Going off to college is a big life step that never comes without its fair share of worries. Leaving the comfortable life you’re used to being and starting something new leaves many students wondering how they are supposed to remain happy in what may appear to be impending chaos. Here are seven steps to remaining positive when you set out on your college career.
1. Keep in touch
Whenever life throws something new your way, it’s important to keep connected with your past. In many cases, family can act as a familiar anchor when college comes around and everything seems new and different. Make a point to keep in contact with friends and family from home. This is a good way to remind yourself where you come from and rest assured that you’re well loved, even if life seems more complicated than it once did.
2. Stay healthy
It’s easy to turn to food as a comfort aid to avoid the chaos. Instead of combining forces with junk food in college, make a point of setting a healthy diet for yourself and maintaining a regular exercise program. Exercising regularly will not only help maintain your overall health, but it will keep you in prime condition for the long hours of class studying that lie ahead.
3. Be a social butterfly
College is an academic undertaking, but it’s also an opportunity to meet people and become a part of new, exciting social circles. Take some risks when it comes to joining campus groups and organizations. You may surprise yourself with the friends and acquaintances you acquire rather quickly. Expanding your social reach will also make the adjustment to your new life easier as you’ll have lots of new people to explore, discuss and laugh with.
4. Take creative classes
It may be hard initially for some students to make the transition from high school classroom to college classroom without feeling some growing pains. Stay happy in your academic goals by incorporating creative classes into your schedule when there’s time. An art class as an elective may be the break you need to keep your spirits high in a schedule that otherwise hosts an array of science, math and other mandatory requirements.
5. Explore your new city
Whether you stay close to home or move far away, college is a time for you to get out and explore new places and see the world from a different point of view. Make time in a busy schedule to go out and try a restaurant you’ve never heard of or see a site that’s brand new. These mini adventures give you something to look forward to and can be great bonding experiences with new friends and classmates.
6. Set goals
Happiness is often associated with achieving goals, and college is a good time to begin making long-term plans. Sit down and decide what exactly you hope to achieve during your time at school, and make a plan as to how you will accomplish that. Whether it’s academic, social or emotional, making goals will help you focus and maintain a positive outlook on all of your experiences.
7. Determine a calming location
When college life gets hectic, it’s important to have a calm place you can call your own. Make it a priority to determine an escape route for those moments when life gets heavy. Whether it’s a corner of the library, a small coffee shop or a bench at the park, it’s important to have a place to clear your mind and bring happiness back into focus.