Why It’s Important to Put Yourself First in College

The Lilypad

I recently wrote an Odyssey article on my battle for self-love, you can read the article here.

It’s important in college not just to love yourself, but also to take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. It’s tough to stay healthy when there’s a million things to do, and to find time for yourself when you’re constantly surrounded by people. I love being around people, but I need alone time too.

Physical health is probably the number one thing to get put aside during school. My body was an absolute mess the first semester- I basically caught every illness that went around. There was one month where I was sick three different times. I was sick about five or six times in all last semester because I never really gave my body the rest it needed. I had an eight a.m. class every morning and wouldn’t go to bed until midnight, which obviously did not allow me enough hours of sleep.

Here’s some tips on staying sane and healthy during the school year.

Go work out a few times a week. I know working out, running, or biking isn’t exactly at the top of everyone’s lists, but staying active is important. Especially when you’re spending a lot of time sitting at your desk or at the library, going to the gym or going outside for a run will feel better than you think. Plus, you’re already paying for facilities like the gym, so you might as well go.

Practice self-love constantly. Staying healthy in college goes a lot farther than staying active and eating well. You have to make sure you’re being nice to yourself mentally. In other words, stop the negative talk. I’ve been a victim of my own mental attacks against myself for years, and I’ve been trying to reverse that. Until you become serious about battling self-hate, it’s going to keep coming back. Self-hate is a vicious circle that everyone can do without.

Don’t beat yourself up too much. Mistakes are going to happen, you’re going to say dumb stuff that you’ll instantly regret, and you’ll forget to turn in homework assignments. Focus on what you can improve on next time, and move on. It’s not worth it to feel guilty or down for hours because of a mess-up. I’m still trying to follow my own advice about not freaking out about this kind of stuff. It’s a work in progress.

Get rid of negative people. If you work/study/hang out with someone who doesn’t treat you how you deserve, then you either need to speak up or leave them behind. Many times it’s better to leave that person behind. Chances are if they’re acting like they don’t have respect for you, then they probably don’t. And no one wants to deal with that.

College is crazy and exciting but it’s important to remember that you come first. Before you can pursue anything with your entire self, you have to make sure you are taken care of.

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