We have all heard the saying, “It takes 21 days to form a habit.” So through my own experiences and the advice of fellow college students, I came up with ten easy habits students should start doing to become better motivated, healthy, and successful during this semester and years to come.
1) Make a daily priority list
A great way to stay motivated and organized is by creating a checklist of things that need to be completed each day. This is something I do to keep track of all of the daily tasks of college life. The more tasks completed and checked off, the more motivated and rewarded you will feel.
2) Don't wait for the “right time”
Opportunities come and go faster than college students can keep track. A mental habit to pick up is to always seek out possibilities and not to wait or “settle” for less. For most, college is just four short years. It’s important to take advantage of opportunities now as it could improve your life in the long run.
This habit can be difficult simply because of bad timing and its inconvenience. Exercise is very important and affects so much more than your health on just a physical level. Working out will improve your mood and give you the energy to get work done. The Dixon center is open most weeknights until 11pm to accommodate student schedules. This can be a difficult habit to get into but once it's a habit, it proves to be very beneficial.
4) Don't compare yourself to others
This is another difficult habit to adopt, but its effects are equally rewarding. Although we are all at the same college and sometimes taking similar classes, every student is unique and going through different situations. The only thing that should be compared is yourself right now versus the person you want to be.
5) Ask for Help
Get into the habit of asking your professors for help when needed. This is a great way to learn to interact with adults and improve your academic knowledge. Keep in mind that if you are confused, chances are other students in your class are confused as well. The habit of asking for help will not only help you but others who are struggling as well.
6) Think before you spend
How many times have you impulsively spent money on snacks, clothing, or fun things you made not need? Make a habit to think before you spend and ask yourself if the item is really worth it or could the money be saved for something you really want or need. College is full of unexpected purchases, make sure you budget well and save up to play it safe.
7) Don’t procrastinate
Not procrastinating as a college student is easier said than done, but not putting your work off until the very last minute will save you from stress, lack of sleep, and most likely save your grades. Use the daily priority list as a way to keep yourself from getting buried in assignments and remain on track with your busy college life.
8) Drink water as soon as you wake up
Keep a cup of water next to your bed for if you wake up in the middle of the night and to rejuvenate yourself before starting each day. Drinking water is a small and simple habit that will make a big difference in your life.
9) Keep a balanced sleep schedule
Having a balanced sleep schedule doesn't have to mean going to bed at the same early time and getting a full seven hours. Your sleep schedule should be in balance with your class schedule. If you have an early class, go to bed at an early time. If your first class doesn't start until 3:00, treat yourself to staying up late the night before.
10) Work smarter not harder
It is important to make a habit out of practicing productive study skills. Habits such as spacing your studying out over time, testing yourself, and alternating where you study are all examples of how to learn efficiently. It is better to learn these skills now before you waste hours of working on assignments or studying but perform poorly.
Whether all of these habits apply to your college life or only a few, I hope they serve as an inspiration to take the time to switch up your daily routine and work towards a better overall well being. As previously said, college is only four years long, so what is 21 days if they mean taking a few small steps towards a balanced and successful path?