Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Readjusting to life at Lee

Returning to campus after a break always constitutes some readjustments in lifestyle for students.

Students must readjust to driving on a pedestrian campus, waiting in all the notoriously long lines, going to new classes and even walking to and fro across the campus.

Some students also have the changes that come with New Year's resolutions: going to the rec center, eating healthier, avoiding the dining hall, the list of possibilities is endless.

Personally, one of my greatest adjustments has been completely reversing my day-night schedule to accommodate my wonderful 8 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. classes that I'm required to take. Oh the joys of college life.

In this time of readjusting, though, it's important to not forget that, even when it seems like the world will never stop spinning, it's going to be okay. Here are a few tips on staying sane through whatever transitions you might face.

1. Breathe. Contrary to some beliefs, respiration is very vital to life. When you find yourself stressing out and thinking that you will never find a plausible solution, take a few moments to just stop and clear your head with a few long breaths. Remember, in through the nose, out through the mouth.

2. Write lists. Sometimes writing and categorizing tasks and possible solutions to problematic situations can help to better organize the information in your head. And sometimes, things just make more sense on paper.

3. Get some sleep. Sleep is the body's way to reboot after a long day and the mind's way to filter all the information that has been presented throughout the day. Yes, that homework assignment seems important, but you'll remember more of it and function better with even a little bit of sleep. Your professor and everyone who comes in contact with you will thank you for getting sleep and not acting like a walking zombie.

4. Find a way to relax. For some people, it's taking a walk. Others prefer watching movies. Some read books. Whatever you love to do, whatever can offer you a little escape from the stress, be sure to schedule time for that.

5. Stay healthy. Stress automatically lowers the immune system's ability to protect you. As winter is already a prime time to get sick, it might be advisable, even if you're not too stressed out, to find a vitamin supplement to give your immune system a boost. Especially for those of you living in the dorms, it has the potential to make a big difference in your semester. If you're not sure what kind of vitamin you should get, ask the pharmacist at Walgreens. I'm sure they'll be happy to help.

6. Ask for help. The Lee University Counseling Center is a great resource that is free to all students. If the pressure is just getting to be too much or perhaps you just want someone to talk to about your current plan of action, contact the counseling center to see about speaking to a counselor. Also, the center is offering different small group help this semester as well. Stop by the counseling center for more information.

7. Pray. My mother says this is always the first thing you should do, and I'm starting to see the truth in her advice. Nothing takes God by surprise, after all. And who better to help you in times of transition?

May all of you have wonderful semesters!

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