“Work hard, play hard” in a fresh semester

The spring semester is in full swing after our first week back. All of us have printed out our syllabi, our planners are full and we are stressed. For most, the idea of planning ahead comes to mind when trying to keep everything together, but for it can be hard for some to maintain a busy schedule and also have time to relax. The Lauderdale Health & Counseling Center on campus participates in keeping the entire student body de-stressed by organizing activities featured everywhere from residence halls to the College Union. They have put together a “Fitness Challenge” this semester in which individual students or groups assemble to exercise their bodies. Based on the amount of times they have exercised in the month of April, the winning group will win a special party.

Healthguard junior Danely Lopez emphasized how beneficial exercise can be to a stressed out student. “I go running for an hour almost every day to de-stress,” she said. Lopez added that students should take an active concern for their health and taking time to relax is essential. Some healthy suggestions she recommended were regular exercise, practicing yoga, eating healthier and getting about eight hours of sleep a night.

In addition to paying attention to your physical wellbeing, getting organized is a great way to save yourself some unnecessary stress. Some good tips to start off the semester are to write down deadlines as they are given to you, do the important tasks first and stay organized by keeping notes in specific folders.

A comfortable environment is key when getting work done. Find a spot on campus that suits you, be it downstairs in the mailroom, sitting at a Starbucks table or buried in the quietest section of Fraser Hall. When studying, you want to begin with the hardest subject first while your mind is fresh and scan process material quicker.

In addition, try your best to space out time-consuming projects instead of attempting to finish them in one all-nighter. “Common mistakes I notice students committing are not pacing themselves and procrastinating, which can lead to a fall out of healthy habits,” Lopez said.

Lopez also noted that focus and balance are two key elements to keeping your stress levels at a minimum. “You want to create a balance between school, work and friends,” she said. “Use a daily planner and think in advance before a night of partying. Go to the library for three to four hours and then after take an hour break. Basically, make a schedule and stick to it.”

Remember to have fun this semester, but remember that balance is key in a healthy and happy lifestyle. If you find yourself struggling and overwhelmed this semester, Lauderdale offers confidential counseling services Monday, Wednesday and Friday 8 a.m-5 p.m. and Tuesdays from 8 a.m.-7 p.m.