10 Habits That Benefit Your Social, Mental and Emotional Well-being

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It’s no secret that college is stressful. With parties, pimples and excessive amounts of homework, it’s a wonder we’re all still standing at the end of the day. We all have our own methods of relieving stress on a daily basis, but some of these habits can be counterproductive, like a late night binge on a greasy cheeseburger after a long library session or sleeping in instead of going to class. In the moment, that cheeseburger might feel like a small slice of heaven, but in reality it’s exacerbating the problem. Not to say the occasional cheeseburger isn’t OK, but getting into healthier college habits can result in a more productive and enjoyable future. College students expressed healthy habits that they’ve used to beat stress, excel in college and lead better lives.

1. “For some people this might be kind of obvious, but for me it’s a lot easier said than done. I’ve gotten into the habit of turning my phone off in class. I try to always put my phone completely away before class. I’ve noticed my grades are better, and I participate more because I’m less distracted.” — Jordan Schepps, University of Wisconsin ‘17

2. “In college, eating healthy is really underrated. It leads to a healthier future, makes you feel more energized and it’s just beneficial for your body. I think there are simple choices anyone can make to improve their diet, such as choosing an apple as a snack over a bag of chips.” — Spencer Evans, University of Michigan ‘16

3. “If you can afford a night off from the library, go out. Drinking and staying out late might not necessarily be ‘healthy’ life habits, but it relieves stress and gives me incentive to get my work done during the day. In life, I think this helps us learn how to balance work with pleasure.” — Emily Platte, University of Maryland ‘16

4. “As someone who used to procrastinate in high school, I’ve gotten into the habit of better managing my time. I make sure to not only do my homework, but to submit it on time.” — Alexa Goodman, University of Maryland ‘17

5. “Be social. And I don’t mean this as in go out all the time. Be social with your professors, classmates and peers. Engaging with different people, especially professors, is a great way to develop networking skills. It’s great to socialize with friends, but in college I’ve gained a lot from making connections with different types of people.” — Ilana Springer, University of Pennsylvania ‘16

6. “Something a lot of people don’t think about is how they get to class. Getting in the habit of walking instead of driving is amazing because it’s like working out without actually having to work out. It’s great when the weather’s nice and it’s eco-friendly.” — Olivia Hammer, University of Maryland ‘16

7. “Lately, I’ve started going to the gym, and I’ve noticed a huge difference. I know everyone says this, but coming from someone who always used to avoid the gym, I can say it has actually changed the way I feel in so many ways. My body feels better, my work ethic has improved, I’m less stressed and I look better.” — Steven Lee, Vanderbilt University ‘16

8. “Get involved. Being involved with different clubs, campus organizations, Greek Life, etc. is so important. It gives you a chance to figure out your likes and dislikes, and it makes you more of an extrovert in general, which can be beneficial in a million ways, like finding a future job, meeting new people and trying new things.” — Drew Lang, University of Michigan ‘16

9. “A habit I’ve formed over the past couple years that I didn’t always have before college is setting clear priorities. It’s important to have a social life and do different things, but balancing this with schoolwork is also necessary. Sometimes I literally make lists of what my priorities and goals are for each week—this keeps me organized and has taught me to recognize what’s most important.” — Lauren Schapiro, Gettysburg College ‘16

10. “So this might be pretty self-explanatory for some people, but seriously, go to class. Even if the class is a lecture of 150 people and there’s no attendance policy, I’ve gotten in the habit of always going.” — Ashley Irving, University of Maryland ‘17

Kaitlin Nizolek is a University of Maryland senior studying Print Journalism and Sociology. She admits her journalistic inspiration stems from watching Sex and the City in the eighth grade, but even after realizing Carrie Bradshaw’s unrealistic lifestyle, Kaitlin has continued to fuel her passion for writing. When she’s not writing she enjoys working out, re-watching every season of Girls on HBO and making to-do lists. Although a chronic procrastinator and frequent party-goer, she always makes time for schoolwork and secretly loves studying (as long as there’s coffee).

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