Opinion: Three strategies for a successful and healthy school year

Joining student organizations, exercising regularly and practicing meditation can all help you make the most of your time in college.


Nick Rohlman

Icicles form on the Old Capitol on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019.

Kasey Baller, Columnist

I am among the thousands of Hawkeyes who are in disbelief that classes start today. Looking back, every year seems to start off differently from the last. This will be my third “first” day of school at the University of Iowa. I have gained a great understanding of what is important at the beginning of each school year, and necessary to keep my success and health going.

Knowing how to set yourself up for success early on will be crucial helping you progress throughout the school year.

The first step crucial in your success at the UI is getting involved in organizations that will fit your goals. Joining an organization will also help you make friends, which can be a major concern for some who enter college. Every year, the university hosts a Student Involvement Fair. This year, the fair will be held on Sept. 4 from 6-8 p.m. in Hubbard Park. The fair was an awesome way for me to meet friends in my major, and I found out about the Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity, which I quickly joined.

My favorite part about being involved in an organization that relates to my major is that I found people who I can use as resources or to advance in my major. I made friends and study buddies through Phi Alpha Delta.

My favorite part about being involved in an organization that relates to my major is that I found people who I can use as resources or to advance in my major. ”

Being involved on campus also helps with time management, which correlates directly to your success in classes. If you have nothing other than classes going on during the day, you may feel that you should just wait until all of them are done for the day to start doing homework. On the other hand, if you have events going on throughout the day, you will be forced to have specific time laid out for your studies or you will not leave enough time for it.

Another way to set yourself up for success for the new school year, which often gets overlooked, is taking care of your physical and mental health.

Working out is an excellent way to maintain your mental and physical health. College is a stressful time for many. With working out a few times a week, you can take a load of anxiety and worry off and translate into something positive. Because of stress and anxiety, you may begin to eat more, and it is important to know your limits — in college, you may wind up sitting down more than ever before. And living in Iowa City, there’s many many workout facilities available such as the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center, residence-hall gyms, and many other places around campus.

Something I would never consider trying before college is meditation. It has helped me with anxiety and has provided some much-needed “me time.” Meditation is also linked to making you more productive and even improving test scores.

No matter if it’s your first “first” day or your 10th, taking care of your professional and personal needs are essential to making every school year a success.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.

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