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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

COLLEGE IS A WHOLE NEW EXPERIENCE, AND I FEEL LIKE A FRESHMAN AGAIN.

Although I was lucky enough to be on campus my freshman year, 2020, it doesn’t compare to this year. Moving onto campus this past semester had a completely different feel to it. Campus seems 100 times busier than last year, and it makes it feel like a bigger community which I enjoy. Having in-person classes has benefitted me in ways that I never thought they would, I meet more people and am able to connect with classmates and professors whenever I need. My grades this year have improved immensely compared to being fully online last year because I felt that online it was easier to slack off and not pay attention whereas I was not learning as much. Even though I am a sophomore, it feels like I am a freshman again because I had no knowledge of what campus was like prior to the pandemic until now, and I hope that the atmosphere of campus stays the same and covid stays away, because it has benefitted me as a student and person a lot.

2. WORKING AT HOME PAYS OFF… AND SAVING MONEY.

I worked more than I ever have before over the past summer for college, and it paid off for most of the semester. Being in college and on campus is expensive, more expensive than I ever thought. I live in an apartment and the grocery shopping adds up quickly and you don’t realize it till the end of the semester. I wish that I had saved more money because running low on it at college can be super stressful, but this is a lesson that I have learned and now I know what to spend and what not to spend money on. It makes me excited to start earning money again at home and saving it so I can enjoy experiences at college whether it’s going shopping or going to a nice dinner with friends.

3. STARTING MY DAY EARLIER MAKES FOR A MORE PRODUCTIVE DAY.

I used to sleep for however long I wanted and would end up waking up past noon and starting my day around 1 or 2, and I felt unhealthy during this time. I wasn’t getting much done, I wasn’t moving my body and I definitely was not working hard in school. Over the summer I changed my mindset and schedule around and started waking up before 9 a.m. and moving my body and it has completely shifted how I go about my days. At school, it can be hard to get up early and work out but it has become a habit of mine especially during the weekdays and I think that it has impacted my grades in school and my overall mental health. When I get up early and go to the gym I feel accomplished and that I already am having a productive day, before noon. It makes it easier to focus on getting work done for school and provides me more energy to cross everything off of my to-do list.

4. IF YOU SKIP CLASS ONCE, IT BECOMES HABIT QUICKLY.

Skipping class one time may seem like no big deal, but I have definitely learned that it becomes a habit. When there is a big lecture or a class that doesn’t tend to take attendance, I have been tempted to skip them and once I did, it became a routine quickly. I ended up teaching myself the material and although my grades didn’t plummet, I could have made the work a lot easier by just showing up to certain classes. I learned this semester that I need to attend every class next semester and it will benefit me during studying times.

5.  MENTAL HEALTH COMES FIRST.

Mental health always comes first. College can be the best time of your life, but also the most stressful. It’s okay to give yourself a day or multiple days to get back on track and do things for yourself. The pressure of having to know what you want to do with your life after college is always on, and schoolwork piles up quickly. But, I have learned ways to cope with stress during my time at school and what works best for me to ease my mental health. Sleep is the most important, getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep at night benefits me the next day and puts my mind at ease when getting things done. If I have a bad day at school, going to the gym and sweating it out always creates peace of mind for me too. I have learned to not be as hard on myself if I have an off day at school, and to do things that make me feel good because a student’s life can be very busy.

Hi I'm Olivia, I'm a sophomore at UNH from Newburyport, MA and I'm a psychology major!
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