Yes, there are about a million articles just like this expressing the ~importance~ of caring for yourself and mental health in college. They tell you to take a bubble bath, eat some good food, sleep, etcetera, etcetera... Honestly, that stuff is good and all, but bath bombs and chocolates can only do so much for your ACTUAL mental health. Even though I'm only a month into freshman year, I feel like I've learned more in that month to last a lifetime.
Well, buckle up, because I'm about to give you the cold hard truth about caring for yourself, cutting the toxic bullshit from your life, and truly thriving without being suffocated by societal pressures. Here we go...
1. We're all "adults" stumbling around trying to figure out wtf we're doing.Giphy
There's more days that I don't know what I'm doing than days where I feel confident. I've also noticed that others are feeling the same exact way, especially when I sit and people watch in the library. I've already seen countless people wanting to pull their hair out, just silently putting their head down, or just giving up entirely over school work. It happens to the best of us...
2. No one gives a shit what you wear. I promise.Giphy
The first week of classes I made sure I ~dressed to impress~ every day, but I quickly realized no one cares. Someone may compliment your sweatpants one day, then your cute romper the next. It's such a stress reliever to not have to worry too much about my outfits.
3. For emphasis: People really DO NOT care about looks.Giphy
On another note, no one cares if you wear a ton of makeup or none at all. They won't notice if your hair is in a messy bun or perfectly curled. We're all just trying to get through each day, honestly.
4. You'll know your true ride or die friends when you meet them. They aren't going to be the first people you meet on campus unless you're SUPER lucky.Giphy
So, I just so happen to be a ~lucky~ person, because I met my group right off the bat when school started. However, I've heard so many people talk of how they didn't meet their group until second semester or even later than that. Relax. Talk to people you live near and have classes with, but don't force friendships.
5. Do your homework ahead of time... You'll thank yourself later.Giphy
Everyday I thank my past self for deciding to work ahead in my classes. Professors give syllabi for a reason, and it's beneficial to use it to your advantage. When I wanted to be lazy and watch Bachelor in Paradise, I could because I worked ahead on most of my homework due the next day. It sucks in the moment, but it's great later on.
6. If you want to take over-excessive notes, then just do it.Giphy
I AM THIS PERSON! Literally, people are in awe over how perfectly constructed and color-coded my notes are. They question how I even keep them organized. It's hard to answer simply, because I've just created a certain way I like to take notes. Then come exam time, I type them or rewrite and organize them all together.
7. It's okay to want to stay in on a Friday/Saturday nightGiphy
If you don't want to go out and party, then don't. This is where the stereotypical "treat yo self" advice comes in. Make popcorn, order some food, watch a movie, clean, whatever you need to do to just chill out and feel like your life is together for a small amount of time.
8. Destroy the idea that life has no time for simple pleasures and happy thingsGiphy
If someone gives you shit for liking a certain show, self care routine, habit, etc., then they don't need to be in your life. Simple as that. Yes, school is of utmost importance, but don't let that stop or shame you from doing what you like to do.
9. You're allowed to forget things sometimesGiphy
If you forget a pencil, ask someone beside you. If you forgot to eat today (guilty), grab a good snack. On a wider scale, if you forgot to turn an assignment in, talk to your professor. You've most likely get a grade cut, but it helps to talk to them face to face instead of just forgetting about the assignment in general. We're humans, we forget, fumble, and make mistakes.
10. This isn't high school, cut the drama...Giphy
No one cares who slept with who or what happened at the party at Alpha Chi Pi Psi Epsilon on Friday. I just want to get through my meal or class without dealing with people's extra-ness. Chill.
11. Join whatever clubs you want to, but don't overload.Giphy
Actually join clubs that will benefit YOU. Don't let someone guilt you into joining things you don't want to either. It's also beneficial to look at what career aspirations you have, and find clubs that will help you build skills for that. Just don't overload. My rule is three clubs I'm going to put my 100% effort into, then 2-3 that I'm interested in being a member of, but not too much commitment.
12. Stay organized, whatever the hell that means for you.Giphy
If this means knowing where everything is under on your desk, then great! If this means color-coding everything and making binders and folders and tabs on things, then go do that! Don't feel pressured to be picture perfectly organized.
13. Again: No one gives a shit. If they do, cut them off. Simple as that.Giphy
14. Enjoy it.Giphy
This is the prime time of your youth. Take some time away from social media and snapchatting every moment of the day. Listen in on lectures, be with your friends, compliment someone you pass walking to class, and don't be afraid to just live life.