The ‘real’ college life
You have probably heard a lot about campus life and what college is going to be like. You may have heard about the parties, the intense studying, the all-night food fests, etc. It is important to keep in mind that this is not an accurate representation of college. College is so much more, and it is important to keep a balance of your academics, your friends and your well-being. Seeking this balanced lifestyle here at Washington University is not only possible, it is made a lot easier with the help of campus resources.
I am a senior, and I have finally realized that sleep is a wonderful thing. In my first year, I never got enough sleep. I thought I’d be missing something if I went to bed before 4:00 a.m. I thought I needed to “pull an all-nighter” to do my best on exams. Instead, I have learned that you don’t miss much if you go to bed earlier-just lots of people watching “Dazed and Confused” over and over or playing video games and getting more and more sleep-deprived.
I have learned that you can’t win with “all-nighters.” I could barely stay awake during my tests or remember anything useful. Lately I have been getting close to 8 hours of sleep a night, and I feel energized during the day. My brain actually functions in class. You’d be smart to get good sleep and be ready for studying and socializing the next day. Cornerstone is a great resource for time-management and study skills; you can contact them at 935-7998.
There are some big tests and papers looming in your future, but don’t let them stress you out. If you start to get stressed, one thing that helps me a lot is exercise. I am not training for a marathon, or the world’s strongest man competition, but just a 30 minute run and a little bit of weight lifting does it for me. When you first get here, you may be studying a lot, and your free time will be spent socializing and hanging out. It may seem like you don’t have any time during the day to work out, but I can pretty much guarantee that you can find the one hour it takes to work out and shower.
With at least 16 waking hours of the day, taking one out isn’t going to cut into your socializing or your studying. In fact, it will probably relax you and make you less sluggish. Exercising is very accessible at the University, as there are many options on campus. For more info, contact Director of Fitness Martha Tillman at 935-5023.
Undoubtedly you have heard the words, “make sure you don’t just eat junk at school.” My freshman year, I ate almost nothing but chicken fingers, completely ignorant of the fact that the combination of fried chicken and honey mustard sauce was not giving me the balanced diet that my mom had hoped for. Since then, I have been experimenting with eating fruit, salads, sandwiches, grilled chicken, pasta, etc. Now, I eat a variety of foods and keep the chicken fingers to a minimum, and I am feeling much better. All of the above food options and many more are readily available on campus. A friend of mine had some more serious nutrition concerns and sought help from Connie Diekman, the director of University nutrition. She is a wonderful resource who can provide assistance to students with a wide range of questions. Connie can be contacted at 935-4996.
The University gives its students a lot of freedom. The alcohol policy treats students like adults and expects them to behave as such. Not everyone at the University drinks, and those that choose to usually do so responsibly. Once you get to campus you will be in charge of your own behavior, but remember that with drinking comes responsibility. Know your limits. It isn’t fun to be sick. More importantly, be respectful to people around you. Respect for yourself and others is imperative to maintaining the safe environment that is so important to our community.
Hopefully I have touched on some of the issues that you will encounter here at college. You have options, and there are people here to help, so don’t be afraid to use them. Student Health and Counseling Services, Health Promotion and Wellness, your RA, and other staff members and students want to help you during this transition. Sometimes it is difficult to balance everything in your first year at college, but just remember to take a deep breath, don’t be afraid to seek help, and enjoy your time here.
Matt is a senior in Arts & Sciences, and he is a summer intern in the Office of Health Promotion & Welness. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]
Popularity: 1% [?]