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Get in shape for school: 6 good habits to cultivate for your academic year

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Get in shape for school: 6 good habits to cultivate for your academic year

Buying school supplies, maybe some new clothes and a haircut was once sufficient for the start of the school year. For post-secondary students, the ritual is more demanding and elaborate. It is more like getting in shape for a triathlon than a trip to the mall.

Here are six things that will help you be ready for your academic year – and the best time to start is now! You will want to maintain these good habits throughout the year in order to make the most of your efforts and investments. Some bad habits will need to be replaced by ones that are more likely to help you succeed.

Get daily exercise 

Students who have been physically active in high school or while they were working full-time often think they won’t have time for exercise and to play sports when they start their post-secondary education. In fact, exercise is the cornerstone of other healthy habits and should not be abandoned. Time should be made for a reasonable amount of weekly exercise. With it, you may find you sleep better, are more interested in healthy eating and find the energy to be more focused in your studies. Exercise can improve your mental health as well as your physical health. Most schools have an athletics centre or gym and the cost to use it is covered through your student fees, so there is no extra fee to join.

Get into a good sleep routine

When you are well rested, it is so much easier to think. Keeping a regular sleep routine will help you fall asleep and stay asleep. It is hard to recover from weekend splurges so the routine should be followed, as much as possible, seven days a week. Become familiar with other aspects of good sleep hygiene if insomnia becomes an issue.

 Get in the habit of eating healthy and regular meals

Besides the advantages of a healthy diet for your long-term wellbeing, proper nutrition also promotes energy and mood benefits; both are important for students. If you learn to cook your own meals, you will save money and have them available when you want them. That goes for snacks as well.

 Get organized

When you are organized, you know where to find things and when to study which subjects. This ends up saving you time and reducing your stress. The time it takes to get organized is a fraction of the time wasted looking for things, making decisions and waiting for motivation. Your increased productivity will be worth it. Working from a schedule you draw up is an important aide.

Get your finances in order

If your finances are in order at the beginning of the school year, you are not searching for part-time work or other sources of funding. When you are not worried about meeting your expenses, you can free up your mind for academic work. Maintaining excellent school grades can also be a source of funding for the following semester through bursaries, scholarships and work recommendations by faculty.

Attend your school’s orientation and check ongoing communications

Some students don’t think they need to attend orientation or pay much attention to the information given at the start of class or the school year. Whether you are a first-year student or a student in your final semester, you may miss some critical information that is given at the orientation or at the first class of the semester. This can include important dates for adding and dropping a course, information about tests and exams or the necessity for registering for graduation. You may be unaware of academic and support services available to you; the refrain “no one ever told me” does not usually help.

 You have some control over how you prepare for post-secondary school. If you are well rested, well fed, energetic, organized, informed and sufficiently financed, your school year can get off to a good start.

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