“What does it take to be a happy student (except for a strong liver)? Here’s what graduates wished to tell their younger versions of themselves. Absorb the wisdom while it’s free, dude!”
Being a student can be a lot of fun. This, sometimes, is ignored by those who are only focused on receiving higher education. No, rumors don’t lie ‒ tons of crazy parties, ventures, sleepless nights, and interesting people are indeed waiting for you in the dorm.
Yet, traps and pitfalls should also be expected…
What are the worst enemies of a happy student, and what should one do to graduate university without grey hair? We’ve asked 5 adults about their young years, and specifically, what they wished they were aware of before entering a footloose life of an undergraduate. Here are their various responses, which we have to show to the martyrs of today.
1. “You should sleep and exercise”
Homework, studying, busy schedules ‒ these are the legends of the students’ non-academic lives that go far beyond the campus walls. Stereotypes tell us that a normal undergraduate is a creature with a constant sleep deficiency, who eats tons of unhealthy food, and gets drips of physical exercise only when he leaves his lair to get even more unhealthy food.
The description is also apt for zombies and mummies. Draw your own conclusions.
“I never thought my lifestyle affected my brain so much. After a sleepless night, my concentration, attention, and speed of thought decreased drastically, and the only clear thought I had was a desire to sleep uninterrupted for a week.
After a couple of weeks of such a routine, I could hardly cope with basic tasks like shopping and reading ‒ not to mention that I had skipped half of my classes.
Something had to be done, and immediately. I started with the adjustment of my schedule ‒ tried to stay awake during the day and fell asleep as soon as the clock chimed 9 PM. Soon as I mastered this routine, I decided to start hitting the gym.
These probably were the most difficult three weeks of my student’s life ‒ I constantly felt fatigued and couldn’t function properly. But soon enough, my biorhythms stabilized, and I started to feel alright. The one thing I wanted to tell my young self was “get yourself together and care for your health.” Luckily, it didn’t take long before I discovered this simple rule by myself.” ‒ Daniel, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
2. Friends and connections are important
It’s great if you can call yourself a diligent student. Yet, you shouldn’t forget about your close ones even when deadlines breathe down your neck. Casual communications not only boost your social skills but also allow you to build extensive networks.
“During my education time, I rarely visited any other places except for the library and teaching block. Soon, I started to feel the effects of a lack of communication and it was shocking to discover that I had no one to talk to, except for my parents.
Moreover, my excessive passion towards the classes earned me the reputation of an unsociable crummer, which was far from the truth. So, I reviewed my priorities and started going out ‒ without compromising my education, of course.
“Lectures shouldn’t take 100% of your time, Annie kiddo” ‒ that’s what I would say to myself. But, unfortunately, time is irreversible. I just wish that someone would have told me this during my first years in college.” ‒ Ann, Creighton University.
3. The more you work, the less you manage
Many first-year students feel like they should work day and night in order to succeed in classes, which is not possible for obvious reasons. In addition to that, such an eagerness has an adverse effect on your progress.
“I couldn’t brag about my grades in school, so I decided to make up for the lost time in university. The first spot I visited on the campus was a library where I took every single book that revolved around my major and immediately started to examine them.
Should I say that the information I gathered, without practice, left my head on-the-fly? Moreover, the overabundance of different facts and topics lead to the jumble in my head.
I stopped, and my academic progress grew in a magical way. Overzealousness can lead the mind to chaos, kids. Calm down and go through the required materials small bits at a time is the best advice anyone will give you.” ‒ Carl, California Institute of Technology
4. Asking for help is OK
Sm students characterize the first few university years as “unbearable.” Indeed, the contrast between your high school and a college educational establishment might be too much to handle for freshmen. This is why seeking help from outside is not only understandable but also essential for your mental and physical well-being.
“…I felt hopeless every time I saw all the extent of the materials I had to handle. More than 10 subjects at a time ‒ is that a joke? And the more I procrastinated while being unable to start, the more jobs piled up. It was natural that, by the end of the semester, I doubted I had a chance to stay.
The solution came unexpectedly ‒ just my will willing to change the situation. Somewhere I’ve found a service that helps you write academic works (in case you’d need it too). I didn’t like the idea at first, but when the deadlines approached, I decided to give it a try ‒ and I certainly don’t regret it now.
The semester was finished, I was ready for a summer, which I also used as an opportunity to analyze my used-to-be сritical situation, and draw the right conclusions. Still, without essay writing services, I highly doubt I could have gotten away so easily.” ‒ Mary, Ohio State University.
5. Mental health is top priority
Your life path consists of ups and downs that interchange unpredictably. Still, it’s important to remember that you’re a living human being with emotion. Always remember that studying is the process of developing the correct path to the problem’s solution by making hundreds of wrong decisions ‒ but finding the right way nevertheless.
“I couldn’t understand the subject ‒ like, at all. But what really made me angry was my slowness: while my group mates finished everything and had time to party, I spent days & nights studying topics, and still couldn’t keep up with them.
This “auto-aggression,” as I’ve called it, soon caused serious psychological problems I would like not to mention. Aside from the complications in education, the relatively spare time I had was spent in self-castigation.
My old friend made me visit a behavioral therapist, which turned out to be the best solution possible. I learned to accept my limitations, and the educational process went on smoothly. Now, I am sharing this lesson with you and maybe for someone else, it would come in handy.” ‒ Adam, University of Connecticut.
6. It’s worth it
Higher education is your ticket to a prestigious occupation and a high-quality life. If you’ve managed to pass acceptance tests, then you automatically become cooler than 90% of all the US population ‒ such a status is worth the effort.
The bottom line of the article is the great importance of your well-being ‒ either we talk about a prosperous future that your degree promises or about your actual mental and physical health. Of course, higher education is complicated and challenges all your talents and knowledge constantly, but what is life without competition?
If you’ve learned something useful from this article, share your delight in the comment section. Or, if you feel the need to share your experience, you can contribute to our society in the same section below.