By Julia Vergara | Staff Writer
College is an incredibly busy and stressful stage of life. There are so many different things that are considered crucial to having a successful college life that it’s easy to lose track of what is truly important –– your health and well-being.
In college, many students resort to giving up the essential elements of a healthy life, such as sleep and a healthy eating schedule, in exchange for additional time to study or socialize. While staying up and skipping a meal seems like an easy solution to free up time for the “important” things, it’s also a quick way to burn yourself out.
Coming into Baylor, my idea of a successful college experience was maintaining a great GPA, forming friendships and becoming actively involved in the campus through clubs and organizations. Unfortunately, I failed to take into account the fact that sleep and exercise and three meals a day are actually a part of the experience too. For the first few months, it was OK. I would just grab a quick snack instead of sitting down to eat lunch so I could really focus and finish an assignment faster. I would just drink coffee so that I could stay up and get the maximum amount of study time for that upcoming test. However, little actions such as these can quickly turn into habits, and all of the sudden you have a completely new lifestyle — an extremely unhealthy new lifestyle.
If you catch yourself falling into unhealthy habits, you need to put an end to them before they become your lifestyle. I know you’ve probably heard it close to a million times –– get eight hours of sleep, exercise three times a week and eat three meals a day. I’m not trying to give any expert advice on how to be healthy, but staying in good health needs to be a part of everyone’s idea of a successful college experience.
Neglecting your well-being will do more harm than good. Failing to get the necessary amount of sleep and the necessary food to keep your body running will not just hurt you physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. These are things that your body needs to keep you running and working the way you are supposed to.
I know it can be difficult to manage time with all of the responsibilities that come with being a college student, but health has to be one of the most important, if not the most important, responsibility. By taking care of yourself first, everything else will get easier and better. Receiving a sufficient amount of sleep each night and eating properly can, and will, improve your college life. You will be able to stay awake during class, you will be able to focus on your assignments and you will have the energy to get through the day.
Even though it may be a challenge to add “stay healthy” to your long list of responsibilities, it needs to be there. Make your health a priority, take care of yourself first and then you can allow everything else to fall into place.