Your Mental and Physical Health Is More Important Than Your GPA

It is no secret that college is not easy. It can be difficult to adjust to a new routine and take on new responsibilities while maintaining good grades every semester. While it is important to get involved and perform well in school, it can be easy to forget that your mental and physical health are far more important than your college GPA. As a sophomore in college, who has often struggled with remembering this, here is a list of ideas that I hope will make your college experience less stressful and more enjoyable, as it has for mine.

Say goodbye to procrastination

If I were to give my freshman year self only one piece of advice, it would be to never wait until the last minute to do anything. In high school and even as a freshman, you might be able to get away with putting things off until right before they are due, but as your schedule gets busier and you take on more responsibilities, procrastination will simply no longer suffice. Take it from someone who used to be all too familiar with putting things off. Waiting to study for that exam a few days or even the night before is just not worth the unnecessary stress and lack of sleep. With that being said, one of the best ways to break this bad habit is by getting organized.

Buy a planner

It will be your lifesaver. At the start of each semester, I find it extremely beneficial to write down important due dates in a planner that I keep close by. Even with the end of the semester approaching, it’s never too late to get organized. I recommend taking some time on a Sunday to sit and jot down all of your responsibilities for the week ahead.

Prioritize your sleep

Listen up because this is a big one. Especially as college students with finals coming up, it may be more tempting than ever to lose sleep, but by pulling that all-nighter, you risk losing the focus and recollection that comes with a good night’s sleep. Sleep deprivation can also leave a person feeling exhausted and impaired, and can lead to a person experiencing a depressed mood throughout the day, which can negatively affect your mental health.

Fuel your body

Woman doing yoga meditation on brown parquet flooring Photo by Jared Rice from Unsplash

Let’s be real. As college students, we have probably deprioritized nutrition in the past and will likely do so again in the future. While we all have busy schedules, making it easy to grab fast food meals or even skip a meal altogether. This is not a habit to get into and could be detrimental to both a person’s mood and physical functioning in the long run. Especially during finals week, remember that your physical health and wellbeing are so important, and it is not worth falling ill from not taking care of your body.

Get active

Exercise is an excellent way to get our minds performing to their best of their ability. While it may be difficult to schedule time in your day to get active, a little cardio before hitting the books can be super beneficial in helping with stamina and concentration. You don’t even have to hit the gym to get that exercise; I’ve found that walking to class instead of driving is the perfect way to stay active on a busy day.

Do something you enjoy

Lastly, and most importantly, schedule time out of your day to do something that makes you happy. On some days, you may not have much time to take a break from your busy schedule and heavy course load, but this is so important to your health. Whether it be playing with your dog or talking to your roommates, taking as little as a few minutes to do something that brings you joy will increase your mood and give your mind the mental break it needs to destress and refuel for whatever responsibilities you are about to take on.

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