Throughout your time at college you will discover many things about yourself. Along your path of self enlightenment, you will also learn exactly what your body needs and when it needs it. My junior year, I finally figured a few things out that I would like to share in hopes that others will figure these things out sooner.
- Know when your body needs a nap.
When entering college I had heard of the college nap phenomenon. I’m sure it can be statistically shown that college kids take more naps than any other age group. This is partly because most of our sleeping schedules are extremely disrupted but also sometimes just because we can. When I first came to Christopher Newport, I used naps as a reward. If everything on my extensive to-do list was done (including a clean room and all my homework) I would allow myself to take a glorious nap. Let me tell you friends: this is totally the wrong nap philosophy. Naps should be used and respected when you need them, not as a reward and not as part of procrastination. I take a nap when my body tells me I need to. If I am attempting to do homework and just can’t seem to stay focused or get the hang of it or my eyes keep drooping while I’m reading, I know I need a nap. I pack up, excuse myself from the library, retreat to my haven of a bed and sleep for at least 30 minutes. After I wake up, I feel refreshed, focused and ready to go. Let your body tell you when to nap and don’t fight it.
2. You deserve those French fries.
You don’t deserve them all the time or every day – but, sometimes your body needs some French fries. Gaining weight in college is extremely likely and will probably happen to you. I’m not trying to scare you, I’m being real with you. In college you’re not sleeping regularly, you stay up at unnatural hours and you often don’t eat exactly as you should. I’m not saying you are going to turn into a balloon, but your jeans might get a little tighter. Some days you just really, really, really want those French fries. Eat them. Don’t regret eating them. They were delicious. You had a hard day, those fries needed you as much as you needed them. So take care of yourself, eat healthy and don’t punish yourself for splurging every once in a while.
3. If you get sick, don’t forget to ask for help.
The first time you ever get sick at school is the absolute worst because it’s the first time you are sick without mom. You feel awful and very alone. Even though you are surrounded by people, without your mom there to take care of you everything seems much more stressful and complicated. All of a sudden you have to go get your own medicine, make your own soup, buy your own tissues and attempt to still keep up with all your school work. When you get sick, you need to know how to ask for help. It may seem like you against the world, but you have friends, roommates and other comrades who will be more than happy to help you get better. That’s one of the things that is so magical about college. You might not have mom, but you have a different army of support that is more than willing to run errands and make sure you have everything you need. Don’t be afraid to ask people for help. This also includes your psychological state! College is hard, so if you ever start to have feelings or thoughts that you have never felt which begin to affect your life negatively, you can always ask for help. You’re not weak; it’s a sign of strength to ask for what you need.
Long story short: college is difficult. It takes time to get used to. As you fall into routines, remember to pay close attention to what your body needs. Take care of yourself, and college will be the best thing you have ever experienced!