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Eat, Study, Sleep: 10 Tips for Staying Sane As a Full-Time Student

Feb 17, 2011

For many students, college life means piles of stress unlike any faced before. Classes, dorms, social obligations: to say it's overwhelming can seem like an understatement. Here are some tips that can help you stay sane as a full-time college student.

1. Eat Well

Eating well while taking a full course load can be especially tough for individuals strapped for time and on a budget, but it's not impossible. Make sure to keep healthy snacks on hand to prevent a late-night vending machine binge. Get fresh fruit and vegetables at the grocery store to keep in your dorm fridge. If the dining hall offers healthy food choices, consider purchasing a meal plan. Be sure to drink enough water throughout the day and refrain from drinking too much alcohol.

2. Get Plenty of Sleep

Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. Adequate sleep helps keep the stress of college at bay. Lack of sleep may affect your concentration and memory which could result in poor grades. To promote a restful sleep, make sure your bedroom is dark and cool. Keep your room quiet by turning off your cell phone at night.

3. Budget Your Time

Classes, homework, extracurricular activities: there's never any shortage of things to do on campus. Keeping a written or digital schedule of your week makes it a lot easier to know where you need to be and what you should be working on at any given time. Planning your day and knowing your schedule leads to less unexpected surprises that could ruin your day.

4. Budget Your Money

Most college students live on a tight budget. It's important to know how to make your money count! Find restaurants you like that provide good deals, find a place close to campus that sells the cheapest supplies, refrain from that daily latte at the coffee shop - it all adds up!

money budgeting

5. Take Breaks

It's absolutely crucial to take time away from your obligations. Keep some books, DVDs or video games handy for just such an occasion, or just go take a walk. Make sure to have at least an hour each day to yourself.

6. Surround Yourself with Friends

Friends are an essential part of the college experience. Associate with those who share similar interests; they can provide assistance in your classes or extracurricular activities. More importantly, they give you an outlet for relaxation after a long day.

7. Find a Quiet Place to Go

It's really important to have a tranquil place for studying or relaxing. For many, libraries provide such solace. Certain businesses, like some coffee shops, may also suffice. Your quiet place could even be your own room. It's especially helpful if you can turn off your cell phone and ignore the Internet for a few minutes. As useful as modern connectivity is, sometimes it only leads to more stress.

quiet tranquil businessman

8. Join Intramural Sports or Extracurricular Clubs

Many campuses have huge networks of sports, clubs and other programs designed to cater to student interests. Join a team, become part of a comedy troupe or just find people who like to play the same games as you - your college can probably help you out with that! Extracurricular activities provide a great way to release stress and meet like-minded individuals, and it probably won't cost you a dime.

9. Enjoy the Challenge

It's true: university life tends to heap on difficulties. But a positive attitude goes a long way. If you embrace these obstacles and choose to see them as a positive chance for growth, you'll probably feel a lot better about your time in college.

10. Don't Freak Out

Keeping calm is the most important thing you can do as a full-time student. It's all about perspective. Remember that no matter how bad things may seem to get, there's always a tomorrow - it's not the end of the world.


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