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Taylor Shea West

A Healthy Start to The New School Year

A new semester can come with many new feelings; excitement, anxiety and more. If we’re being real, as college students, we’re all just trying to survive the semester, make our grades and come out alive on the other side. Rest easy, I’m here to give you my personal approach on how I begin each semester to ensure I deal with the stress of a new semester in a healthy manner. 


1. Invest in a planner. 

My number one tip I’ll suggest to anyone in the beginning of the semester is to get a new planner. Call me crazy but finding and organizing my planner each semester is one of my favorite things. It helps me get a visual on how each day, week and month will go. I also suggest buying things such as highlighters to color coat individual class assignments, and stickers to remind you of due dates. I’ve listed a few of my favorite brands and past purchases below.


2. Don’t overcommit.  

No is a full sentence. Remember that. 

Being involved on campus is a wonderful thing! It keeps your brain working and helps you make more connections. Though there is a limit. Know your limit, you can only handle so much before your go into overload mode. Adding your name to a bake sale the same day of an exam isn’t the smartest move. Plan your commitments wisely. Plus, I’m positive your previous commitments will appreciate you giving them the best version of yourself.   


3. Keep a healthy diet. 

As easy as the dollar menu at McDonald’s is after you’ve had a rough day on campus, it’s not the best for your mind and body. Try foods that nourish your mind after a hard day, like green vegetables and fruits, rather than finding comfort in foods that aren’t so great for you. The next statement makes me feel like quite the hypocrite, but coffee is NOT a sufficient breakfast meal. This is something I’m horrible at doing, though I am working on it. One thing I’m trying to add to my coffee addiction in the mornings is overnight oats. They’re super cheap, easy to make and delicious! I’ll link some of my favorite recipes here


4. ​Set a sleep schedule.

Not to sound like your mother, but you need your beauty sleep. For your mind and body. It’s scientifically proven that college students need at least eight to nine hours of sleep to properly function. I’m guilty again here, especially when finals week approaches. It’s hard to keep a consecutive sleep schedule in-between classes, work and extracurriculars – though hitting around the same time each night will help you a ton. Try eliminating all technology at least an hour before bed. Using devices before bed delays your body’s internal clock, which suppresses its ability to release the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin. A few more suggestions for helping yourself wind down for the night are a hot bath/shower, a cup of sleepy time tea and a good book. If you’re like me, someone who has a hard time putting the book down once they start reading it, a small self-help book might be perfect for you. I’ll link what I’m reading here.


5. Set aside time for yourself. 

The most important step is simply remembering yourself. You’re not a robot, you’re human. You’re mighty at your best, but without setting aside time to fully recharge yourself, you’re more than likely to fall behind. Setting time aside for yourself can include an array of things, rather it be a lazy day full of facemasks, snack foods and your best friend – or simply finding a new hobby to involve yourself in, such as hiking on the weekends. 


Now that I’ve given you five tips that I use every semester, put them to work! You can also put your own twist on them to help accommodate better to your daily life. Good luck this semester, you’ve got this in the bag! 

Taylor Shea West

Murray State '21

Taylor Shea West is a Journalism student at Murray State University with a minor in Criminal Justice. If she's not obsessing over Marvel films, listening to new music or finding a way to get to Australia, you can usually find Taylor learning lines for a new short film. Catch up on the latest with Taylor on her Instagram as @taylorwestofficial
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