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Akers: Keep your health in mind this semester

Kelly Sikkema // Unsplash

College can be a lot sometimes. It’s rewarding but equally challenging. This is why it’s crucial to make sure you’re at the top of your game during the semester.

You’ll be surprised to see how much monitoring your mental and physical health can enhance your college experience and change your life. It’s easy to forget to put your own well-being first, but starting the semester off with some good habits will make all the difference.

You should make sure you’re getting plenty of rest before classes. Don’t feel guilty for prioritizing your sleep instead of staying up until 3 a.m. to study for that exam. You’ll thank yourself when you aren’t dozing off during class. Plus, you may even find yourself performing better with some extra rest.

With that being said, don’t become dependent on caffeine. As a religious coffee drinker myself, I know how hard it is to not run to the nearest Starbucks before class. Although caffeine may serve as a temporary fix for sleepiness, it can become addictive and bring negative consequences to your overall health, including increased anxiety, digestive issues and headaches. While it’s okay from time to time, be sure to monitor your caffeine intake. 

You’ll also want to find healthy ways to manage stress and anxiety. This effort can look different for everyone, but having a safe place or activity where you can just escape life for a bit is essential for college survival. Your safe place may be a fun hobby, listening to music, watching Netflix, playing games or just talking with friends. Play around with different things and start working those into your schedule. 

Make sure you’re eating enough and giving your body what it needs. We all know it can be hard to maintain a perfectly balanced diet as a college student, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. Just make sure that you’re eating enough during the day and try to add some fruits and veggies to your meals. Vitamin supplements are also a great way to add some nutrients to your diet.

Also, try to exercise when you can. You don’t need to hit the gym every day, but it can be good to get a little exercise in when the opportunity arises. You may want to rent an on-campus bike and take a sightseeing ride, or you could count those long walks to class as part of your exercise.

Whatever works best for you is great, but remember that exercising not only helps to enhance your physical well-being but also your mental health. It can help relieve stress and lift your mood while distracting you from negative thoughts. A little every day can go a long way.

Your mental and physical health really do go hand-in-hand. It’s hard to study and perform well on assignments when your brain is clouded with anxious thoughts and negativity. However, it’s also difficult when you’re physically exhausted and not feeling your best. No one is perfect, and we’re all going to have off days, but these habits could be what you need to bring your college experience to the next level.

So, remember to prioritize your health this semester and don’t hesitate to get help if needed. Make appointments with your healthcare providers and reach out to professionals if you have any questions or concerns when it comes to your health.

There are many resources available to students through Clemson University, including the Redfern Health Center, which can be reached at (864)-656-2233, and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), which can be found on its website

Madison Akers is a senior communication major from Easley, South Carolina. Madison can be reached at [email protected].

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Madison Akers
Madison Akers, Asst. Opinion Editor
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