How to Guarantee Mental Stability During Your Freshman Year
The first year of college is one of the most difficult ones for many students. It is a time of complete change in lifestyle, from living situation to education and work. Change can be a beautiful yet scary thing. A new community, environment, struggles, and relationships can be overwhelming.
All of that can be challenging in terms of mental health and well-being. According to Higher Education Today, since 1985, there has been a significant decline in students’ mental and physical health. So, it is important to take preventive action from day one. Here is how one can guarantee mental stability during the freshmen year.
First of all, it is important to be organized with studying. College curriculum and academic overload are prominent reasons for stress and anxiety among students. If not treated right, it can pile up into a mess that will negatively affect all other parts of life.
Start with preparing all the necessary resources beforehand. It includes all the devices you need to study effectively. Organize a separate place for doing homework that aligns with your working style (quiet/noisy, secluded/public, etc.). And gather all online resources that will help you prepare for classes, tests, or writing papers.
Those are open scientific databases, blogs with tips, and platforms like paper writing service WritePaper.com that offer expert advice on academic writing and individual assistance for students. You never know what you might need one day, so create a file with all essential resources or add them to browser bookmarks. Do that so that you know where to find them.
For many students, it is the first time they are solely responsible for their time and schedule. Although this new freedom is exciting, it is essential to stay on track. Here are the main tips for effective time management.
- Create a calendar with all deadlines, to-do lists, and notifications. Set notifications to start working on college homework at least a week before the due date.
- Adhere to the convenient routine to minimize force-majeure situations.
- Break up big tasks into small ones and do them one at a time.
- Always have breaks: at least 10 minutes rest for every hour of work.
- Plan your time with the inclusion of relaxation, chores, or social events.
- Consider using a time management app.
The secret of productivity is to be realistic with your goals and time. There is only so much you can do in a day, so do not set tasks you cannot achieve in a specific period.
One of the internal stressors is the expectations we set for ourselves. Or those can be set by others. It is crucial to be realistic about that too.
Set goals for a semester and the whole year. Goals help keep internal motivation strong. But be mindful of those goals and where they come from. They have to be achievable. And when you set a goal, also consider the ways to get there.
Do not set perfectionists expectations. Everyone makes mistakes, forgets something, and can get a bad grade. It is completely normal, and it is just a part of life. It is ok to fail, but it is not ok to let this define you.
Connection with others helps humans stay happy and mentally well. Of course, it goes to meaningful and nice connections. But even a nice little conversation with a lovely lady at the groceries can boost one’s mood for a day.
Make sure you are not isolating yourself from others:
- keep in touch with old friends;
- talk to family members;
- meet people outside the classroom and go together for a coffee, for instance;
- join college clubs, communities, or extracurricular groups to meet like-minded people;
- be friendly with roommates and neighbors.
Surround yourself with people you can always talk to. Even if they are only available online, it is still a great plus.
If you need professional advice, look into a college counseling program or talk to your professors about assignments or exams.
Psychical and mental states are directly connected and influence each other. Therefore, for overall well-being, one has to care for both mind and body.
That’s why freshmen students need to establish a healthy lifestyle. It includes the following.
- Regular exercises. One can do them at home with the help of apps or YouTube tutorials. It is also good to exercise at the college gym when possible. Or simply go for a run, walk, or choose a bicycle instead of commuting.
- Set routine tasks that you can easily accomplish. The feeling of accomplishment is incredibly helpful for the mind.
- Keep proper nutrition on point. Make sure you eat enough healthy foods. Try to keep with the balance of carbs, fats, and protein.
- Avoid drinking or smoking. Or at least be reasonable with it. Alcohol is a depressant, so one should consume it wisely.
- Sleep 8 hours a day. It is impossible to overestimate the influence of healthy sleep habits on brain functioning. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same hours every day.
- Go outside regularly.
And do not forget to do something that brings you joy as well. It can be anything from a hobby to watching a favorite movie or TV show. So, make sure you have time for that in your weekly schedule.
Another big concern for young adults is managing finances. If you haven’t been responsible for your budget before, it is easy to get overwhelmed with it.
It is time to learn budgeting fundamentals. One can download a budgeting app like Mint or keep all the records themselves. You need to know exactly how much money you have, what you have to pay for, and what disbursements are unnecessary.
Learn about available deals for students, from transport to events. Research all possible scholarships and aids you can apply to. Remember that students can and should apply to them every year of college.
Last but not least, be aware of your spending habits.
When it comes to mental health, it is better to always stay alert. Whether you had some concerns before college or not, you need to be aware of your state and ready to act on it.
If you are on medication, make sure you can get it refilled. Also, note the places where you can get help.
When you feel the first symptoms of academic burnout, anxiety, or depression, take action immediately. Talk to friends, seek professional assistance, and do not wait until it goes away.
A good idea would be to try meditation or breathing practices to ground yourself in moments of stress.
Mental health is a valid concern for all students, especially freshmen. The first year of college can be very stressful as all the routines change drastically. However, it doesn’t have to be terrible. One needs to keep track of things, be organized, and be realistic about every aspect of their life. Take care of your mind and body, establish healthy habits, and create a supportive circle of friends.
In case you experience serious symptoms of anxiety or depression, reach out to professionals for consultation and immediate help.