The fun of college life will be lost on you if you do nothing but wander aimlessly, wide-eyed at all the decisions your parents suddenly can’t make for you. Being in charge of yourself is a full-time job. It’s time to learn to be your own mom (minus the denim, ankle-length skirts)—and these tips should get you off to a great start.
Showering, deodorizing and teeth-brushing is healthy for your skin, teeth and friendships. Just do unto others. Would you want to sit next to someone who smells like leftover Taco Bell, or someone who has a clean T-shirt and looks like they’ve slept sometime in the last century?
For many students, college is the first time they are “in charge” of their own meals, so to speak—they are the ones deciding to go to the dining hall or to microwave pizza bagels. Be conscious about some substantial vegetable and fruit intake each day, as well as a healthy moderating of your fat intake. If possible, try to eat on a regular schedule.
No matter the hour you decide to get sleep, just make sure you get it. You’ll study better, feel better and look better. You won’t get sick as often. Your grades will thank you, and it will make the occasional—though not ideal—8 a.m. class a bit easier to drag yourself to.
The Doctor Is Your Friend
Most campuses have free or almost-free clinics for sick students. Go. Don’t be reckless with your health. Remember, illnesses spread like wildfire in close quarters, so listen to your body. When it’s asking you for help—i.e., it’s continuously expelling last night’s dining hall tofu or it’s itching all over—give it some help!
Hanging with the Right People
There’s no formula for people you should and shouldn’t hang out with. But there are a few things you should consider: Do they make you feel bad about yourself? Do they teach you something about God? Do you do nothing but gossip about other people together? Is your friendship based solely on you doing favors for them or vice versa? Does loving them mean investing in them, or keeping your distance?
Make the Most of Your Money
Don’t waste the incredible amount you (or your parents) are paying for you to be there. Remember loans have to be paid back one day—something it’s easy not to think about while in school. If you need help navigating all of your options, ask for it! Respecting money also means watching your everyday spending. You don’t need everything you want.
It will help to make some key decisions beforehand. Will you make the decision not to drunk until you’re 21? Will you have the courage to abstain from sex with someone you’re not married to? Decide now. Will you cheat on an exam when it becomes really easy to do it? Decide now. Don’t wait until the opportunity arises. It will be much harder then.