College students who want to excel in their academics take many measures to be successful. Many invest in software and apps to keep them on schedule, others may take extra classes in study skills. If you are a student, it may surprise you to find out that there are several things that have a significant effect on your academic success that has nothing to do with studying.
Get Good Nutrition
Students should make sure they are getting the nutrition they need to perform well in college. This can be a challenge for students living in dorms without cooking facilities or locked into the choices in the cafeteria. Quality supplements like those provided by USANA Singapore can help support overall wellness when dietary change is not an option.
College students are busy people. To juggle classes, jobs, and study time, students often make the mistake of losing focus on their eating habits. This is one of the reasons that so many first-year students will find themselves gaining weight. But there are consequences beyond weight gain that you should be aware of.
According to the CDC, there is a direct connection between nutrition and academic performance. Deficiencies in key vitamins and minerals can negatively affect your ability to focus or comprehend complex information. Malnutrition can also lead to decreases in dopamine levels.
Get Quality Sleep
Sleep deprivation is an epidemic in colleges and universities around the world. Students attend classes all day, go to work in the evenings and engage in social activities with what free time they have. Getting a good seven or eight hours of sleep a night is not a priority for most young people. There is a definite lack of awareness of the consequences of not getting enough sleep on academic performance.
The CDC warns students and parents alike that quality sleep is essential to academic success. Whereas the physical effects of sleep deprivation are well known, students may not know that it has a large impact on the ability to concentrate. Persistent lack of sleep can cause behavioral issues and have a detrimental effect on mental health as well.
Students should create a sleep schedule and stick to it. It may help to replace the rock-hard mattress that is included in most dorm rooms with a higher-quality mattress. Noise-canceling earbuds can reduce the irritation of a loud dormmate and a sleep mask can block out any excess light.
Engage in Physical Activity
College athletes don’t need to worry about whether they are getting enough exercise, but that isn’t true for the majority of college students. Inflexible schedules, poor nutrition, and lack of sleep can all come together to result in a lack of motivation to engage in physical activity. For students looking to ace their exams, this could be a major mistake.
According to master teacher Nancy Barile, there is a direct connection between exercise and school success. She draws from her own experience and the work of Dr. John Ratey to point out that physical activity will increase students’ motivation to study and attend classes as well as increase their levels of attention once they get there.
Barile also points out that exercise and physical activity are powerful mitigators of mental and emotional issues. Many students struggle with anxiety and depression in college and physical activities can help. Aerobic exercise is especially good for stress and anxiety as it gives the body a way to process the adrenalin from an overactive fight-or-flight response. Activities such as martial arts, tai chi, and yoga can also address anxiety effectively.
You’ve worked hard to get into college, and now it’s up to you to do everything you can to succeed. Should you take the class on study skills and get that great student planner app? Absolutely. But you also need to focus on getting good nutrition, moderate levels of exercise, and quality sleep to give your body and your mind the tools they need to function at their best.