’Tis the season for New Year’s resolutions, and as students look to start a new term we have put together a few suggestions to really make it count. Whether you’re at school or university, healthy habits and good planning can help you enjoy and benefit from every moment.
Enjoy the process
Grades are important, but university is about absorbing the information, not just passing exams. With that in mind, resolve to enjoy the process – the reading, the debates, listening to your peers, the discussions and exploring beyond the curriculum.
Plan for work and play
Whereas school might have focused heavily on grades, university is about a balance between work and life. Lots of learning is done in the classroom but even more is done outside of it, but academically and in terms of how you manage everything from your social life to your rent and your reading list. They’re life skills to take from uni and into the world beyond… you might want to invest in a diary.
Practice healthy habits
Our physical health has a direct impact on our mental health as well as our ability to concentrate and perform well academically. Eating well isn’t always easy on a student budget but you can look to make healthier choices. Drink a little less alcohol, batch cook easy healthy options like soups and stews, and walk wherever you can instead of hopping on public transport. Little changes can make a big difference.
Learn from your friends
All that time you’re spending with those amazing, interesting people at university – put it to extra good use by engaging in a debate around topics you’re studying and adjacent topics. You never know what you will learn or what other perspectives you will be able to tap into.
Does anyone ever get enough sleep? Students are known for playing hard as well as working hard, but make sure you get some rest as well. Sleep is essential for cognitive function, and especially for learning. Dr. Matthew Walker, a sleep scientist at the University of California has said:
“We’ve learned that sleep before learning helps prepare your brain for initial formation of memories … and then, sleep after learning is essential to help save and cement that new information into the architecture of the brain, meaning that you’re less likely to forget it.”
Don’t put things off
In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” Procrastination is an art form that most of us master as students, but it doesn’t get us anywhere. While it’s easy to say and harder to do, try to adopt an approach to studying and coursework that helps you stay on top of things instead of pulling a series of all-nighters at the last minute. It will lead to better learning, better grades and it will be far, far better for your mental health.