Student | Reka Goupil
Moving to university is a big deal. Whether you’re excited to be waving your parents goodbye, or sad to miss home-cooked meals and your dog, I’m sure you’d like to emerge unscathed and mental breakdown free. While taking care of yourself fully for the first time may come naturally to some, I definitely think there is a learning curve.
Here are three super simple things I recommend keeping in mind.
I’m no stranger to the infamous all-nighter. Sometimes it comes to staying up after a night out at the SU, because I’ve come home at five and then had a nine am lecture. Might as well brave it, right? Or I had to stay up late at the library wrapping up an essay I should have gotten around to earlier. Maybe I got too caught up watching a new show on Netflix. Whatever the reason, we’ve all been privy to sleepless nights, self-imposed or not. However, the outcome is always the same. You’ll be cranky, you won’t be able to concentrate the next day, and it’s detrimental to your overall wellbeing. Mentally and physically. Do yourself a favour and go to bed before 11pm a couple times a week. A consistent sleep cycle will do wonders for your mental health and sanity. You’ll thank me later.
I’m not saying you have to be a gym lad to be physically fit. While the Royal Holloway gym is great, it’s not for everyone. There are an abundance of things you can do during the day that will boost your health and get you moving that don’t require lifting weights. Start walking from place to place. I know Uber is enticing but try to swap the car rides for a walk. Not only is being outside great for you, but you’re saving money and being active in the process. You can also join sports societies, and if that’s not your jam, go to Virginia Water Park and walk around the lake. During the summer, they have ice cream vans sporadically placed around the path to keep you going.
Eating (somewhat) healthier
After a long day of lectures, the last thing you want to do is cook for yourself. If you’re anything like I was in first year, there’s a variety of cup noodles adorning your shelf. It’s the easiest thing. It takes five minutes to make. While this is great, and there’s nothing wrong with cup noodles, try to introduce some fresh produce into your meals. Add some veggies to your cup noodle. Spring onion. Invest in an avocado. Maybe a soft-boiled egg. Voilá. You now have a ramen meal that took you less than 15 minutes to make, is still delicious and more nutritionally beneficial. You’ll feel better for it.
Ultimately, the most important thing is to feel good. If you feel good, in your body and your mind, everything falls into place. You don’t have to make radical changes to your lifestyle. Just take small steps to take care of yourself. It’s worth it.