One of the most stressful chapters in life is the one spent as a college student. There is so much happening during this period that feeling overwhelmed is common and can lead to creating lasting habits that are maybe not so great. However, with the trend of lifting this stigma on the steady incline college students are now in the best position to be able to not just talk about their struggles with this chapter but learn how to create sustainable habits for dealing with them.
The number of resources available to students now is more than it used to be, proving that those who once felt like they were alone in their challenges, never were. College is a unique opportunity to both learn how to develop into an adult but still live, in part like a youth. Understanding this contrast takes skill and diligence and not every individual will have an innate grasp on how to troubleshoot it. Fortunately, the communal aspect of college life helps to facilitate building healthy habits and coping skills that can transition with you during college and beyond.
Keep Your Mind Sharp
Maintaining mental clarity during college can be difficult simply because there is so much happening at one time. Balancing your studies, social commitments, lifestyle responsibilities, and mental and physical health are all examples of things you can expect to have to handle during these years. It is important to recognize that the root of success in all this is a sharp and healthy mind. If you are experiencing mental or emotional challenges that are left untreated then it is unrealistic to expect success in the other areas of your college experience.
Telehealth is one of the best resources to emerge on the scene regarding mental health and college students accessing support. Now, if you have access to a smartphone or webcam, you can seek out and receive counsel easily and quickly. This is a great piece to incorporate into your habits as a college student because in many cases taking advantage of telehealth support can teach you how to work to prevent small problems from ballooning out of control. Using the support of these professionals is a healthy bridge between trying to keep it all together and letting everything fall apart.
Trial and Error
There is no set road map for making it through college. It is a case-by-case plan determined by the individual and what he or she needs to make everything work together harmoniously. Having said that, be sure to cut yourself some slack while you try out different plans and methods to find your perfect, personal plan. Try to not over-complicate the solutions. Instead start with one goal, like boosting focus, for example, and then identify simple solutions to try. Afterwards you will have a better idea of what does and does not work for you, and your goals, and you will be able to build healthy habits progressively and with intent.
Fight the Urge to Compare
Comparing yourself to your peers is a natural habit, especially in college when everyone is just learning how to call all the shots in their own lives but understanding at which point comparison becomes toxic for you is important. Prior to college, the lives of you and your peers were likely running parallel, everyone was hitting the same milestones in tandem, and succeeding in unison as well. College is the first time in your life where you are going to notice that not everything moves with a herd mentality anymore. Figuring out to break away from the pack and feel confident in doing so is a great opportunity to build healthy individualistic habits for your life moving forward.
Do not take this transition as a negative, it can be wildly empowering to learn that you no longer have the pressures of having to keep up with your peers in terms of life milestones. In college, for example, you may know someone who thrives on a twelve-credit hour schedule but took sixteen to keep up with a peer and ended up having to drop out or retake several of those credits because their initial choice was not rooted in what is authentic to them. This would be a hard, and expensive lesson to learn, and one that potentially could have been avoided if the urge to compare had been squashed.
Look Out for Yourself
Possibly one of the best habits you can build during your tenure as a college student is one that teaches you how to be your biggest advocate. If you previously had little to no experience advocating for yourself, you will have many opportunities to cultivate that habit now. One reason that this skill is so essential is that even though your personal network of support will all rally for you, they will not be the ones to carry you over the finish line.
For example, your parents and teachers can check up on your assignments and inquire about progress and ask questions to better understand your achievements, but if you personally are not completing the assignments, turning them in, and retaining the materials covered, then you will not find success. College is a great time to develop a process for using outside support to motivate you to push yourself to achieve your ultimate goal.