Unhealthy habits can easily develop in college, and many times, they’re almost seen as a given, a rite, or something that is an inevitable part of college life. Perhaps you’ve even dealt with it in high school; hearing how little someone slept last night and comparing your own two hours, skipping breakfast, signing up for way too many extracurriculars, and overall, completely draining yourself. For many of us, this comes easy, and we’re used to these habits, to the point where it doesn’t seem like there’s anything wrong with it. However, these habits can actually prove to be detrimental, especially in the long-run. Once you have to adhere to your own schedule that you set in college, keeping up these bad habits can cause even more harm.
Sleep, and All-Nighters
As the flow of classes inevitably picks up and students begin to feel overwhelmed, these habits can begin to form. You start off studying late and end up going too far into the night, and you have an early class in the morning. What can you do, besides getting only a couple hours of sleep and doing the same thing again tomorrow? After you enter the cycle, it’s hard to get out, and all-nighters can become normal. Despite how much you tell yourself that it’s your way of studying, all-nighters can have multiple negative effects. Not only do they leave you groggy in the morning, but they have that existential feel to them – being alone, studying, while others around you sleep. Frustration and anxiety can creep in, and your mind doesn’t perform at its best when told to cram, especially with these other factors. And speaking from experience, it really isn’t too productive and is more stressful instead.
Maybe you’re one of those people who skips breakfast and instead snacks throughout the day. There have been many studies performed on the benefits of eating breakfast. A good breakfast can really help power you throughout the day, especially if you have to be up and early. Understanding that these habits will be better for you in the long run instead of using them as an “I haven’t eaten and am still functioning well” as conversation topics are definitely one of the most helpful things you can learn while in college. The advantage of healthy and balanced meals is increased energy and a healthier lifestyle in the long run. You’ll find that you have more stamina to get through your day while also positively affecting other aspects of your life, such as sleep, studies, and friendships.
This is definitely something to do in moderation, but leave time out for recreation, and simple things that make you happy. Life is not all about academics or extracurriculars or jobs (as much as it may seem like) and having time that you genuinely enjoy doing something is crucial for a healthy life as a student. Don’t make the mistake of signing up for more than you can handle, especially since much of academia this year is taking place online. “Zoom fatigue” is very real, and remember to get out and sit away from your studies for a while, whether that’s spending time with family, friends, or just by yourself. Many students find that a day out can bring them back more energized for the week that lies ahead, so don’t underestimate the power of rest and recreation – it really is crucial.
As schools reopen and students settle back into their academic lives, try not to fall into unhealthy peer pressure and remember to put your health first. You can’t study effectively if you don’t feel at your best, so having good habits is especially important for students.