The busy life of a college student can sometimes never stop going. It’s easy to get bogged down and stressed out because of how full your plate may be with classes, extracurriculars, job(s), and still trying to find time to spend with your friends, family, or yourself.

By the time you get to the end of your senior year, you start to think about all of the things that you couldn’t do because of how busy you were. Here are some small changes that you can make to become more mindful of the time that you’re spending in college, thus making it a better experience.

Journaling

Taking the time to write down your thoughts and reflections before you go to bed can help you learn a lot about yourself, especially if you remain consistent over your college career. It doesn’t have to be every single day; we know how busy you are. But even if you do it 3-4 times a week, you’ll start to think clearer and your mental health will remain in shape.

This can even be extended to an activity between you and your friends. You all can meet at week’s end and exchange stories, thoughts, or anything else that’s worth sharing. This provides insight into how you perceive things compared to how others do, furthering your discovery of self.

Exercise

This might be one of the most important habits to acquire while you’re in college. We know some of you are thinking about how much of a task that exercising is and how it may feel like a chore to do. But even if you go on regular walks on most days, or do three 30-minute workouts a week, you’ll start to see how beneficial it can be to go outside and move your body around. The American Heart Association says that exercising can lead to a healthier, happier life.

Plus, there are times where we all could use a break from the same stuff that we do every single week. This is a great opportunity to capitalize on that. Get out and move. It’ll even clear your head for the next time that you get to your studies.

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Random Acts of Kindness

I can remember one day on my way to class, I passed by a bench. On the bench was a big bottle of bubbles with a note that said, “I hope you have a great day. Enjoy some free bubbles!” I thought about how thoughtful this random act of kindness was, and about how much I wanted to pay the kindness forward.

This is something that you can do too. You’d be surprised how great it makes you feel to selflessly do things for others, and how refreshed you can feel knowing that you made someone else’s day. Committing to doing acts like this every so often will make you mindful of the things around you.

Meditation

Just like your physical health, your mental health needs some attention. Becoming mindful of your surroundings and just simply slowing things down to help your brain process information can help you learn, think, and do things better. Even CEOs of companies find many reason why meditating is important.

It’s one of those things that we’ve thought about but have dismissed just because we can’t fathom doing nothing for 10 minutes unless we’re sleeping. But it works wonders. There are even apps that can guide us through meditating, which is great for beginners who may not know how to focus on nothing.

3 Daily Gratitudes

Every night, before I fall asleep, I reflect on my day. I write down my three daily gratitudes; three things that made me happy from the day. Some days, it’s harder to find the happy moments. Those are the days when this exercise matters the most. If you take the time to acknowledge the little things in life, you’ll start to live happier.

Doing these activities, even on the bad days, can help you turn small changes into big changes in your life. When you’re walking across that stage as a senior, you’ll get a flood of memories. You’ll remember all of the times that you spent making the most of your life as a college student and you’ll realize how the small changes resulted in a happier you.

 

Image: Ernst Vikne