The turning of the calendar year provides an opportunity to reflect on mistakes you’ve made over the past year so that you can resolve to do better in the coming months. As a college student, your attention is likely focused on your studies, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to improve your missteps. Here are just a few New Year’s Resolutions that will benefit every college student.
Get Adequate Rest
College students are notorious for burning the midnight oil, whether they’re studying or partying with newfound friends. This is to your detriment, though. You may get away with a lack of sleep for a while – after all, you’re still young. Eventually, however, you will start to suffer the ill effects of a sleep deficit, including an inability to focus or retain information, which will make all of your academic efforts increasingly difficult. Lack of sleep can also contribute to weight gain, just in case you’re wondering how to avoid the freshman fifteen.
Watch What You Eat
You’ve no doubt heard the phrase “you are what you eat”. Obviously, this isn’t true in the literal sense, but there is some truth to the adage. The foods you consume have a marked impact on how you feel, how you think, and your overall state of physical, mental, and emotional health. When you’re eating a balanced and nutritious diet that includes proper portions of lean meat, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and fruits and veggies, you’re going to feel great and perform at peak capacity in all endeavors. So skip the late night trips to the vending machine and pay attention to what (and how much) you put on your plate in the cafeteria. Need help? Visit ChooseMyPlate.gov for portion sizes and nutritional guidance.
Add Physical Activity
Unless you’re involved in college sports, the bulk of your physical activity probably involves dashing across campus when you’re late for a class. This is not enough. Our bodies were designed to move – to wander, hunt, and gather. If you fail to get adequate exercise, you could wind up with excess energy that keeps you awake at night, or your body might start to suffer from weight gain, aches, and pains. By taking the time to exercise, alone or with friends, you’ll not only improve your physical health, but you could also reduce stress in the process.
Temper Social Activity
If you’re in every club on campus, you might be overextending yourself a bit, and probably at the expense of your studies and even your health. College is certainly a great time to make new friends, network, and be a social butterfly, but your main reason for being there is to prepare for your future. If you exit college without a degree or job prospects because you spent too much time partying and socializing, all you will have gained is a very expensive lesson.
Whether you’re working toward Wake Forest’s counseling degree or an MBA from Harvard, your time in college is rife with opportunities to try new things that might help you down the road where your professional life is concerned. You might be scared, but when great opportunities present themselves, remember that they may never come around again. So take the internship, study abroad, and go to networking seminars and job fairs. These chances to further your development can make a world of difference when you enter the job market, whether they help to flesh out your resume or simply increase your confidence and capability.