overall happier and healthier if you are constantly socializing. 

  2. Be invested. When getting to know others, try your best to truly learn about who they are and take an interest in their life and what they have to say. 

  3. Don’t forget about your pet. It has been shown that pets can help to calm you down, keep you active and enhance your social connections. 


With all these tips in mind, pick a few to help you prepare for the new school year. The amount of stress college students go through can be overwhelming sometimes,  so it is important we take care of our brains just as much as we would for the rest of our bodies. 

Good luck with the fall quarter Cal Poly!

Current Vice President and Campus Correspondent for the Cal Poly chapter of Her Campus. Hannah is a third year Journalism student with a concentration in Public Relations at Cal Poly. Hannah is working toward a career writing for an online publication focusing on health and wellness. In her free time Hannah listens to podcasts, walks on the beach, reads self-help books, shops clean skincare and tries new plant-based recipes. On this page you'll find the articles she has written about lifestyle, health, wellness, fashion, current events and more.