A new semester can be a perfect time for students to reflect, reset and re-evaluate in preparation for upcoming classes. Implementing good habits early on in the year can help students be more successful and productive for the weeks to come. Start the semester right with these easy, healthy habits in order to feel refreshed for the beginning of classes.
Get better sleep
It’s no secret that college students are often very sleep deprived. From staying up all night watching Netflix to cramming for an exam, sleep is often forgotten as an important part of human function.
Sleep works to repair the body as well as the mind. Getting the proper amount of sleep is an important factor for student success. For young adults between the ages of 18-25, the recommended amount of sleep is seven-nine hours, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
Starting homework or studying early in the day and putting sleep higher on the list of priorities can help students ensure they receive the right amount of sleep.
Exercise and healthy eating
College students are notorious for eating mass amounts of junk food and lacking exercise. Binging on salt-covered chips or sugar-coated candies may taste great in the moment, but in the long run, eating more fruits and vegetables can help students perform better in class.
“Research has shown that students are able to learn better when they’re well nourished, and eating healthy meals has been linked to higher grades, better memory and alertness and faster information processing,” an article on the importance of eating healthy for students stated.
Along with healthy eating, exercise is an important activity for students to adopt into their daily lives. Living an active lifestyle can improve mental health, concentration and physical health. Simply stretching and performing light exercises, such as yoga or walking in the morning after waking up, starts the day off right and can be invigorating.
“As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity everyday,” according to Mayo Clinic.
Walking to class, enrolling in one of UAA’s recreation courses or taking advantage of UAA’s Seawolf Sports Complex gym can help students reach the recommended 30 minutes of daily exercise. Some recreation courses available to students include zumba, pilates, cycling, yoga and weight training. The Seawolf Sports Complex houses a basketball court, swimming pool, ice rink and fitness rooms. The complex is open Monday-Friday from 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 8 a.m.-9 p.m.
Positivity and optimism are key parts of stress management. Surrounding yourself with positive people, being open to humor, following a healthy lifestyle and practicing positive self-talk are ways negative thinking can turn into positive thinking, according to Mayo Clinic.
“Give yourself permission to smile or laugh, especially during difficult times. Seek humor in everyday happenings. When you can laugh at life, you feel less stressed,” according to Mayo Clinic.
People who implement a positive attitude into their lives develop coping skills for stress, have lower rates of depression and overall have a better psychological well being, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Manage your time
For many students, procrastination acts as their biggest obstacle for performing well in classes. It’s easy to push off doing homework or studying in lieu of more fun and engaging activities. This mindset, however, usually leads to missed deadlines, pulling all-nighters and elevated stress. Learning to manage time well and resisting the urge to procrastinate, in the long run, is the most beneficial option and leaves more time for students to relax when all their work is completed.
Making a schedule for homework and studying can help students make sure work is completed on time. Including breaks and rewards after completing a task sets a positive goal driving students to complete their work. Joining a study group or doing homework with friends can further encourage getting work done.
UAA students who are struggling with time management, study skills or note taking can take advantage of the Academic Coaching Center located in the Sally Monserud Hall, room 114, during its hours of Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.