When I graduated High school I felt like I was on top of the world. I was one summer away from starting my college life. I was excited to be independent and live on my own. The only downfall was that I was far away from friends and family. I wasn’t too worried about finding a group of friends between tailgates, late night studies at the library, and joining college organizations, there was bound to be a group of girls that would become my future bridesmaids one day. Although social life and studying are extremely important when it comes to college, THE most important thing is managing your mental and physical state.
Money is a huge impact on a college students stress level. Managing it is key especially when living completely on your own. You can easily determine how much money you will need to be saving during your first few weeks at college. If you go into college expecting to spend X amount of dollars on food, health needs, and books you will most likely be exceeding the money you are spending. Track your expenses over two weeks when moving to college and see what is necessary for your life. Now, from this new budget, you have created you can begin to adjust to a college budget lifestyle easier instead of being overwhelmed by trying to match the budget you planned before you even started your freshman year of college.
Physical health is what I struggled with the most in my first semester at college. Going out with friends and late night studying while eating ramen and pizza can quickly damage your physical state. I learned this when I was trying to balance making friends while managing a 4.0 GPA. I didn’t have time for well-rounded meals let alone did it fit into my budget. I wasn’t going to the gym, taking vitamins or hydrating my body enough. Within three weeks, I was in the hospital with a 103 fever and my body was shutting down. Treating your body well is just as important as studying, and making friends. After I got out of the hospital, I had to put my life on hold for a week and build up my strength to proceed with my studies.
Mental Health is one of the most important things to manage in college. When fall and winter roll around and you’re not with your family it can really take a toll on your overall mood. You will miss having the home-cooked meals you usually do and seeing your friends in your hometown all of it adds up and it can get really depressing. Calling your friends, taking a weekend to visit family, all of this can help improve your overall mental state. If you are unable to see friends or family taking a day for yourself and laying in bed doing absolutely nothing can give your mind a day to rest and not worry about anything. Days like this are important and help with the stress of school too!
Just remember when your preparing for college does not expect your plans to be completely set. Go with the flow the first month and adjust to the lifestyle that works best for you. Make days specifically for your mental health, take vitamins, and go to the gym. Keeping up with your physical health is just as important as mental health. Don’t get upset when the goals you had in mind for college aren’t met within the first few weeks. Everyone goes at there own pace in college and adjusts differently. You will find friends, find study habits, a gym schedule, and mental health days that work best for you. Enjoy the journey of experiencing college struggles and making amazing memories that you will remember for the rest of your life.