Tips for freshmen college students

Hello! My name is John Terry and I am a graduate of Utah State University. I received my Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree with an Acting emphasis. I am currently attending the University of Nebraska-Kearney working towards my Masters Degree in student affairs, while working as a Graduate Hall Director.

A typical day for me consists of meetings in the morning, meeting with students in the afternoon, advising school organizations in the evening, and attending classes at night. I am constantly working on projects, dealing with students in crises, putting out fires, supervising RAs, attending programs, planning socials, volunteering, attending meetings, doing homework, and preparing presentations. At a first glance it would seem that I hardly ever have time for myself, but between all of the work and responsibility I make sure to take time for me. This is one of the single, most important things that you can do to aid in your success in college.
Taking the time to take care of yourself is what will get you through those long papers, those final exams, and even those never ending group projects. Often I will hear colleagues complain that there is not enough time in the day to get things done, that they have to stay up all night to prepare for an exam, and that they are tired all the time. I used to be that way too, until I learned one crucial skill that has changed my collegiate career forever.
Take care of your physical well-being. That’s it. That is the secret. Take care of your physical well-being. How are you able to focus on your education if the vessel in which takes you from class to class is run down and falling apart? There was a time in my college career where I was so focused on getting things done, that I failed to take care of my body. I gained an extra 30 pounds and it was a huge detriment to me. I was addicted to soda and energy drinks. They were the sole source of energy that would get me through the day. I constantly ate out at fast food places because I didn’t have time to make my own food, and I went to bed really late and woke up really early. Little did I know at the time all of these were slowing down my success in college.
Then one night while sitting on the couch at 2 AM an exercise ad came on the television, and I said to myself “what the heck, let’s try this sucker out.” Upon ordering an exercise DVD, I started to work out five times a week. At first it was difficult, I was sore and I hated it. But as I worked at it, I started to lose weight, and I noticed that my eating habits were improving. Working out resulted in me taking action for what I was eating. I replaced sugary drinks with water, and I started cooking my own food rather than eating out.
As I started to make exercising and eating right a priority, I started noticing that I didn’t need to rely on caffeine to get me through the day. My days did not drag on anymore, but rather I picked up more steam throughout the day and was productive during the hours in which I was so tired that I just needed to nap for a few. I also started to notice that I would go to bed at a decent hour because my homework was complete and there was no need to stay up late. My sleeping routine evened out, and I received eight hours of sleep each night making it easier to focus throughout the day. My performance in class improved. I was prepared for classes ahead of time. I was turning in complete papers a week in advance, group projects were done quicker and presentations were prepared well ahead of time. I started contributing in class, and found time to put the extra effort to make my work complete and done well.
All of these benefits came because I started to take the time to work out for just 45 min. each morning. If you will take the time to focus your well-being, you will start to ace those tests, you will be more positive, your performance will improve, you will change your life, and you just may lose a couple pounds in the process. College is not easy, but if you work to keep your body like a well-oiled machine, it will perform and even surprise you at what will be able to do.

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