Healthy Routines to Set Before College
Good news: you can start forming healthy habits right now to carry you through what may be the busiest four years of your life.
Creating healthy habits has become even harder in the age of COVID. Many of the weekly rituals that help us to work hard and rest well seem to be stripped away from us. There’s good news and there’s bad news though. The bad news, you will not succeed at an academically rigorous college without forming good habits. The good news, you can start forming healthy habits to carry you through what may be the busiest four years of your life right now.
- Create a work-rest schedule – Before college, I had this notion that my life would be over the moment that I started using a schedule. I’ve found just the opposite. Every Sunday, I sit down for 15 minutes to get a general idea of when I’ll be working, studying, and resting throughout the week. Not setting aside rest or social time during the week is a red flag. When the weekend comes, you can devote a whole day (sometimes even two) to resting, enjoying time with your friends, and recharging your energy, emotional capacity, and creativity.
- Make time for Personal Projects – Adapting to rigorous classes, new friend groups, and all of the responsibilities of becoming an adult is not easy and it takes time – so be patient with yourself. Don’t let your classes or internships consume your identity. If you enjoy photography, make sure to set aside time to go on walks and take photos of your favorite places. If you like reading, find consistent times (maybe your commute to school!) to open up your favorite book. No matter what it is, prioritize the personal projects that make you feel most alive.
- Learn to say no – Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and making time for personal projects means that you’ll have to say no to someone or something (not once or twice, but on a regular basis). Whether that means setting time limits on an app that takes a lot of your time or not signing up for a student organization that your friend wants you to join, saying no is making space for your own personal growth and empowering you to be there for your family/friends when they need you most. As finite beings, we are all prone to burnout when we offer more than we can give, so it is important to learn to say no so that you can give your absolute best to the people and projects that you say yes to.
- Prioritize spiritual disciplines – If you are a Christian and find habits like reading your Bible, praying, and attending church difficult, the challenge of keeping these habits is magnified in busy seasons like college. Instead of saying no, say yes to quality time with God. This may look like having a daily Bible reading plan (I love this app from The Bible Project!), having a friend as a prayer partner, or volunteering once or twice a month.
I hope these are a helpful start to creating healthy routines. I’m in the middle of my junior year at The King’s College and it has been a learning process to find good rhythms of rest, but I can tell you confidently that it will transform the way that you work and enable you to make the most out of your time at college.
*The King’s College will be closed from Monday, December 21st through Tuesday, January 5th for the holiday season.*
// Photo by THE 5TH //