Don’t Just Exist At College, Live!

By Mikkie Mills

Attend classes, take detailed notes, write papers, study hard, and pass exams. Doesn’t it feel like you are cramming information into your head every second of every day? Though you may enjoy your curriculum, your coursework can feel demanding and overwhelming. College is like a beautifully decorated hallway, and at the end is a doorway to a fulfilling life with an awesome career. But sometimes you find yourself drowning in and consumed by the length of the hallway, unable to appreciate the walk you are taking and the decor around you.

While college requires a great deal of your time, commitment, and attention, you do not have to put your life on hold. You matter, and it is important to not let this amazing time of your life be replaced with memories of books and caffeine!

Tip 1: Don’t forget about yourself.

You want to please your professors, your significant other, your family, and your friends. But what about you? Selfishness and egotism do not need to be ingredients of a satisfying life, but you cannot put yourself on the back burner because you think other aspects of your life are more important. Take the time every day to appreciate who you are and what you stand for.

Tip 2: Strive for a positive environment.

Stress and other negative factors in life suck and are often unavoidable. Have you ever noticed when a happy person walks into a group, you suddenly feel happy too? Positivity is contagious. Surrounding yourself with negative people and negative influences can bring you down. In this state, the complex flavors of life are dulled and uninspiring. Keeping your environment positive and healthy can help you enjoy every bit of your experiences.

Tip 3: Get off your chair and go outside!

No, this isn’t an excuse to put down the books! But think about it: you spend a lot of your time indoors under fake sunlight and a thick ceiling. By confining yourself indoors, you may forget that there is a huge world out there. You don’t have to travel around the globe to take a breath of fresh air! Go outside, take a walk, and notice the little things that nature has to offer. A leaf floating in the wind or a bright green blade of grass growing in a cement crack might make you appreciate how precious life is.

Tip 4: ‘member relaxing? Perhaps you should take up this hobby once again!

Unfortunately we can’t go back to the time where we could come home to video games and mom’s freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. If it takes us hitting the store to grab a carton of cookies and us putting aside a couple hours for a game or two, maybe its worth the effort! We get so wrapped up in working hard and giving other people attention that we forget to give ourselves a break. Whether you take a long bubble bath or go see a movie, allow yourself to relax and unwind from life’s obligations.

Tip 5: Treat your body well.

Parents aren’t there to tell us to take a shower or come to the kitchen for dinner. We have to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps like adults! Guess what? It is actually fairly fun too! Exercise releases chemicals that can make us happy and feel accomplished. Savory, healthy, lean meals not only fuels our bodies, but it can teach us to find enjoyment and pleasure in the things we once overlooked. If we take care of ourselves, we are in a better state of mind and can truly open ourselves up to the satisfactions of life.

There is no reason why you have to close yourself off from the world just because you are in college. Though your focus may be directed towards classes and your chosen field of study, you shouldn’t let academics smother you! Your life is too important to let it pass you by, so relish every moment! You deserve to be happy!

Mikkie is a freelance writer from Chicago. She has a passion for advanced learning, reading, and health and fitness. She is also a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on education, learning, health, fitness and yoga. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing the little ones around or can be found at the local climbing gym or doing yoga.

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