BOOM. You turn 20 and all of a sudden it is time to start worrying about your health and making sure that you make the right decisions now so you can live a healthy life in the years to come. It’s crazy how we seem to get ambushed right around that age.
Maybe it has to do with the “freshman 15” and people wanting to make sure that we’re in good shape to take on the rest of our lives? I am not sure… but overtime, I have learned that there are a couple things that really helped me get on track to a healthy lifestyle, or through a “diet” some would say.
So, here are 5 tips to get YOU through a diet:
Throw out the tempting food. Seriously! Get rid of it. And make sure you don’t buy it. You can’t eat junk food if you aren’t around it. This is the #1 key to success. To keep things healthy, get rid of everything else. Yes, unfortunately that means all of the sugary, but oh so good snacks and cereals. I’m sorry… but it works. I promise!
Find a buddy. It is so much easier to eat good and stay on track when you have someone else monitor your success alongside of you. Plus, if you fail, you have to answer to someone else, and that is not fun. So, if you are competitive like me, this works too! Right before I was going to indulge in bad food choices, I remembered that my partner ate healthy for that meal. It always whips me back into shape and on track.
Let yourself cheat every now and again. You are human. You need a cheat meal here and there. Just make sure that you follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time eat healthy, and then the other 20% allow your body to have what it wants.
Walk when you are craving something bad. Thinking of ice cream? Take a small walk and step away from your current environment. Chances are, you were just bored. If you step away and take a short walk and are still thinking about it… eat it! And allow that to be your 20% of “not so good foods”.
Remember that you are human. Don’t beat yourself up after one bad meal. Truly, just jump back on the horse and tackle the next meal with a healthy choice. You have to let your body have the foods it craves every now and then or you won’t be able to stay on track with your healthy lifestyle. You will have to slowly train your body off of the sugars.
You can do anything you set your mind to. These tips helped me and I really hope they can assist you!
We’ve all heard stories (whether from friends, family members, or the media) of people who meet their best friends in college. Sometimes it seems like everyone you know met their lifelong friends in those four years – no pressure, right? Starting college can be scary for a lot of reasons, and one of the big ones is the idea of making friends, especially if you’re going to school far away from your hometown or don’t know anyone else on campus.
Here’s a secret, though: almost everyone you meet is probably also trying to make friends, even if they aren’t in their first year! And as difficult as it can seem, meeting potential friends is actually very easy. Think about it – you’re on campus with, most likely, thousands of other students your age who are also looking to make friends. The odds are definitely in your favor! That said, here are just a few tips to help you meet new people and stay positive while trying to make friends in college:
Join a club. This seems obvious, right? This is very common advice when it comes to meeting new people and making friends, but that’s just because it’s such great advice! Unless you make a habit of joining clubs you aren’t actually interested in, chances are that any new people you meet through a club share at least a few of your interests. This is especially true for clubs or organizations that are related to your degree or career interests!
Meet your neighbors. If you’re living in a dorm or apartment complex with other students, get to know the people living next door to you! While at first it may seem like the only thing you have in common is the building you’re living in, with such a diverse group of students you’re sure to meet at least a few people that have common interests. Maybe your next-door neighbor is in one of your classes and you can share notes and study together, or someone down the hall is in a club you’re interested in joining and you’ll already know at least one person at the first meeting! So hang out in the dorm lounge, leave your door open when you’re hanging out in your room, or be brave and go knock on a few doors and introduce yourself. You’re probably going to be seeing these people a lot, so get to know them!
Get to know your classmates. Whether you like group projects or not, they’re something we all have to deal with in college, and if your professors allow you to pick your own groups then it always helps to know some of your classmates! Even if the class doesn’t involve any group projects, it’s still a good idea to introduce yourself to the people around you, if only to have people you can share notes with and study with for tests. This is especially important in classes for your degree – you’re probably going to have more classes with these students, so get to know them early!
