5 Ways to Maintain Your Self-Worth at University

As we enter university, we are told our academic course load will increase, and our social lives will become less social.  There are many articles out there that provide tips and advice on how to make a study guide, study effectively, remain on top your school work, and everything in between. But, if you are a social person, a real extrovert, you might have trouble adjusting to the major slow down in your social life.  There are not enough articles discussing how the toll of the amount of time spent alone can affect your self-esteem, self-worth, and overall emotional health, and how it can be prevented.

Join a Club

Let’s start with the obvious here.  Joining a club can be beneficial in so many ways!  Not only do you get to interact with people who have the same interests as you, but they will usually have a set day, and time in the week for meetings making it easier to fit into your weekly routine!  You can find U Ottawa’s club list on the SFUO website. Many clubs accept new members throughout the year, so it’s not too late to join one. Whether you want to volunteer, play a sport or learn how to dance, there is something to suit everyone’s tastes.

Join or Start a Study Group

Being a part of a study group has so many benefits.  You will be able to kill two birds with one stone - spend time creating connections with people, and studying for exams!  It will help you get to know the people in your classes (or even program), and can be especially helpful for classes where debating is a key skill.  Just like joining a club, it is easy to arrange a study group on a week day at a specific time to help keep yourself on a weekly routine. Keep in mind, not every study group is like the one on Community (pictured above), but it is definitely more fun than studying on your own.

Pamper Yourself

                                                                Actress Jeanne Crain in movie “Margie”, 1964

Create your own relaxation utopia!  Spend your study break soaking in a bubble bath, while doing a facial, and watching your favourite show.  Paint your nails, or experiment with new make-up styles - there are tons of good beauty tutorials on Youtube, like this classic cat-eye tutorial from Winners Canada. If you haven’t done it before, try deep conditioning your hair.  My hairdresser once told me that deep conditioning once a week helps to repair hair from all the styling during the week, and keeps it healthy! Making time for yourself once a week will help you de-stress and forget about your responsibilities for a little while.

WARNING: Wine always tastes better in a bubble bath!

Try Yoga

Take a study break for a yoga video.  There are tons of yoga videos readily available on Youtube that work specific parts of your body.  Whether it’s abs or legs, 30 minutes or 5, it’s there!   There are many different instructors, so, it all comes down to personal taste!  Try out a few, and eventually you will find your favourite.  There are videos on meditation for beginners!  To learn more about the benefits of mediatation, check out our article on “Why You Should Meditate.”

Take a Walk

Do you have a favourite coffee shop?  What about your favourite place to purchase croissants?  Take time to explore the city!  Find the specialty shops that offer what you’re looking for!  The fresh air, and walking will be good for you!  This is also a great way to support to the local businesses in your city!  Talking a walk around a new neighborhood can be just as relaxing.

The important thing to keep in mind is that decrease in social life activity does not mean that you have no friends, or nobody likes you - your self-worth should not decrease because you are being responsible about your academics!  It is happening to your peers, too!  It can be a huge adjustment, and it’s all about finding a healthy way to deal with the stress, and feelings of depression that can brought on by this decrease in social activity.  It’s worth it to take the time to find out what works best for you, and to keep your mind in a healthy state.


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