Perspective on School: Navigating College Life and Prioritizing Mental and Physical Health
Going to college has been a very fun experience and the way that I have made lots of friends and created amazing memories. However, going to college can be very stressful and there may be times when you don’t prioritize your mental and physical health.
I started college in the fall of 2019, my school was in person. Commuting to and from school was about a 30 minute drive each way. Since I was new to college I wasn't sure what to expect. I quickly learned just how many unaccounted fees there were and how much had been added to my workload. That led to me feeling immensely stressed in my new environment. I did not cope well with these times. I would forget to eat which meant that I had lost weight and did not think anything of it until I started to not feel good about myself. Then I wasn’t eating enough and because of that I didn't have a lot of energy. My self-esteem declined and I didn't have the energy to do things that I enjoyed. Before college I had a routine of doing pilates which I had not done since I started college because I did not know how to balance my time. I was not sure how I was going to be able to balance school and prioritize my mental health and physical health.
Fast forward a few months, we had the COVID -19 shut down. My school moved online and I was stuck at home 24/7. While being at home, I realized I had tons of free time. I no longer had to work and my school had moved online, which meant my classes had become asynchronous and I did not have to commute. With my extra time, I decided to work on myself and my mental health. This moment was pivotal to my life because I started getting back to the things I enjoyed. I was able to do pilates everyday and meditate. I had set goals for myself such as learning how to do a headstand and maintaining my balance for an extended period of time. Accomplishing goals and meditation helped me with my stresses. This led me back to my healthy self. I became more intune with my emotions, instead of putting my feelings on the back burner. I was able to identify times when I felt stressed or maybe even when I was feeling unproductive. Instead of pushing those feelings aside, I would think of ways to relieve my stress.
Several months later the COVID -19 restrictions were lifted and everything went semi back to normal. I went back to work and school in person. My busy schedule resumed but this time I handled it differently. I had the tools to manage my time better from my first semester. Instead of solely focusing on only work and school, I knew how good I felt when I managed my time better. So now, I always find time for myself to do pilates, swim, or meditate or set a small goal. That feeling of accomplishment is what helps me continue to strive for success and keeps my mind healthy.
I believe that finding a routine with something you enjoy, like a hobby, will help relieve your stress and keep you feeling your best. Prioritizing your mental and physical health can help bring you closer to your goals and dreams!