The stress of being a college student is something that we joke about quite easily. Your parents laughingly tell you to make sure not to gain the "Freshman 15" during your first year. Your friends are all hyped up about their school's sports teams and school spirit. Everyone scrambles to make friends during the first week, and you don't leave your room without looking 10/10. That's how I treated the beginning of my freshman year at least. These all added stress to my life in addition to the academic expectations of the programs I was involved in. This stress never goes away and becomes all-consuming. Soon you have to stamp out other areas of stress just to handle the school part, and that can feel a lot like giving in and lowering your standards. Here are a few things I have noticed that I either gave up on or don't take the time to worry about.
1. Having a structured social life.
It's hard to have a friend group that I can see all the time. Everyone is busy. Everyone needs to study and tend to their own responsibilities. I can set up meal times, but usually that can end up being up in the air and unreliable. Most of the time I just text a few friends or a group chat asking who wants to eat when, or I eat by myself out of pure hunger and impatience. Most often I don't make a bunch of plans with people. I just end up hanging out with them, which can sometimes be more rewarding.
2. Decorating my dorm room
I can remember searching for information about dorm room decor as an incoming freshman. I was so excited to have my own space where my creativity could explode. Now I pretty much bring the bare essentials. Living far from home means a long car ride in an overpacked car, so packing less just makes more sense. I now only bring decoration if it means something to me, like photos of my grandparents, or my favorite post cards from Europe.
3. Wearing new clothes
Besides for being broke and lazy, I just don't have the time to shop for clothes. Anything new I get to wear is usually just an impulse buy. I never go to the mall or any store just to get clothes. It's all about buying food. Let's be real. I've noticed now that I wear the same three outfits, something I would never do when I was a freshman. Now I am perfectly content to wear anything that's grey or black, and I call it good.
4.Going out on the weekends
As a freshman, I was petrified if I didn't have plans on the weekends. I needed to be going out to prove to people that I have a life. Now I usually spend weekends either going out to an actual bar in town to sit and talk with friends, or I hang out in their rooms. I don't really try to hunt for events. If people I like spending time with will be somewhere, then I'll probably go, but staying in and watching Netflix is also a favorite weekend past time of mine.
5. Having a work out schedule
This is not something I'm proud of. It's definitely me just being lazy. As a freshman, I remember going to the gym every other day and freaking out if I missed one day. At this stage in the semester, I just focus on school work and doing other things all the time that I hardly think about going to the gym at all, which is sad. I think exercise is important, but there is no way I am going to wake up early when I have the time and go work out. I am the worst, but I like my sleep.