Keeping Sane in College

I know, I know. I’m just a college freshman who is three-and-a-half weeks into school and doesn’t know the real meaning of insanity of college. I get it, I’m still a fetus in this place we call the world. But I think I’m speaking on behalf of a lot of my peers when I say that things are finally starting to settle into a routine— we’re getting into a groove, you could say. 🙂

Needless to say, going off to college for the first time ever is a nerve-wracking experience, and anything that entails big changes can make me anxious pretty easily. However, I am grateful to God for providing such a welcoming, supportive environment for me here at Boston University that has allowed me to immerse myself into this whole university deal without major troubleshooting. Knock on wood.

I’ve noticed some routines and patterns in these past 3.5 weeks that have helped me stay sane during school, and I’m here to share them with you all! Many of you are not in school anymore, but the “real world” and the college world both involve work and balance, so these little tips could apply to anyone!

keeping sane in college

1) Chip away at work

This one is HUGE. No one enjoys the panic of doing an assignment at the last minute before it’s due. For me, the best thing to combat this is to steadily chip away at every bit of studying and homework that I need to do throughout the week.

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I like to make a list of the work I need to accomplish, and then prioritize by numbering the tasks in the order I want to do them. Lastly, a check box is necessary so that you can have that oh-so-wonderful feeling of checking off the task.

It also doesn’t hurt to do an extra task that wasn’t initially on your list, then write it in your planner, and then check it off. 😉

2) Eat a good breakfast

{That involves peanut butter.} I don’t care what new scientific research says about breakfast not really being the most important meal of the day. In my mind (and heart), breakfast is the most essential meal in getting my day cranking properly. I have a huge 3-4 hour block of early classes on many days, so I need a substantial breakfast to help me focus and stay friendly.

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America runs on Dunkin. Alison runs on peanut butter.

3) Sleep

It’s not always easy, but it’s absolutely necessary.

That being said, I try not to freak out if I didn’t get X hours of sleep, because that just makes me more anxious and prone to sleeplessness. Fatigue is not the end of the world and power naps make the world go ’round.

4) Exercise

Now I’m starting to sound so cliche-healthy-living-blogger. But seriously, making time to move and groove several times a week helps to clear my mind, keep my confidence lifted, and feel more focused on my work, even if that means doing burpees in the dorm room. Y’all know how much I love that anyway.

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Sorta miss these stairs. Or do I?

5) Make time for social events

I do my best to make studying my priority, but attending extracurricular activities or just having lunch with friends keeps me laughing and motivated (I work more efficiently when I know I have an event to attend later in the evening). I still don’t go to every single activity or meeting, but talking to people is some of the best stress relief out there.


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I can’t keep my mouth closed evidently.

6) Listen to music

There’s a lot of walking required to get around campus, so listening to music has been an awesome way to put some pep into my step, make me want to dance…and make me almost trip over train tracks. Worth it. Listening to a song with a solid beat while walking down the streets of Boston makes me feel like a BOSS.

{iTunes radio and Pandora have been my favorite things recently!}

7) Pray

Talking to our Creator is the bestest.

8) Read blogs/Blog

Both blog-reading and blogging have been on the back burner recently, as you might have been able to tell. But those two things constitute some of my quality “me time,” so I try to read a few blogs while eating meals and write a post or two after I finish my homework (like right now!). It makes me happy staying in touch with my readers and fellow bloggers!

I also like to fantasize about all the new fall recipes that are abounding on the blog world since I’m bitter that I don’t have a kitchen right now it will be soon that I can make ALL THE PUMPKIN THINGS!

9) Keep the dorm room clean

Laundry, cleaning up after my peanut butter/banana messes, vacuuming (YUP, vacuuming!), and washing dishes— keeping on top of all of that makes for less clutter in the room and less clutter in my mind. (<— wow, so zen.)

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Not nearly as clean as this (when I first moved in), but it’s not too shabby.

10) Keep in touch with my family

My face lights up whenever I get a text from my mom or I FaceTime with my parents. Keeping them in the loop on a regular basis also helps to motivate me (they’re the reason I’m here!), and it helps me remember that I always have a shoulder to lean on. I also just love them to pieces, so I like talking to them 🙂

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No, we’re not twins.

So there are my nuggets of freshman wisdom for you! I should go to bed because I’m sure my typing might be annoying my sleeping roomie. Catcha ya later!

Oh, and you best be sure I’m thinking out loud with Amanda today!


So tell me:

How do you keep sane?

Most important meal in your opinion?



33 thoughts on “Keeping Sane in College

  1. I’m just going to pretend this says “high school” instead of “college” because I am in dire need of some sanity! I feel even more ridiculous because senior year is NO WHERE near as rough as freshman year of college! In the busyness, I sort of let go of blogging and praying as much as I used to. This morning I read my Bible AND blogs. Those 2 B’s are vital in my life! Thank you for the little reality check 🙂

  2. Thanks for the tips! I see you keep a very tidy agenda–have you always done that in high school? Here I am now, not using my agenda even though I paid for it. I can still meet the deadlines because my head is the agenda! Do you think it’s absolutely necessary in college/uni to use it?

    • I had a similar system for my high school planner. But I know that some people do best with just remembering things in the noggin! Lucky y’all because that means fewer things to carry 😉 In college though, a written list of some sort (even if it’s just on your phone) is extremely helpful. There are so many more little things that are easily overlooked otherwise!

  3. Great tips, lady! I think most of them actually apply to keeping sane in general! Heck, I know I’d be useless without sleep, exercise, good food, and friends/family. But I’m afraid that I’m going to have to disagree with you on the breakfast front… it does NOT have to include peanut butter 😛

  4. I completely agree that peanut butter is a breakfast necessity :). I would say at least 5/7 of my weekly breakfasts are a van’s whole wheat waffle topped with peanut butter, flax seeds, and cinnamon. Bananas also go great on top if I have them on hand. So delicious and easy.

  5. You nailed it Alison!!! I have a hard time balancing school work and social time and tend to stress myself out with keeping up on assignments vs keeping my up on blogs so this is definitely one Im working on!!! Any tips?
    Breakfast and snacks are my most important meals of the day! They keep me chugging along🚣

  6. Alright, making a note to choose “Alison land” over America because I’d prefer to run consistanly on peanut butter. Uh yeaahh I absolutely thrive on delayed task summarizing too 😀 .

  7. I love #2 and #3 SO much. Both are so essential for peace of mind and sanity. I am happy to see that your eating enough to power through your studies and hustle and bustle around campus. Best of all is #7, He ALWAYS delievers and has our backs. So much love for you darlin’

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  9. Love this! I’m also a college student and can relate to all of these – having a well organised agenda also helps me stay on top of school and social engagements!

  10. Great tips! I’m in my 5th year at university and I still struggle with some of these (like chipping away at work vs. last minute assignments) but when I’m doing them all, nothing can stop me haha
    I only just got myself a planner this past year and it’s done wonders for my productivity 😀

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