The Healthy Student

By Features Editor
03/04/2015
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Juggling college academics, extracurricular obligations, work, dating, friends and fun can be both mentally and physically taxing. With that in mind, Ashley Singh, a senior at Georgian Court University, has compiled her top 10 dos and don'ts of college.

 

Do...

  1. ...know that every professor is different. No matter how much your school cares about its students, there may be that one professor who will push you to see how you handle it. Each professor has a different teaching style and, most importantly, grades differently. You must learn to adapt.
  2. ...remember that in college, you have to teach yourself. From math to science to art, you have to figure out how you learn best.
  3. ...know when to ask for help. If you find that you keep failing the quizzes, then it’s time to seek out Student Support Services or email your professor and set up an appointment for extra help.
  4. ...remember to be yourself; it will always be enough.
  5. ...your best and forget the rest.
  6. ...have fun!

Don't...

  1. ...hole up in your dorm. You’re gonna have a good time if you try out a couple of extracurricular clubs or go to a party every now and then. Even if you don’t like the club or the party is lame, there’s always something else around the corner.
  2. ...squander your time partying 24/7 (see: MTV’s College Life). I’m not at all saying that you shouldn’t have a good time; just know when to rein it in.
  3. ...expect that guy you met at the kegger last night to call you the next day—or at all. Ladies, just because he’s hot and you chatted him up and you made out a little…ok, a lot…and you gave him your number, it doesn’t mean he’s going to use it. All I’m saying is don’t have too high of an expectation for him to call.
  4. ...forget that you are not alone. From drama to depression, anxiety over midterms to a family crisis, there is always somebody who will listen—it might even be that professor who keeps nagging you!

Debbie Mandel, M.A. is a stress-management specialist, radio show host, mind/body lecturer, creator of the educational website Turn on Your Inner Light, and the author of three books, including Addicted to Stress (Wiley and Sons). Here she explains how you can reduce stress in school by turning bad habits on their head.

You feel frantically frazzled by schoolwork and extracurricular activities, which makes you highly motivated to achieve greater balance in your life. But where do you begin? Overcoming a bad habit can be daunting. However, there is a way to silence your negative coach and make small easy changes at the same time: your bad habits might actually have a lot of good in them! This is derived from Zen philosophy, which holds that everything bad has something good in it. The solution is to simply focus on the good aspect(s) of your bad habit instead of the negative; note there is good stress and bad stress. Accentuate and strengthen the good within the bad.

Let’s look at some typical bad habits to see how to accentuate the positive:

  • Messiness: You are creative in your chaos. You know where things are and have an associative mind as opposed to a sequential mind. Delight in your creativity. When you feel like focusing on one aspect of your creativity, clean out the clutter. My desk tends to have various piles of works-in-progress related to my writing, radio show and website, as well as reading material, but I’m multi-faceted, so it makes sense. When I have completed a task, or want to move on to other things or simply to feel good, I organize and clean out my desk. 
  • Tardiness: You get immersed in a project, work or fun. You know how to carve out time for yourself to reclaim your stolen moments. The goal in stress management is to shed that enormous to-do list. Your lateness means that you were not concerned about doing for others, but were self-involved and totally present in what you were doing. When it is important to you, you will be on time!
  • ADD: This is a popular diagnosis nowadays for adults having trouble focusing. Adult ADD—not the serious clinical kind, but the buzzword—means that you are a scanner and are good at so many things. You need to try things, experiment with them and move on until you find what makes your heart sing.
  • Perfectionism: You have integrity and really care, especially when so many people do their work carelessly. You take pride in what you do. The danger of perfectionism is when you do it to impress others or need all their compliments. However, when you are perfectionist for your own personal sense of accomplishment, that’s great!
  • Procrastination: You like to collect your energy and your thoughts, letting them percolate. You function best with a deadline. The pressure gives you an adrenaline surge that activates you emotionally and physically. Acute stress is good for you and helps you to wake up and perform better. When you meet your deadline, you decompress and actually raise your stress threshold for the next time.
  • Overeating: You love food and see it as a blessing. You are not at war with your food. Therefore you need to focus on eating quality food like fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and complex carbohydrates. Enjoy delicious fresh food as opposed to processed food. Eat healthy foods for your body temple.

Now that you see how profoundly good your bad habits may be, tweak them and make small changes that don’t even feel like change. You don’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water, do you?

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