Students are often fond of two things: procrastination and their beds (I can’t blame you, my bed is the most comfortable space in my dorm). But as a graduate student, I’ve learned staying in bed won’t get you very far. Here are some of the habits I’ve developed during my stay here at Utah State University that will aid you in the journey toward your degree.
- Be productive
Adopt the five-minute rule: if something on your mind or on your to-do list takes less than five minutes, do it while it is on your mind (a.k.a. immediately). You will find yourself being more productive, and by the end of the day, your list will look shorter.
Whenever you’re bored, read. It’s pretty easy to lose track of time browsing the internet, or worse, deciding what to watch on Netflix. Reading a book not only gives you something else to do, but according to Science Magazine, it improves your intelligence. Also, it helps fight Alzheimer’s. No biggie.
Don’t feel like going to the ARC? Take a walk after sunset. It’s cooler and you get a nice view. Do you own a bike (or have a roommate who does)? Pop in your headphones and bike away. If you’re feeling more adventurous, go east and try some of Cache Valley’s trails. I found some cool trails on alltrails.com.
- Give Back To The Community
Get in the regular habit of volunteering a little of your time to a noble cause you believe in. Thanks to Aggie Sync (located in Banner), it’s easier than ever to browse local and student-run nonprofits. Like the outdoors? Volunteer with Aggie Outdoor Volunteers. Prefer the classroom setting? Join Aggies for Education. Volunteering is an easy and rewarding experience. Volunteer hours are flexible based on your personal availability, so there’s no pressure. A few hours a week is better than nothing.
Go to bed at a reasonable hour. No, this is not your mother writing. Going to bed before midnight does helps you feel more rested during the day and lowers your risk for heart disease and high blood pressure. After a good night’s rest, you may end up looking better in the morning (according to the Swedish) and won’t have to hit the snooze button five times.
There’s an app for that. No, really – download one of the many available money management apps and pay attention to where your money goes. You may think you’re just spending money on cheap things, like a coffee here and there or a soda from the vending machine, but those things add up.
- Drink water
USU installed drinking fountains and water bottle fillers virtually everywhere on campus, so there’s no excuse for you not to hydrate. If you’re addicted to soda, switch it out for seltzer water. It’s like soda without the sugar, additives, food coloring, and everything else that makes soda great…but it’s a step.
- Rinse your dishes after you use them
Adopt these habits and notice a better you. Your mom will rest easier knowing you’re taking care of yourself (and she’ll definitely appreciate when you rinse the dishes).