Go to events on campus. It can be easy to fall into a routine of going to class, work, and club meetings and then going back to your dorm or apartment, but you’re probably going to see the same people all the time. Really want to get out there and meet new people? Try shaking up your routine by going to a concert or even just hanging out on campus after class. No matter how small your school is you’re bound to meet at least one person you didn’t know before.
Be patient and keep trying. You probably didn’t have the exact same group of friends all the way through high school – people change and grow apart. And that’s okay! This is important to remember when you’re trying to make friends in college, especially if you aren’t a new student. Just because you don’t think you’ve found your lifelong best friends yet doesn’t mean that it’s true. Friendships take time to grow and don’t just happen overnight. Just keep putting yourself out there!
While many people associate journaling with writing in a diary like many of us did as kids, writing in a journal is actually so much more than that. Despite the stereotype of “dear diary” and teenagers pouring out their hearts in a notebook, journaling is a great practice for anyone to get into, even if you don’t think you need to.
From relieving stress to achieving goals, there are lots of reasons to pick up a pen and start writing. Whether you journal about your daily activities, your hopes for the future, or your worries and feelings, writing down your thoughts has a lot of benefits for your mental health and daily life:
Better understand your thoughts and worries. It can be hard to decide when you’re uncertain of how you’re feeling. This is especially hard in stressful situations. Writing these feelings down on paper is a good way to spend some time with your thoughts and figure out how you’re really feeling. It’s also a way to work through misunderstandings, which can be hard to do in the heat of the moment.
Keep a record of your experiences and growth. Not everyone who keeps a journal wants to write paragraph upon paragraph about what they do each day – there’s certainly no right or wrong way to keep a journal. But writing even a little bit about what you did during the day or how you felt means that in the future you can look back and see how you have changed as a person.
Improve your writing and communication skills. We all know how important it is to have good communication skills, whether it’s in the workplace, in the classroom, or just at home with friends and family. Writing in a journal is a great way to improve your written communication skills through regular practice, even if you don’t write in your journal every day.
Define and pursue goals. Ever noticed that sharing your goals with another person makes you more motivated to achieve them? Not only does this make you more accountable, it also helps you better define what your goals really are. It’s easy to make vague, unclear goals that sound great but are difficult to achieve because they aren’t specific enough. Just like talking about your goals with others, writing about your goals in a journal is a great way to get specific about what you want to achieve and how you plan to do it.
Relieve stress. Just the simple act of putting your problems and worries on paper can go a long way to relieving stress in your life. When we keep all our fears and anxieties and stressors bottled up inside it can be all too easy to let them out in an unhealthy way. Writing these down in the privacy of your journal is a good way to let out your frustrations and worries in a healthy way that allows you to think about them and move past them.
Goal setting is a very important part of starting a new semester, but it’s one that a lot of people often overlook. In the middle of purchasing textbooks and other school supplies, it’s a good idea to take some time to think about what you hope to accomplish during the semester. This includes academic goals, but it doesn’t have to end there – maybe you want to join a new club, work out more often, or even make healthier choices in the dining hall. All of these are great goals to have!
Making new semester goals does take some time and reflection. It’s important to think about any bigger goals you have beyond this semester and how this semester’s goals contribute to them. You should also look back on the previous year/semester and what worked (or didn’t work) for you – what types of goals have you been most successful with in the past, and which have been the most difficult to achieve?
That said, here are some tips for making and achieving your goals for the new semester:
Start smalland be realistic. Big goals are great, but when it comes to working towards those goals things can quickly become overwhelming. We’d all like to be that person who can get up early every single morning to study, and therefore always has assignments done ahead of time, but let’s be real, right? Instead, you could try to pick one or two days a week to get up early and study, and gradually add days over time. You’ll still get a lot more done, but you won’t have the added pressure of trying to do too much at the start.
Know why they’re important. Here’s where it’s important to think about any bigger, long-term goals you have. Setting a goal, like a higher GPA, just because you feel like you should, or because it’s what everyone else is trying to do, won’t make you as motivated to complete it. It’s important to pick goals that mean something to you, such as wanting a higher GPA when you apply for graduate school, or even just for personal satisfaction. Understanding your own goals and why they’re important to you can help you figure out the steps to accomplishing them and also help you stay motivated when you’re struggling.
