college · real life · school

5 Healthy Habits to Start This Semester Off Right

You’re totally going to rock this semester!🤘🏼 


I’m a senior in college and it took me a while to figure out how to organize my busy schedule. Meetings, exams, social life, group projects, it can be pretty overwhelming. Especially at the beginning of the year, when teachers go over all of their syllabi, and talk about projects due in November, and how the midterm is 40% of your entire grade, and how all of the horror stories you’ve heard about their classes are true.

But it’s okay. It is absolutely do-able. I have survived and, I promise, you will too.

I am a firm believer in being an active participant in my own life. I don’t like being passive and waiting for life to happen to me, I like to be the master of my own outcome. I have learned how to succeed as a student {and as a human} by making mistakes but trying again. And now, I would like to pass on this knowledge to you. I want you to succeed. I know that you can. 🎉

And what better way to take control of your life than at the beginning of a new chapter – like this new semester! These are the 5 healthy habits to starting a semester off right that I have learned as a student. These tips were written with a focus on schoolgoers, but honestly, they can help anyone who has a schedule to manage. Feel free to enjoy and implement, friends!

1. Prioritize. You may have already heard of this analogy, but it’s one of my favorite things ever. It really put life into perspective for me freshmen year. In life, there are three main categories: school/work, social life, and sleep. It is not possible for us to have all three things and do them all well. We have to pick two. I suggest never sacrificing sleep. If there’s one week that you can’t get good grades and see your friends and get enough sleep, I 100% suggest sacrificing your social life. It’s only for a short amount of time and, trust me, your friends will understand. You can even schedule a date after the stressful time to meet up with them so that the time doesn’t feel as eternal. 

2. Keep up with sleep, healthy eating, and exercise. It affects your whole life, guys. Once I accepted that I deserve to take care of myself just as much as I care for others, it was a total game changer. It makes balance so much more achievable!
Sleep. Keep in mind how much sleep you need in order to be fully awake and focused. For me it’s 7-9 hours. That means that I try to never get less than 7 hours of sleep, no matter how busy I am. If my brain isn’t working at peak performance, it makes it a whole lot harder to succeed.
Healthy eating. This deserves a longer description, but to put it simply, the majority of our meals should be fruits and vegetables with a healthy protein and whole grains. My go-to snacks are usually some kind of fruit or vegetable with organic peanut butter {apple, banana, celery}, or peanut butter crackers. Both of those are easy on-the-go options!
Exercise. Any way you can get your heart rate up is good exercise. And good exercise helps declutter the mind. It doesn’t have to be anything stereotypical, just find find what works for you. If nothing else, I find it helpful to do activities throughout the day like picking up the pace on my way to class, riding my bike somewhere, or taking a few laps around the neighborhood.

3. Set Goals. Prioritize them. Think about your goals for the next three months to a year. Write them all down, and then prioritize them. Categorize these goals into primary, secondary, and long-term. {{Sub-tip: Writing down long-term goals is helpful because it reminds us what we’re working so hard for!}} After you’ve categorized, ask yourself how you will accomplish these goals. Figure out which goals require daily, weekly, and monthly attention. 

4. Organize your schedule. I love planners, people. I am a HUGE planner advocate. They create such order and make busy lives feel much more manageable. The first thing I do at the beginning of each semester is put all of the important dates from my syllabi into the monthly calendars of my planner. Each week, make a to-do list and schedule everything out. With that being said, I am constantly learning how important flexibility is in life. So, while planning is a good, helpful thing, it’s also good to leave wiggle room and be open to fluctuations in schedule {a lesson that the Good Lord is still teaching me!}.

5. Never underestimate the power of downtime. Whether that’s watching a movie with your friends, Netflixing alone with your cat, browsing the local bookstore, lifting with your bros, whatever. Anything that makes you feel relaxed and content. Do that. Schedule it. Put it in your planner. Allow yourself to decompress in whatever way you need. It could be 20 minutes, an hour, a weekend, anything. If you’re crazy busy and think you can’t decompress because life is too hectic, that’s incorrect, you 100% can. You can take 15 minutes to do something relaxing, even if that something is just staring at your ceiling fan. You are not selfish for giving yourself some YOU time. Because in reality, if you yourself don’t feel joyful and peaceful, how can you spread joy and peace? 

Be a nice human. Remind your best friend why you love him/her. Send your dad a text. Tell the cashier that you love her makeup. Being a nice human and spreading love will fill your life with joy, I promise. It’ll help you see life through a more positive, upbeat lens. It will also make you like yourself more, and liking yourself more will make you want to do more things. Therefore motivating you. Therefore, filling your life with purpose. Ugh spread the love, people. Feel. 👏🏼 The. 👏🏼 Joy. 👏🏼

I hope these tips are beneficial to you whether you’re in high school, college, or working. And I hope you know that you are awesome and you can do hard things! You are an exquisite person with a life full of purpose! YOU GOT THIS! Just remember that you deserve to take care of yourself. Take care of yourself so that you can be joyful, and then spread that joy. You are a loved human, and you can choose to be an active participant in your own life.

What healthy habits do you find helpful in starting off the semester right? Got any  questions? Let’s chat in the comments below!

Toodlepip, friends!

“Be kinder to yourself. And then let your kindness flood the world.”
-Pema Chödrön-

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