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Helpful Tips for a Successful Semester

It’s that time of year again, the time when hitting the beach turns into hitting the books and when summer nights morph into hours spent in the library, banging your head against the desk because you’ve forgotten everything you knew before summer break. But fear not! Here are some tips to get you back into the swing of things, both physically and mentally. They are sure to get you on the track to success and are simple enough that you can easily add them to your already busy collegiette™ life!

We all know us college kids are late-nighters. Without a doubt you will see people up and about well past midnight, but going to bed early can give your busy college-brain a rest. It also allows you to wake up earlier, which can jump start your metabolism and your day! Just getting your standard 7-8 hours of sleep each night can make a world of a difference when writing a paper or heading to an early morning class. Plus, it’s well known that if you sleep right, you’ll feel and look better.

“But I’m too busy to go to the gym!” -… said every girl who tried to avoid working out to lounge in her yoga pants all day. Here’s the thing, working out doesn’t always have to be an added stress! I’ve found when I am most swamped with school work that the gym provides a break from the monotony and helps relieve stress. Plus, it leaves you satisfied and clear-headed, something that no number of ‘The Hills” reruns will leave you. Breaking a sweat in the gym results in a healthier, happier you. Think of it as a present to yourself rather than an added hassle.

Turn that Alliot frown upside down! Now I am well aware that eating in a cafeteria everyday isn’t very appealing but being cautious of what you grab to eat can completely change the way you feel throughout the day. Rather than opt for the french fries covered in salt and grease, grab an apple or banana – something that will keep you full in between classes and is less likely to upset your stomach or add on the pounds. One quick and easy snack is a protein bar; they’re only 200 calories, 3 grams of sugar, and are chalk-full of fiber. They’re a fabulous alternative to cereal or slice of pizza.

Dominoes or Boloco…? How about neither! I can’t say that I haven’t ordered my fair share cheesy bread late at night, but I also can’t say that I felt awesome in the morning. What most college kids forget is that while Mom and Dad aren’t here to stock the fridge, that doesn’t mean you should ignore healthy options. Rather than order out, keep a couple of Lean Cuisines in your fridge, or, for a healthy alternative for chocolate-lovers, keep some fresh strawberries in the fridge and melt chocolate on your own! Try to stay innovative because, before you know it, your unhealthy eating will catch up with your metabolism and you will lose motivation to eat right or work out.

Go Green, with your tea that is! So by now you’ve probably heard everyone talking about how great green tea is for you, but I’m going to mention it once more and say how awesome this tea is! It boosts your metabolism, helps clear skin, and overall cleanses your system of all antioxidants! Plus, it’s yummy! You can pick it up at any local grocery store and if you swap your daily soda for green tea I guarantee you’ll see results! If you’re interested in the all-powerful green tea check out some more of its benefits here!

Dinner then done… One tip I found out extremely helpful when watching my weight was a rule that you stop eating after dinner. That way you let your supper set and don’t stuff yourself with sweets before heading to bed. Now as I previously mentioned, college kids don’t always go to bed early, so not eating after dinner can be a big issue, but don’t worry! Set a time in the evening when you cut yourself off from snacking, that way you go to bed full, but not stuffed. This way your body digests all of the nutrition you already put into it and doesn’t store that extra fat you might be consuming with sweets or snacks late at night.

Have a goal in mind! It took me a while to realize that, in order to eat less and work out more, you need to find something personal that motivates your mind, spirit, and body. Dig deep, search for a reason to keep you on the right track and every time you feel like skipping a day remind yourself you’re doing it for a reason. You can apply this method to any aspect of college: in studying for a class, in eating healthy, in participating in a club. Just remember to never give up, even though you may get side-tracked with school work and extra-curriculars.

Turn it up, make it loud, & make it YOURS! Make a playlist! It could be all the catchy-pop songs that no one admits to liking until they come on at the 3’s, or it could even be some more mellow songs. No matter what genre of music you want to listen to, just find something that you love. I’ve found having an upbeat playlist, no matter what funk I am in, puts me in an all-together better mood. It motivates me to dance and fool around, making it easier to not get so burdened with stress. Playlists especially help when working out, studying, or even napping, so find one that fits your style and stick with it. Good music is like a good pair of shoes – it never truly goes out of style.

Find some personal time! As a Saint Michaels student, you are surrounded by your best friends 24/7 … literally. You eat with them, study with them, hang out and party with them. You even shower next to them! With that said, it can be hard to find personal time to just relax and not worry about entertaining other people. Living with your friends is a blessing and a curse. It can be so easy to find people to hang out with when you’re bored but horrible when you need some alone time or are home-sick. Find a little bit of time each day to de-compress BY YOURSELF and alleviate any frustrations or worries you may be having. Put on music and dance to it, call your Mom because you miss her voice and cooking, or take a nap! But most importantly do something that makes you happy and feel a little bit better when caught in the chaos of being a full time student!

While being a full-time student is your number one concern, be sure to make your health a top priority! Don’t put the gym on the back-burner just because you have an insane amount of homework. Instead take a deep breath and jog out the stress. By using these healthy tips and making small changes to your daily routine, you will invigorate your mind and refresh your body, and these small choices will lead to big results! So kick back with some tea, read a book, sing a little too loudly, and turn in early because you’ve got a long semester ahead of you!

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