You’ve likely heard of the “Freshman 15” or the 15 pounds that students may gain during their first year at university. Along with feeling anxious about the new experience ahead, you’re likely also unsure of how to maintain healthy habits.
More than Only Exercise and Eating Right
To help you stay on a health-focused path during this next stage in your life, here are some useful tips. As you read through them, you’ll notice that the usual recommendations of a balanced diet and exercise aren’t on here.
It’s not that they’re not important to your physical and mental well-being—they definitely are. But instead, this article focuses on creating healthy habits that are perhaps less well-known, and that you might not have considered yet.
Get Enough Sleep
Quality sleep can go far toward providing you with the mental and physical energy that are necessary to get through a busy school day. While skimping on “ZZZs” for one night probably won’t drain you, regularly failing to get enough shut-eye can lead to fatigue and feelings of being rundown.
You also will likely find it hard to maintain concentration if you’re not sleeping well. Also, lack of sleep can increase appetite, which means that you might eat more than you would usually. Those “Freshman 15” might come on quickly, so try to get to bed at a decent time at night.
Fighting Stress about GPA
As you prepare to graduate high school, you are likely stressing about your grades and, specifically, your grade point average (GPA). Each school has a minimum GPA requirement for admission.
For those who want to attend Texas Christian University, for example, find the full TCU GPA requirements in this detailed guide on CampusReel. Feeling stressed and anxious about meeting GPA levels can be a slippery slope, so be mindful of it and speak with a loved one if you are struggling.
In addition to communicating your feelings, another great way to manage stress is to do relaxation exercises and eat healthy. Try listening to relaxing music when you feel overwhelmed too; it can help to calm you.
Manage Your Caffeine Intake
Fueling your body with coffee and soda to get through long study sessions or finish a big assignment can be tempting. But where there’s caffeine, there’s sure to be dehydration, too.
Unfortunately, dehydration can negatively impact learning. It can lead to fatigue and dizziness, as well as headaches. All of this can obstruct your ability to do classwork, or even get to class in the first place.
If you must have your morning cup of java, though, then balance this with a few glasses of water. Try to drink water throughout the day to maintain proper hydration; pack a water bottle in your backpack in the morning, and simply refill it as needed. This healthy habit can help you feel more alert and motivated at school.
Final Words on Staying Healthy
A lot of new experiences get thrown your way during your first year at university, including more homework than you were likely used to, and the pressure to succeed. It also might be your first time living alone.
As you embark on this next adventure, keep the tips above in mind to feel your best. Doing so can help you thrive at school and fully enjoy the years there.