When I first started college, the transition from high school was very rough for me. Going from a small class size and living at home to being surrounded by thousands of students without any help from my parents was a huge shock.
I really struggled for the first few semesters at Texas A&M. I would stay up all night studying, I wouldn’t eat right, and I neglected my own overall health just to focus on school. Little did I know that doing these things not only made my grades worse but drastically affected my mental health.
After struggling for multiple semesters, I decided to put myself first. These are a few things I’ve learned on this road to self-discovery:
Take time out of your day to do something you love.
For me, I decided to write poetry every other day and paint at least once a week. I also picked up reading, which allowed me to sit back and listen to someone else’s story, so I could take my mind off things. I would also take time out of my day to simply journal and reflect back on everything that I learned inside and outside of class
Prioritize your physical health.
With this in mind, I started working out twice a week, cooking healthy meals, and getting an adequate amount of sleep every day. I didn’t realize how vital physical health was to your mental health until I let it take precedence in my life.
Surround yourself with people that care for you, but also carve out some time for yourself.
I learned that who I surrounded myself with could change how I felt at the moment. I decided to be around people that truly cared for personal growth and happiness. I also learned that everyone needs time to themselves to simply debrief and think about the day.
With all this in mind, my grades dramatically improved and I was happier overall. This may seem like a lot, but it is highly doable if you are willing to put in the work. Engineering is a hard major, so you should always strive to put your mental health first.
Texas A&M University offers access to various types of help for students when they begin feeling overwhelmed. Check out the Student Counseling Services website for information about the areas of help they offer.
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