Tips from Campus Wellness for leading a better-balanced lifestyle
As the days get cooler and August comes to an end, going back to school begins to creep into the minds of many. Whether you’re a student, staff or faculty member, a new term can be stressful, but it can also be a fresh start with many new opportunities. Incorporate these helpful habits to make the most of the year both academically and personally.
Take care of yourself
Being a student isn’t always easy and sometimes, amongst a long to-do list, you may find yourself compromising your wellness. The most important thing you can do for both your academic and personal success is to take care of yourself. Getting enough rest (eight-hours a night), eating right, exercising, spending time with friends and drinking enough water are all great ways to look after yourself. Resources on campus can also help you navigate these areas, including:
- Getting active on campus with Waterloo Athletics
- Chatting with a peer at UW MATES
- Discussing your nutrition or food-related health concerns with Nutrition Services at Campus Wellness
- Walk-in (for urgent concerns) or book an appointment at Health Services if you have questions or concerns about your health
- Learning about self-care tips on the Campus Wellness blog
- Taking some time to de-stress and meet others through clubs on campus or volunteering in the community
- Familiarizing yourself with the Committee on Student Mental Health (CoSMH) and their initiatives (INSERT VIDEO)
This semester, start preparing for deadlines and tests earlier. Creating a daily schedule to complement your class schedule will also add structure and a routine to your days. Maximize your time by using breaks between classes to review content. Learn how to make time for review sessions to heighten retention and learning with the Curve of Forgetting concept.
The Student Success Office also offers Study Skills workshops that cover topics like 'Trouble Shooting your Time Management' to learn how to manage deadlines and 'Get this Term Started' for planning your semester.
To help you stay focused, set some short-term and long-term goals at the start of the semester. Along with these goals, add one to two points about how you will achieve each goal. For example, if your goal is to achieve a certain grade in a course, you can plan to study that course material for an hour each day and to ask your professor for help when needed.
Know your resources
Everyone needs help sometimes and knowing where to go for help ahead of time is a great place to start. Check out these undergraduate student resources for academic and student life help, along with wellness services being offered on and off campus. There are also plenty of graduate student resources available.
Get your finances in order
Being proactive about your finances (e.g., tuition or monthly expenses) will save a lot of stress down the line. If managed early, your financial situation doesn’t have to be a burden in the middle of the semester. If you are unsure of what options are available for getting your fees paid, reach out to Student Financial Services.
Be sure to make use of your professor’s office hours. Getting to know your professor earlier in the semester will make approaching them about course content, assignments or other academic questions easier.
Purchase your course books and textbooks
Whether it’s because of uncertainty or avoiding long lines, many students wait until the first day of classes to determine what materials are needed for the term. Delaying this purchase can potentially put you behind in a course before it’s even started. Check out My Book Look to find out what materials your professors recommend purchasing.
Start an accomplishment journal
An accomplishment journal records day-to-day accomplishments to help you gain motivation and confidence. When you look at all the tasks you’ve already completed, it gives you drive to move forward while reminding you of how far you’ve come. Pair that with a to-do list and you’re well on your way.