My First Year: Challenge your mind, not your body

by · November 6, 2017

The Mount’s Health Services Office offers a “Stress-Less” room with a massage chair, relaxing music, and more to help students unwind and destress.

Let’s face it – being a first year college student can be challenging. There are so many new things to learn, from being independent to living with a roommate to scheduling classes. Today, sophomore Biology major Jennefer Ferdous talks about one of the most important things she learned as a college freshman – taking care of yourself physically is just as important as challenging yourself mentally.

What is your advice to first year students?
Jennefer: My advice to first year students is try to make as many friends as you can and learn to manage your time. Finding a home in an unfamiliar environment can be hard. At the Mount, however, you can participate in many clubs and activities that you have interest in and find similar people! Being surrounded by people you have a lot in common with can make any environment feel like home.

What is something that all first year students should know?
Jennefer: All first year students should know that college can be very stressful. It is important, however, to not get distracted while you’re focusing on your college life. During freshman year, many students have self doubt and lose the confidence they had when they first started applying for college. When things get hard, you shouldn’t forget self love and care!

What are some ways that you take care of yourself during the semester?
Jennefer: A successful college experience includes taking care of yourself. In my opinion, it’s very important to make sure you’re on a healthy diet and not eating junk with little to no nutritional value. Doing light workouts and drinking lots of water helped clear my mind when I started having self doubt my first year of college. Although it is hard to maintain doing homework and working, take at least 30 to 45 minutes a day to pamper yourself. Once you are at a happy place mentally, nothing can go wrong! Taking a 15-minute break after studying for 30 minutes also helps.

What is something you wish you did differently your freshman year?
Jennefer: During my freshman year, I loaded myself up with too much work with little to no breaks. I knew my friends did the same thing as well. Taking no breaks overwhelmed my mind, I made mistakes in my assignments, and I was easily stressed out. I went to class with only 2 hours of sleep and missed the whole lecture or didn’t understand anything at all. When you get little to no sleep, it’s very hard for your brain to function properly, and that affected my grades. I changed this by getting at least 6-8 hours of sleep every night. It’s a lot easier to focus when you’re getting enough sleep.

What would you tell yourself as a new student now that you’ve been through a year at the Mount?
Jennefer: When you start listening to your body and take rest when you’re overwhelmed, your body will reward you by giving you more energy to get through the day. Don’t forget to care for yourself just because college is hard. Instead of focusing on the bad things, approach your problems with a positive attitude and make things fun! College will be over before you know it, so make it memorable, not stressful.

At the Mount, we know that college can be stressful at times, which is why there are so many resources for students looking for a way to destress! From clubs and intramural sports focused on wellness and fun to professional resources in the Office of Student Success and Counseling Services, we are here to help our students. If you are feeling stressed about your studies or college life, please stop by the Student Support Center in
Aquinas Hall. The coaches and counselors will be happy to help!