Be specific. We all want to “earn good grades” and “eat healthier,” but those types of goals often don’t work because they aren’t specific enough. What is a good grade? How do we decide when we’re eating “healthier” without being specific? It’s so important to be specific with goals – wanting to maintain a certain GPA, for example, or committing to eating so many servings of vegetables each day. These are easier goals to measure and complete. Taking the time to define what success looks like for your goal is so helpful!
Make a plan. Just like our professors are always reminding us to make an outline for our essays before we write them, it’s important to jot down the main steps you intend to take in order to achieve your goal. Whether that’s studying a certain number of hours each weekend to get the grade you want, meeting with your professors so many times during the semester to fully understand the material, or setting your alarm to make sure you get up in time to go to the gym, take some time to figure out a game plan and your goals will be much easier to achieve.
Be flexible. While it’s great to start the semester with specific goals and plans in mind, things happen and sometimes we need to make changes. It’s okay to cut back to going to the gym two days a week instead of three if you find that you’re struggling to stay on top of your schoolwork, for example. Don’t be worried about setting your alarm an hour later than you planned to get up to study if you aren’t getting enough sleep. Achieving your goals are important, but so is taking care of yourself, so don’t be afraid to change your plans if you need to.
Goal-setting can be a very important and rewarding part of any semester!
We all love having time away from school, whether it’s summer vacation or winter break, so when it comes time to start a new semester, we often find ourselves unprepared to go back to a school routine. Fall semester especially can be difficult after spending several months away from your Dallas campus, classes, and studying. Trying to adapt and get back in the swing of things at the beginning of the semester can affect your schoolwork, so it’s important to be prepared before classes start.
Read the syllabi. There is so much helpful information in your syllabi, so take the time to read them when your professors make them available! Not only do they outline all the due dates for the semester (super important for staying organized!), they usually contain the professor’s contact information. And if you have any reading or assignments to do before the first class, your syllabus will have that information as well, so you won’t get behind before the semester even starts.
Get organized. Buying a planner is a good place to start so you can write down all those due dates you got from your syllabi. This is especially helpful for seeing which weeks will be really busy and which will be calmer, so you can plan your time and studying accordingly. Aside from a planner, don’t forget to stock up on any other school supplies you may need like notebooks, pens, or binders – you don’t want to find out on the first day of class that you don’t have any working pens!
Order your textbooks. While we aren’t always ready to start studying again, many professors hit the ground running at the beginning of the semester with lots of reading. You don’t want to get behind in the first weeks just because you don’t have your textbooks yet! If you don’t want to order until you know that you need them, make a plan for how you’re going to get the readings done – sharing a textbook with a friend or making a few extra trips to the library are easy ways to make sure you stay on top of the work while also not buying textbooks you won’t need. Don’t forget to ask friends who have had your professor before if they used the textbooks in that class.
Get back on a schedule. Even if you have a summer job or internship it’s easy to associate time away from school with staying up too late and sleeping in. Getting up early to go to class is hard, so try preparing for it by setting your alarm a little earlier each day so that when classes start, you’re ready to go! Those first few weeks will be so much easier if you’re on a schedule and are getting enough sleep.
Think about logistics. While you almost certainly know where you’re living and who you’re living with for the coming year, have you stopped to think about things like food and transportation? If you’re living farther from campus, it’s good to think about how you’re going to get to class each day, whether that’s walking, biking, or catching a ride with a friend (to name just a few ways). If you’re living in a dorm and plan to eat all your meals in the dining halls, you may not need to think as much about grocery shopping. However, if you’re going to do any cooking for yourself it’s an important thing to consider, especially if you’re living with roommates who also plan to cook.
These are just a few ways you can plan ahead and be more prepared and organized when the new semester starts!
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