Student life has many ups and downs, you meet lots of new people and soon realise just how appalling your cooking ‘skills’ really are. But not to worry, here are some ways you can make being a student a walk in the metaphorical park:
a) Eat Right, Eat Regularly
I made the mistake or trying to save money by reducing my weekly grocery shop and as a result became damn near skeletal. In other words please do not starve yourself to save money. It really isn’t smart, sure you have that extra cash to splurge at the weekends with your friends but what’s the point when you have headaches and grumbling stomachs for the rest of the time? Your grades will suffer, in fact, your overall lifestyle will. If you do find money is tight see b)
b) Saving money
If you want to save money, do it the safe way. One great way is through making your own lunch to bring with you as oppose to buying it out of cafes, restaurants or food trucks during the week. Relatively inexpensive, nutritious and filling recipes can be found easily enough online, some go to websites of mine are:
BBC Good Food
Online sites catered to students for tips on budgeting and offering discounts can be found too. Some I used were:
Money Saving Expert
a) Join a club
Even if you feel like sitting in your room watching cooking shows all day, you will most likely find more enjoyment going for a walk with your course mate than watching Gordon Ramsay almost get food poisoning (okay maybe not). To be honest, I didn’t go out enough in my first year at college and my mood dropped a lot, it’s only when I started going to the pub or the park with my peers that I soon realised that sometimes you have to do what’s uncomfortable for it to pay off. Sure it was easier being socially awkward and sitting in my room but was it doing me good in the long run? Definitely not. Not everyone’s idea of fun is going out to get absolutely wasted at nightclubs and this is fine. But instead of just sitting at home why not invite people round for a games night, have a movie night at someone’s or a bake off? Low cost, lots of people – high reward.
b) Do some volunteering in the local area
There’s always someone’s granny who needs their dog walked or garden de-weeding, right? Doing something for the local community not only benefits them but also you too. I’ve heard of certain organisations that kill two birds with one stone in that you have to jog from place to place to help the local community. Do good and feel good, sounds like a plan.
College/University is a time when you will probably meet more people in that time frame than ever again in your life. As great as this is, it’s also important to not forget about ‘you’.
a) Pamper yourself
Maybe do this once a week. Perhaps treat yourself to a lunch where you eat out, that isn’t your usual ham and cheese roll each Friday. That way you have it to look forward to at the end of the week. Why not slap on a hair and face mask that evening too? Hard study needs rewarding, wouldn’t you agree?
b) Speak to a counsellor or your doctor
If you do ever feel that college life is getting too much at times, do not bottle this in. Admitting you are struggling is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength. Strength in that you are hopeful in finding a way to overcome the pressures you may feel you are facing. I wasn’t enjoying my course at university and found it very helpful to speak to a counsellor once a fortnight to get it off my chest.
Each of us having different coping mechanisms to stress, and feeling stressed at some stage of education is normal, it means you care. But don’t let pressure build up, it’s only detrimental to you then. Seek help if you need it.
c) Spend time on your own
I don’t mean all day mind you, but sometimes just going to a coffee shop and reading The Wind in The Willows is just what you need to keep those cortisol levels down. Whether it’s going to the gym or taking a walk in the park, if you need your own space then don’t feel bad about it. It doesn’t mean you’re unsocial or selfish if anything it allows you to clear your head, put your best foot forward and infact be the best version of yourself towards those around you.
I almost forgot about this one, easily done when you have a hair mask to put on, friends to meet tomorrow evening and an innocent kitten to rescue from a tree.
Obviously the main reason you pay thousands in cash each year is for a piece of paper at the end of it saying that you aren’t just a pretty face. Keep this in mind, procrastination is one thing but don’t make it a permanent thing. If you’re struggling with your degree be it for the level of difficulty or lack of interest you may have in it then voice this and get help. College isn’t for everyone, think wisely about your career goals and how college fits into this. On the other hand if you do enjoy the course and are working hard at it then don’t forget to reward yourself every once in a while. It’s easy to become too hard on ourselves, setting high goals does not mean we have to set hard punishments on ourselves. Perhaps try the carrot before the stick.
Being a student enriches your life in many more ways than simply knowing why the sky is blue or why we yawn, it offers a plethora of memories to take with you in your future. But the key thing is, if you are a student now. live in the present and look after yourself.
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