4 Bad Habits to Avoid in University

University is hard and it’s probably going to be a lot harder with everything online. Keeping track of deadlines, the endless performance of being on video in class, and finding a healthy separation between school and home when they’re the same place is going to be a challenge for everyone. Especially, I imagine, for those just getting started with their degrees. First-year can be daunting enough without a global pandemic going on. It’s easy to fall into bad habits as you navigate your first year in post-secondary life. Here are a few to avoid.

  1. 1. Staying up past 2 a.m.

    I mean, you should try to be asleep by midnight, but it’s easier said than done. Just remember what the title of How I Met Your Mother, season one, episode 18, says: nothing good happens after 2 a.m. 

    You might feel invincible in your first year and free of your parent’s rules, especially if you’re staying in dorms, and you might have discovered the amazing power of energy drinks, but you’re going to burn out eventually. I say this as someone who once stayed up all night watching the Christmas Prince, got on my bike at the crack of dawn and went down to Cadboro Bay, walked up that awful hill and promptly slept until 3 p.m. It isn’t worth it, please get some rest.

  2. 2. Leaving assignments to the last minute.

    This one is obvious, I know. But if you do it once and get a good grade, you’ll do it all the time (until you stop getting good grades). Save yourself some stress and get things done ahead of time. There is truly nothing worse than writing an essay as the clock ticks to 11:58, 11:59… seriously. Do your homework and do it on time.

  3. 3. Depending on drugs or alcohol.

    This includes coffee. Take it from someone in their fourth year of university who can’t start her day without a shot of espresso: you don’t need it. At least, not all the time. The same goes for drinking. It’s your first year, and you’re probably going to want the full college experience. But it is, for one thing, a pandemic, so please party responsibly. But aside from that, you’re at an age when it’s hard to tell if you’ve developed a dependency on things like alcohol or if you’re just a social drinker. If you find yourself drinking alone or when you’re feeling bad and upset, it’s now the time to reevaluate if it’s hurting more than it’s helping. There are a ton of resources available for students of any age when it comes to drug and alcohol addiction and dependency. Talk to someone at your school whom you trust or contact your campus health centre.

  4. 4. Isolating yourself.

    This one is important, especially this year. It’s tempting to fall into pits of despair when you’re spending most of your time in front of a screen or alone in your room. If you start to feel yourself losing touch with your high school friends and struggling to forge new bonds at UVic, know that you aren’t alone. It’s a common experience and you will find your people. You might find them in class, in a club or in a nearby dorm. If the loneliness really starts to overwhelm you and the existential dread creeps in, there are people ready to help you. 

    To access counselling services, go here.

    If you feel more comfortable among your peers, the UVSS has the Peer Support Centre ready to help. 

    For 24/7 help, you can go to SupportConnect.

Take a deep breath, get a glass of water, and know that you’re going to get through this year and have a good time doing it. The world looks different now, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a successful and enjoyable year at UVic.