Attention Freshman! Here’s 5 Habits to Keep in College

Welcome to college! I hope that your college experience so far is treating you well. I know that being a freshman can be scary and adapting to a new life can be really challenging. I know my biggest fear was being able to balance all of my studies, family, social life, and all that other good stuff. To give you a little advice to help you start the year off strong, here’s a list of 5 habits to keep you thriving during your first year of college.

Eat 3 full meals per day. It is SO important to keep your body nourished and energized during the day and it can really help you in the long run if you eat 3 meals daily. And no, instant ramen doesn’t count! I’m talking protein, vegetables, and fruits to keep you healthy and focused in class. No one likes being ~that~ person in class whose stomach keeps grumbling, needing more than that unsatisfying granola bar for breakfast. Do your best to get 3 full meals a day, this will also help keep you energized, awake, and motivated to get work done. Another tip to go along with this is eating healthy snacks between meals; this helps keep your body nourished between meals, especially if your schedule makes it difficult to eat 3 meals during normal meal times. 

Drink lots of water. Probably one of the most important habits to stick to is drinking lots of water throughout the day. And trust me, I KNOW how delicious an iced coffee is, but coffee tends to be pretty filling and can trick your brain into thinking you’ve eaten enough when you might not have. Water is your best friend, don’t forget to drink plenty of it each day. Drinking water works wonders for flushing toxins out of your body too. Make sure you always have a water bottle with you and stay hydrated!

Try not to procrastinate. Please, please, whatever you do, don’t put off assignments until the last possible minute! Of course, life happens and there are certain circumstances that can get in the way of getting your work done. However, just because a 5 page paper isn’t due until Sunday at midnight doesn't mean you should wait until Sunday afternoon to start it! If you have the time to aimlessly scroll through your phone or watch that Friends episode for the billionth time, you have the time to start that paper. I know what it’s like to feel that laziness kick in, trust me I do, but the worst thing you can do is put an assignment off until the last minute. It’s stressful, plus you might not be putting in your best work and effort if you’re more focused on getting it done on time. What I do is I tend to start my essays a few days in advance. I break it down to manage my time. For example, say it’s a Monday and I have a four-page paper due on the following Friday night. I’ll start that paper on Monday, write at least a page or an outline to get my thoughts down. Then, each day I’ll write another page/page and a half and get that baby completed by Thursday night. It really helps to break it down to lessen the workload, and it also sets time aside for other assignments. 

Stay organized with a planner. One good habit for your studies is to keep a planner or calendar marked up with due dates and important events. It really helps to keep due dates organized in a place where you can easily access them instead of rifling through all of your papers looking for your syllabi. Go through your syllabi and record due dates of assignments and exams to remind you to stay on top of your work and studying to ace! that! exam! It’s not only a good habit to have during college, but also in adulthood. Keeping track of deadlines and appointments can help you feel like you’ve got it under control and organized. It also helps to set reminders on your phone or computer to really give you that extra push to get things done. 

Get enough sleep at night. There’s always going to be those times when you got a little too much going on and you stay up late, or all night, to get work done. However, definitely make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Take naps if absolutely necessary, but getting enough sleep is key to maintaining a healthy diet, staying focused in class, and keeping yourself motivated after class to work on assignments. Find your groove and balance your time. If your first class starts at 8:00 am, get up at at least 7:00 am to get yourself ready and eat a good breakfast. To do that, that means you should try to go to bed at no later than 11:00 pm the night before. Strive for 8 hours of sleep minimum. It’s possible, I promise. 

College is an adventure and a stepping stone into your future. I hope these tips help and that you make your freshman year (and every year following) the best they can be. I wish you the best of luck on your journeys into your academic careers!