** In Collaboration **
Congratulations, you’ve done it! You’ve gotten through your first year of university and come out the other side a different person. You’ve learnt some more of your strengths and limitations, you’ve learnt how well you do in social settings, and you’ve learnt just how bad at keeping to a budget you are! Overall, you’ve learnt an awful lot – and one of the main things you may have learnt is how different your body feels after living a whole year as a student.
Maybe you’re noticing a bit less energy, maybe you’re noticing how many takeaways you rely on, maybe you’ve noticed how no matter how many hours you spend in the library, you tend to come away with little knowledge in your brain. Well, these might all be signs you need to make a change in your student lifestyle! So with that in mind, let’s think about the effects you might just be going through below.
Maybe You Can’t Pay Attention
Paying attention is the main thing you need to be capable of when you’re at uni, seeing as you need to be awake and alert enough to listen to your lecturers and note down all the info you’re going to need for a final one day. And if you’re starting to realise you struggle with staying focused when someone is speaking in front of you, or you’ve noticed how forgetful you’ve become, then it’s time to sit down and think about it.
It could be a sign you’re not getting enough sleep, it could be a sign you’re not eating the right things in the right amounts, and it could be a sign you’ve got a learning disorder you weren’t aware of before. Don’t worry, a lot of college and university students aren’t aware of their relative difficulties with learning until they’re standing on their own two feet, and many don’t even think to reach out about it.
Maybe it’s dyslexia with a late onset, maybe you’ve had ADD this whole time and it’s only becoming a problem now – we’re not doctors! Just make sure you know what you have trouble paying attention to. Is it speaking? Is it maths problems on the page? Is it chanting a formula over and over in your head and still forgetting what it is when the time comes to write it down? List out your symptoms as they occur, and make note of how frequently you experience them. This will make it a lot easier to try and talk to a counsellor about it!
On the other hand, you might want to think about adjusting your sleep schedule. There’s a good chance you don’t get enough, and your brain/body doesn’t have a chance to heal up and establish those new memory connections because of it. Try to get to bed earlier at least, and aim for as many of the 7-8 hours as you can.
Maybe Your Stomach Starts Complaining About Food
Your stomach is one of the main parts of your body that’s going to be on your mind as a student. You want to know you’ve got food in the house to keep you quipping for your presentation tomorrow, and you want to be sure you’ve got enough to put on your plate to truly satisfy those hunger rumblings. And whilst some of us might struggle with this task, some of us might be struggling with our biological reactions themselves.
Maybe you’ve just eaten a whole plate of cheese, because it’s the middle of the night and you were peckish. Maybe you’ve sipped a glass of milk before bed, and now you’re feeling a little weezy. Maybe you just can’t eat breakfast without wanting to heave it all back up again. Well, it’s time to focus on your digestive comfort!
Stop ordering those takeaways, and learn to cook for yourself – there’s a good chance you’ve forgotten how nice it is to have some vegetables inside you, which your organs might just be crying out for! Gentle yourself into the day by eating something small and dry as soon as you wake up – maybe a couple of crackers, maybe a small slice of bread, maybe a few nuts. This will help your body get used to digesting food for the day, and will make eating a healthy breakfast a lot easier!
Having a healthy body whilst at university can seem hard. You learn a lot about yourself, including where your brain/body might let you down, and that’s valuable knowledge!