As human beings, we are creatures of routine – and unfortunately, the bad habits are the easiest to create. The semester is still young, but many have already derailed their motivational train off of the tracks on which they had set out. This journalist, for one, certainly finds herself buying breakfast and ice cappuccinos more often than intended. So let us take a step back to reflect on the past month; what do you wish you would’ve done less? Procrastinating, skipping workouts, running late…? Many of these boil down to a lack of preparation. No worries, though; it happens to the best of us, especially during adaptation periods (i.e. first semester of cegep). Here are some ideas to get you in tip-top shape as midterms lurk just around the corner:
Use your agenda, even if you don’t like the VCSA one, you still need something to keep track of deadlines and test dates – and the old-fashion pen and paper helps in visualizing your workload and schedule (so you’ll know when you can afford to squeeze in a power-nap at the library).
Still on the concept of writing things down (digital or not), harness the power of ‘to-do’ lists. Set yourself manageable homework goals for each night/week by breaking down assignments into parts. It feels good to scratch out an item on a to-do list – you’ll feel much more motivated if you split a larger number of questions into smaller groups, and tackle those bit by bit.
Speaking of ‘to-do’ lists… is your workout on yours? Set aside time for physical activity, even if it’s a simple half-hour walk. Exercise clears a person’s mind, and increases concentration and other cognitive functions. Partners can hold each other accountable, so bonus points if you involve a friend in your workout.
Even if you’re a lone wolf at the gym, try to make time for social/extracurricular activities. Join a club, a committee, or perhaps an intramural sports team – time spent with friends is beneficial to mental health – even if you’re just chatting in Jake’s Mall during lunch. And remember, meal prep is your friend; it saves your bank account from the tragedy that is cafeteria prices, while helping your waistline combat that ‘freshman fifteen’.
There are so many ways to make student life less stressful, and more enriching. What strategies will you apply…?
Written By: Katherine Willcocks, Vanier Alumnus