How to Stay Positive: A Guide for StudentsBy Ernest Hamilton, UniversityHerald Reporter
Going off to college is a big deal, especially for a young adult who's recently graduated highschool. On one hand, you're leaving home for the first time and are, by all accounts, an adult. However, this realization can also be a little intimidating.
For most college students, their parents aren't completely out of the picture. If you had an emergency, they would be there to help you out. Regardless, being on your own and away from the nest while simultaneously juggling your college classes can be draining.
To help you overcome the emotional and mental struggles of being an independent college student, keeping a positive attitude and mindset can certainly go a long way. However, learning how to stay positive is key to not only getting by but learning how to thrive while in school. We're here to give you some tools to make it happen. Keep reading for a complete guide on staying positive in school.
Remember Why You're There
When we're busy, spread thin, or feel like we're not getting enough time to relax, it helps to remember the purpose of our current circumstances. When it comes to completing hours of homework and barely getting enough sleep, remember why you're going to college.
You're there to set yourself up for success. You're there to achieve the necessary credentials so you can pursue your dream job. And more so, you're there to grow and become a better version of yourself. That said, keep in mind that college can be an amazing, unforgettable experience, but that doesn't mean it will always be fun.
In addition, to make your college journey more worthwhile despite the challenges, it can significantly help to be in a school or a study program that you're passionate about. For example, if you're looking to study in an international country like New Zealand, you can search for New Zealand Universities where you like to build your career on. After all, if you love what you're doing, chances are, you'll remain positive, inspired, and even have a good outlook while studying.
Learn How to Manage Your Finances
Learning how to stay positive in life often comes down to avoiding financial stress. As a college student, you're not going to be pulling in a large income. If you're fortunate, your parents may give you a monthly allowance to help you get by. Or perhaps, you may have been qualified for a scholarship grant in which you don't need to pay for your tuition fees and other miscellaneous expenses.
However, many students work part-time jobs on top of going to school to afford the necessities in life. So, if you're one of them, you're more likely to study during the day and work at night, depending on your class schedule to make some money. But, regardless of how you're earning money, you need to learn how to manage it efficiently.
One way to do this is to limit unnecessary spending and make sure your bills and necessities are covered. Then you can spend money on clothes, entertainment, dining out, etc. By doing all these, you can minimize your financial concerns, which, in turn, can help you stay positive throughout your college journey.
Stay in Touch With Friends and Family Back Home
One reason people start to feel low or overwhelmed while going to school is that they are homesick. They miss all the people they left back home. While it's not quite the same, keeping in touch with these people through messaging, video chats, and phone calls is a tip on how to stay positive in school.
This way, even if they're away from you, staying in touch with your loved ones can make you feel their presence and support, which can refuel you and help you stay optimistic while studying in college.
Don't Confine Yourself to the College Campus
Avoiding going off-campus is a common mistake students make. Usually, it's for good intentions, like saving money or focusing on their studies. However, staying on campus for too long can start to feel confining.
Go out and explore the town. Walk, ride your bike, or drive around the city to find new areas, interesting places, and town landmarks. Go with some friends and spend the day exploring.
Keep Up With Your Studies
Learning how to stay positive in school means learning how to keep up in your classes. As a student, there's nothing quite as stressful as falling behind and seeing a mound of homework piling up.
Don't procrastinate doing your homework or studying for tests. Sure, the due date may not be for another couple of weeks. However, you don't know what's going to come up in your other classes (or in life) in between.
If you need help in a subject, get a tutor. Most colleges offer student tutor programs to help people struggling in their classes.
Lastly, consider creating or joining a study group. Studying with a few other students can help everyone involved learn more and retain the information better.
There is a strong connection between physical health and mental health. For example, staying indoors and living a completely sedentary lifestyle can lead to depression and anxiety.
One of the most important positivity tips to follow while going to school full-time is to make sure you're taking care of your physical well-being. Workout at the campus gym, swim laps in the pool, or jog around the track. At the very least, get out a few nights a week for a long walk or bike ride with friends.
Just as importantly, adhere to a healthy diet as much as possible. As a student living on a minimal budget, this can be difficult. However, do the best you can to eat plenty of whole foods while avoiding processed foods, fast-food, etc.
Get More Involved With School Activities
Another tip for staying positive is to immerse yourself in school clubs and activities. Not only do these extra-curricular activities help you meet new people, but they also get you out of your dorm room.
Colleges have no shortage of options. Look into sports, academic groups, music clubs, and more. Do what you love, but also take this as an opportunity to explore new interests.
Learn Organizational and Time Management Skills
Between classes, homework, activities, hanging out with friends, and working part-time, it can be difficult to manage your schedule. We recommend writing all the important things down, like due dates, class schedules, club meetings, shifts at work, etc.
Learn how to organize your schedule and properly manage your time. The more organized you are, the less stressed out you'll be. Furthermore, you'll have fewer instances of forgotten exams and late homework assignments.
When organizing your schedule, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to sleep each night. Being sleep deprived will impede your ability to learn and focus. It can also lead to irritability, depression, anxiety, and more.
Make New Friends
If you're naturally shy, college is the time to break out of your shell and meet new people. We're not saying you need to become Mr./Ms. Popularity.
However, keeping to yourself all year long can have negative consequences. You may begin to feel left out or as though you don't belong or have any friends.
Get out of your comfort zone and find new friend groups and people with similar interests. As noted previously, extra-curricular groups are a great way to meet new friends. This is one of the best tips on how to stay positive in school.
Helping others is one of the best things you can do to feel better about yourself and your situation. If you're particularly good in any of your classes, offer to tutor students who are struggling. Not only will you be doing something nice for someone else, but it may lead to new friendships.
If tutoring isn't your thing, focus on what you are good at. For example, if your friend is struggling to keep off the "Freshman 15" (the 15lbs most new college students gain), commit to working out with him or her.
For more inspiration, check out some of these famous quotes about staying positive.
Squeeze in Some Time for Self-Care
Many people find that learning how to stay positive in life comes down to finding a healthy balance between work, obligations, and self-care. Taking time for self-care is neither selfish nor irresponsible.
If you're not taking care of yourself, how can you expect to get good grades, put forth a solid effort at work, or help out your friends? You can't.
Take time to play video games, have a lazy weekend on the couch, or get extra sleep. Do what you need to take care of number-one.
Make Good Choices
Learning how to stay positive in school means staying on a positive path. While partying and drinking are somewhat commonplace in most colleges, we don't recommend it.
There's nothing wrong with going out and having a good time with friends, but making poor decisions can have short and long-term negative consequences.
Avoid excessive partying, drinking, or doing drugs of any kind. You wouldn't want to get expelled from school or arrested. Small choices like these can affect you for the rest of your life.
To avoid situations like these, cut out people who are bad influences and learn how to say no. In less extreme cases, distance yourself from people who are full of drama or have toxic personalities.
Focus on Your Future, but Stay Present
Finally, staying positive in school requires an optimistic outlook. If you're struggling with the workload or the lifestyle of going to college, remember, it's a means to an end. College is a temporary phase of your life designed to propel you to where you want to be.
Focus on your future. Where is college leading you? What will your life look like in five years?
However, remember to stay present in each moment. Life passes us by far too quickly. Looking to the future while begrudging the present only exacerbates this issue.
Practice gratitude. Be grateful for the positive things in your life. It could be your friends, your grades, professors you admire, etc.
Looking for More Tips on How to Stay Positive?
No one said college was going to be easy. However, it doesn't have to be harder than necessary either. Follow the tips above to learn how to stay positive in school.
And if you need more advice or information, check out some of our other articles before you go. Our blog was designed to help students like you.