Moving out of home and beginning university can be an extremely daunting experience. There will be wacky roommates, fast food frenzies and you will become a professional nap taker. Where watching an episode of Game of Thrones was once a reward for study, it has now taken over your life, and Harry Potter is your new best friend.
Then you wake up at 2pm one afternoon, realising you have missed the day’s classes. Your hair looks like Gollum’s from Lord of the Rings because you ran out of shampoo 2 weeks ago and cannot be bothered buying any more. On the bright side your face is glowing with a nice bronzer of Dorito dust. It is time to re-evaluate your student life and get organised!
You need to sort yourself out because you should be your own number one priority. Let’s start with the hair. Raid the pantry and grab some bicarbonate soda and a bottle of apple cider vinegar. Wet your hair, gently massaging a tablespoon of bicarbonate soda into your hair then rinse. Rinse your hair again but this time with the apple cider vinegar. This will result in pristine flowing locks that would make even Rapunzel jealous.
You run out of clean undies and find yourself wearing bikini bottoms or speedos as a substitute. Unfortunately you run out of these too and end up in a one piece and you really can’t be bothered putting on your wetsuit tomorrow so it is finally time to do a load of washing. But there is no washing detergent left. And of course because you’re a uni student there is literally no motivation to go to the shop and buy some more. As an alternative in these desperate times, try using one cup of bicarbonate soda as a replacement to detergent. This should do the trick, resulting in a fresh pair of jocks. But if you have no bicarbonate soda either… maybe try turning them inside out?
Although naps are without a doubt the best thing since sliced bread, it is important not to oversleep as this can cause you to feel lethargic all day. Try going to a bed at the same time each night and set an alarm every morning to ensure that you wake up at the same time. This will help to get your body into a good sleep cycle. And as hard as it may be, try not to use any electronic devices an hour before you go to sleep. Perhaps this can become a designated time to catch up on those chapters you told your lecturer you read last month.
Nutrition is also a key factor in your well being. Try to limit your late night Maccas trips and eat more fruit and vegetables. Cooking several different meals and freezing portions is a great way to get around the hassle of cooking every night and is a good way to save money. Another handy tip is to ensure that you have eaten before going to the supermarket so that your ravenousness hunger doesn’t compel you to put half the contents of the shop into your trolley.
It is also important to stay hydrated. Start carrying a water bottle around with you so that you don’t have to buy water. There are water fountains located around the university so that you can refill your bottle. Try mixing it up a little by adding 4 slices of lemon, 4 slices of lime and 8 slices of cucumber to your water. This combination is extremely cleansing for the body and really refreshing.
However it is also okay to treat yourself sometime, and what better way to do this then by making a 30 second self saucing chocolate pudding. So grab a mug and add 1 tablespoon of self-raising flour, 1 tablespoon of cocoa, 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 ½ tablespoon of milk. Mix. Now sprinkle on top 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of hot water and ½ a tablespoon of cocoa. Then zap it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Pour it into a bowl with a scoop of ice cream or to save washing up eat it straight from the mug!
Now that you have yourself in order it is time to focus on your academic endeavours. These aren’t going as well as you planned at the beginning of the semester due to a lack in motivation. To get back on track begin by grabbing a calendar and writing out all the due dates for your assignments to ensure that you don’t miss the deadlines. Next write out a set of educational goals- crossing these off once you have achieved them will prove to be a great confident boost.
Use your favourite lollies as a reward for studying. Do this by having a trail of lollies (preferably not sticky ones) on and in your book. Channel your inner Hansel and Gretel and follow the trail of lollies by reading each chapter or memorising each page until you reach the end of the trail, which means that it is time for a study break. Go for a walk outside and get some fresh air.
However, the most important advice I can give you is to ask for help. If you don’t understand something in a lecture, stay back and ask for further clarification. No doubt the lecturer will be glad you made the effort to ask. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your messy house, don’t be afraid to ring your mum and ask for help. She will most likely be glad to see you. If you aren’t coping mentally with the pressures of trying to balance study, work, and what’s left of your social life, please ask for help. Whether it is a family member, a friend, a counsellor or even your pet goldfish. Talking things over can help you to see things clearer and realise that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t give up and keep smiling!