7 Ways to Take Control of Your Semester

As another semester of college begins for many of us, here are some simple yet thoughtful reminders about how to do your best. Seizing control of your semester at the start can make you feel like the boss you are!

  1. Learn how to say no In college there is a new experience around every corner. While you may want to say yes to every single flyer, club, class, or party you are presented with, sometimes you need to say no.  Being able to comfortably say no to in life will keep you from over committing yourself and causing unnecessary stress.  Instead pick quality over quantity; choosing to say yes to only the things you have time for and that you know you will truly enjoy.
  2. Learn how to say yes While it is a great skill to know how to say no, swinging to the other extreme and saying no to everything can be just as bad.  Everyone can benefit from having something outside of school to focus on whether that be a club you are interested in or hanging out with friends. Sure, you are at college to get an education but there probably won’t be another time in your life where you live in walking distance of your friends and the nearest ice cream shop so be sure to say yes some of the time. 
  3. Sleep. Eat. Exercise. If you ask any doctor about how to manage stress and feel better overall, these are the first three things they are going to tell you about.  Staying up till 2 am every night studying is harmful to your health and probably not all that beneficial to your studying either. And just like your mom always says, a fruit and vegetable everyday will keep the doctor away. Lastly, studies show that exercising for 30 minutes a day whether that be in the gym or at least going for a walk outside releases endorphins that will aid you when it is time to sit down and focus on your homework. These things help keep your body happy and healthy which will improve your overall mood and ability to handle college stress.
  4. Make time for yourself Carving out an hour every day to do something that relaxes you or brings you joy is just as important as anything else that happens during the day.  Whether it’s giving your brain a break by watching some videos, or meditating, doing what you love for an hour a day is a crucial part of maintaining your sanity and happiness.
  5. Get organized  There is a reason this is the most cliché back to school tip.  Getting organized not only cleans up your study space it can also clean up the clutter in your mind.  Whether its writing stuff down on a sticky note or getting a fancy planner, finding your style of organization can be the difference between forgetting about that homework assignment and having peace of mind knowing you know exactly what is ahead of you tomorrow.
  6. Breathe While this is a basic thing you are probably doing right now without even thinking about it, intentional breathing or meditating is a great way to focus and center yourself amid chaos.  Between the mountain of assignments and extracurriculars, taking the time to take some deep breaths every once in a while not only helps you center yourself emotionally, but also sends more oxygen to your brain helping you relax physically as well.
  7. Gratitude Gratitude is as simple as taking the time to celebrate your achievements and acknowledge the good things that have happened.  This helps you see the positives in a day and reminds you that not everything went wrong today.  Even if it’s as simple as being grateful for having survived the day, taking the time to find some good in your day helps you be in control of your emotions and stress levels.

Taking the time to be intentional about these thoughts, decisions, and actions can bring you peace of mind and greater control over your days, weeks, and months! So, cheers to you and me and the great semester we are going to have!