Adult life is full of expectations, so here are some more.
Whether you’re going into your very first ~second~ semester or you’ve made it to your very last semester ever, here are some on (and off)-campus living habits you need to pick up to make those next weeks of studying and exams fly by!
Stay loyal to your alarm
Yes, I am aware that humans are yet to discover the secret to waking up at an ungodly hour without having the feeling that your brain is self-destructing, BUT being able to put yourself to bed with lights off at an hour that is most efficient for your study/work/classes schedule is the most valuable thing for your studies and lifestyle. The Sleep Health Foundation says that young adults between 18 to 25 need 8-10 hours a night, with 6-11 hours “appropriate” but not recommended. Of course, everyone is different but being able to tuck yourself in at a similar time each night will do wonders for your sleep cycle and will make you wake up earlier in the long-run.
If you need a little more help with your sleep habits, the Bedtime function in your iPhone’s clock app is super handy and there are hundreds of other sleep apps that can get you started.
Srsly, do it.
I say this as a student who lived on campus for two years and struggled quite a bit with adjusting my lifestyle after school (which is a totally common issue amongst students btw). Like so many other residents, I had moved out of my parents’ home and had to learn how to start this whole “independent” living thing and this huge change started taking a toll on my mental health.
I’d heard so many health gurus (and basically every second person) rave about meditation, but I had never partaken in this strange phenomenon where a human stops doing everything they’re supposed to be doing. Sitting with your eyes closed at your desk for even 5 minutes and focusing on your breathing will help curb any anxieties and worries that may be burdening you and helps balance out your 9 to 5 schedule. Meditation doesn’t have to take away from the time you need to study and do assignments, and can be practised when you have an extra 5 or 10 minutes at any time throughout the day. The Headspace app is fantastic if you’re a beginner and will get you hooked in no time!
“Meditation doesn’t have to take away from the time you need to study and do assignments…”
It doesn’t matter what stage of uni you’re at, you NEED to have a trusty diary or calendar to help you visualise the weeks ahead. Marking all your important dates (assessment deadlines, holiday breaks, birthdays, payments) will seriously take a massive amount of stress away and help you focus on commitments and priorities each week. If you have a diary, keep it in your bag as much as you can just in case anything pops up, and if you invest in a wall planner or calendar, make sure it’s somewhere where you can really notice it and easily add to it. Visuals – they’re a godsend.
It can be hard to allow yourself some “active” time each day, especially if you live on campus where work and play are often combined. It might seem super lame that I’m adding this to the list, but from my time living on campus, I know exactly what it’s like to feel caught up in hectic university life and sometimes it can be hard to get in touch with your surroundings outside of uni. If your classes start early, make time during the day to go for a fast-paced walk to clear your head, and each day, go a little further. It can be easy to forget about personal health and fitness, but balance is necessary in times of stress and pressure and allows you to clear your head. Going for some quick and easy exercise can help you get a fresh take on any assessments you’re stuck on!
And if you really have no time to take a break, try not to coop yourself up inside your room to study! Find a cafe on campus or anywhere nearby where you can study quietly and treat yoself with a sneaky brownie or cake when you’ve reached a study goal. #motivation
It’s easy to fall out of habits when your lifestyle changes drastically. Moving out of home means you’re starting from scratch, so getting those standard good habits nailed before uni goes back just might make things that little bit easier in the long-run.