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Let’s Talk: Breaking Bad College Habits

Bad College Habits

College is a lifestyle change for most, and it's one you get used to after 4+ years of being absorbed in the "college bubble." With this lifestyle change comes new habits and routines, many of which can be tough to break. Here are the top bad habits I developed in college and why I've found them to not be ideal in post-grad life.

EATING LATE + UNHEALTHY

I can't even tell you how many late night Taco Bell, Steak N' Shake and McDonald's runs I made in college. My eating schedule was always off and most days I skipped breakfast, ate lunch at 3 p.m. or later and ate greasy fast food after 9 p.m. As fun and carefree as this seemed at the time, I fought to stick to a normal eating schedule for months after I graduated. I've noticed a difference in my energy and I can now stick to a regular schedule with ease. I recommend to always eat breakfast, eat lunch between 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. (I'm sometimes bad at this one) and dinner before 8 p.m. I don't skip meals anymore and I feel great!

I suggest cutting back on fast food, eliminating late night food runs entirely (or maybe just one every few months!), plan your meals, stop "bored eating," and make meals fun again by trying recipes and incorporating foods you've never had or haven't had in a while!

NOT MAKING SLEEP A PRIORITY

Sleep is at the bottom of the priority list for most college students -- cramming for tests, completing projects, and managing to squeeze in time to eat always seemed to come first. Now that I'm out of school and working full-time, I've noticed that I do my best work and feel my best when I'm getting an adequate amount of sleep. I try to go to sleep between 10 and 11 p.m. every night and I consistently wake up at 6:15 a.m. every morning.

I suggest creating a night routine that relaxes you and makes you excited to wind down for bed. I like to remove my makeup and wash my face with my favorite products, put on cute and comfy pajamas, and apply a body cream and nourishing lip balm nightly. I've also noticed that changing my sheets even more frequently than I usually do makes me thrilled to jump into a freshly made bed!

LACK OF ROUTINE/SCHEDULE

Consistency was non-existent in college. My schedule each week revolved around what I was doing in each class, any projects or tests I might have had, and what was going on at work. You get used to living your life this way and having to adjust accordingly as you go, but now as a college grad, I've found that I'm MUCH more productive and less stressed when I stick to a schedule. A schedule allows me to keep my mind on track and not get overwhelmed.

Do a bit of research to find a planner or calendar that works best for you and prioritize the week's tasks on Sunday or Monday. This keeps your memory fresh and helps you to remember what lies in the week ahead.

BEING SELF-FOCUSED

Now this is a tricky one. College is the time in your life to be selfish and focus on your own success. As important as this process was to go through, it's just as important to adjust this mindset after you graduate. It's always important to keep your own priorities and needs in check, but it's now equally important to focus on the growth and success of the company you work for as well. Striving to be the best version of yourself and bringing everything you have to the table every single day can make you a force to be reckoned with in and out of the workplace.

Make a personal goal list and a work goal list each month. This gives me a physical list of important things to work toward, making goal-setting an effective method of growth.

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What bad habits did you pick up in college and how have you fixed them? If you enjoy this series, be sure to check out my other "Let's Talk" posts here.

 

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