5-tips-postOne of the biggest mistakes freshmen make coming into their first year of college is either over-committing or under-committing.  Over-committing means you’re taking a full load of classes, you’ve signed up for several clubs and organizations, campus events, bible studies, and at least one intramural sports team. You find that you don’t even have time to fit in one good meal a day. Under-committing means you stay in your dorm room, barely go to class, play video games all day, avoid meeting new people, and have Cheetos and Coke for breakfast.  Both of these extremes may not only sabotage your success in college, but they could also decrease your health, fitness, and mental well-being.

The key to being successful and having fun in college is balance. YOU have control, and YOU must make a plan in order to be successful.  Below are 5 tips for physical fitness and emotional strength that will help you find that ever-important balance.

1. Make a plan

Check out your Fall semester schedule and see where you have blocks of time when you can work-out, take a free Cru-FIT group fitness class, attend organizational meetings, and eat meals. Will you ride your bike or walk to class and to meals? Do you have time to play a couple of intramural sport games in the evenings? If so, which nights?

2. Join a club, team or organization

Keep your eye on the Campus TVs and your UMHB email for announcements about upcoming deadlines and meetings for new members to join in all types of activities, clubs, teams and organizations. There is a weekly “CNews” bulletin that goes out to all UMHB students. Make it a habit to check out what’s going on each week, and use your phone to remind you of upcoming meetings and deadlines. Joining one of these types of groups is the number one way to meet like-minded people and future friends.

3. Give yourself a curfew and take care of your body

Nobody will be there to tell you when to go to bed, when and where to eat, to wash your hands, shower, etc. You’re a college student now, so you have to do that for yourself.  Few things can derail you more quickly than lack of sleep and good nutrition.  If you don’t have enough sleep, your grades will suffer and you’ll stress out, and then your nutrition will suffer.  It can quickly become a big, ugly roller coaster.  Which brings up point #1 again.  Plan your sleep and meals, and make them something your mom would be proud of.

4. Get Moving

From the very first day, be very intentional about squeezing in opportunities to move your body. Walking to class, riding your bike to the student union, and taking the stairs in your classroom buildings and residence halls are all ways you can build in physical activity to your daily routine. Work out on your own at the Mayborn Campus Center, or try one of the many free Cru-FIT Group exercise classes offered by Campus Recreation.  A great way to meet new people and stay active is to play on an intramural sports team. Check out the schedule of intramural sports UMHB offers and create an IMLeagues account by clicking here. You can also download the Rec It app for even more ease.

5. Get Support

Even when we try our best to be balanced in the various areas of our life, sometimes stress and emotions get the best of us. Be sure you know where our Mabee Student Success Center is, and check out all of the resources and tutors they have available to stay ahead in your classes. Our wonderful counselors are also located in the Mabee Student Success Center. They can talk to you about any kind of troubles you are having and help you get yourself back on track. Don’t forget that Career Services is in the same building if you’re stressing out about what exactly you want to do with your life.

First Steps

UMHB has an amazing amount of clubs, organizations, events, studies, and recreation to get involved in.  The main point is that YOU have to check them out and join in! Keep your eyes open for opportunities, research our website, and talk to people on campus. Once you get involved, get organized, and get moving, you’ll be well on your way to a memorable and meaningful college experience. You’ll not only stay fit and emotionally strong in the process, but managing a work vs. fun balance in your life is a skill you’ll use forever!

UMHB’s Campus Rec is home to all sorts of ways to stay in shape – fitness classes, intramural sports leagues, competitions, tournaments, special events, and workshops. Visit our website to find out how you can get involved and get fit!