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How To Go Through College And Stay Sane

How To Go Through College And Stay Sane

College can be a hard time. It’s when you are coming of age, preparing yourself to lead a life that is independent, unique, and challenging. I know how stressful these times are, and they are indeed very tough and very demanding. However, it does not have to be all black and white, and there are shades in between, as these struggles make all of us stronger.

Here is a list to help both you and me to stay sane, especially during times of distress and upheaval. College doesn’t have to be all that bad. Let us see what we can do to feel more in control.

1. Stay organized

Arrange your books in a way that goes by the day you need them. You won’t have class every day; you might have a class that meets an hour on Monday and Wednesday, or one that meets Tuesday only. If you don’t need a book that day, leave it at home, and don’t bring undue stress to yourself.

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2. Eat your meals

Eat your meals. Some college students can’t squeeze in time to eat. This is a no. You need your energy to stay focused and do your work. Others just skip for reasons unknown. The main point is to eat.

3. Never stay up late

You need sleep to function. After a few days you don’t sleep, you will be less attentive, and you will be distracted in class. You may catch yourself having less physical energy and indigestion. Don’t hurt yourself! Go to sleep to wake up feeling refreshed and charged to tackle the morning.

4. Don’t forget to shower

Shower. College students are so deprived of sleep and eating that they don’t even have time to shower. Remember to squeeze in time to keep your body clean. The more you keep yourself healthy – the better your body and mind will perform. A hot shower can release oxytocin, which is a feel-good hormone.

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5. Don’t go to class wearing clothes you’d wear at home

Many students go to class, and don’t change their clothes. You can see them in their pajamas, and that is just not right. You want to be professional and be taken seriously. This forms a habit. When you change your clothes, you’ll feel better and confidently stand in class.

6. It’s not all about class

Class is a medium through which you learn. You have the opportunity to learn material on your own too. If you feel down, you can view the professor’s posts online and catch up. Don’t fear. There are other things to do in life as well, and if things come up, it isn’t the end of the world. You can pass and even get an A. It’s pretty normal to see students skipping once in a while.

Don’t do it often because you still want to grasp the material. Don’t make this a habit, as you then might just stop going, and that is never a good thing. You are paying, so don’t waste your money and time. You can learn and enjoy!

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7. Be proud of all your accomplishments

Whatever grade you get, be proud of your hard work. Sometimes we won’t get that A we hoped for, or that B. You might get a C, but know that it’s college, and this is not an easy feat. It’s hard to get grades higher than a C – college level is C, so that means you are doing your work efficiently. If you find that you are slacking in a class, you always have the option to withdraw, or buck up and try harder to boost your grade.

Your grade is at your disposal, meaning you have it, and can access it any given time. You see where you stand and where improvements can happen.

Stress can be overwhelming. I’m one to talk. I talk but stress all the time. I get anxious at the smallest things. However, as I’m growing older, I am learning that stress isn’t good. It makes us less productive. So, let it settle, and do the best you can in college (and in life for that matter).

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Featured photo credit: Jeremy Bishop via unsplash.com

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Ramanpreet Kaur

Currently a student but don't know what direction to go in: Let us see if writing gets me anywhere :)

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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