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5 Daily Habits to Keep You Focused and Healthy at College

Tuesday | February 20, 2018 | by Mehran A. Tehrani

daily habits

Are you struggling to stay focused this semester? There is always something going on for college students, including school projects, time spent with friends, and extracurricular activities. I live and study in New York City as an international student, and I exercise five daily habits to keep myself focused and healthy at college. Below I share my five essential daily habits that keep me going strong at college.

Express Gratitude

Every morning before I leave for school, I write down all the things I am grateful for. I am thankful for the goals that I have already accomplished, such as studying in New York City, working on campus, and taking a trip to Poland. This is a very helpful activity because you start your day on a strong and positive note.

One of the keys to happiness is to express gratitude for the things you have already accomplished. You can start writing and practicing gratitude at any age, income level, or stage in your life. Things as small as enjoying delicious food with your friends, living in an apartment, and having access to higher education can be your starting points for this powerful daily habit. We live in a world of abundance and there are plenty of things for which to be grateful. Start this daily practice now and see the magic happen.

Get Enough Sleep

One of the major issues I have seen in college students is lack of sleep. Most people need at least eight hours of sleep every day. Sufficient sleep is a great way to maintain a focused and healthy lifestyle. According to Health magazine, sleep helps improve your memory and creativity and promotes a longer life.

Just like you set an alarm to wake up in the morning, try setting an alarm for yourself to go to sleep at night. When I was in high school, I used to set the alarm for myself to go to bed at 11:00 p.m. One of my friends also tried this and it worked out pretty well as he was more rested during the day. Try this ritual and reap the benefits of improving your memory, creativity, and stamina.


To boost your mental and physical strength, you should have a short workout every morning. This habit is not designed to turn you into a champion athlete, but a 15- to 45-minute daily workout will make a huge difference in your life. It is the key to starting a productive day. Workouts also help your sleep by promoting deeper and longer sleep.

According to sleep.org, people who exercise at 7:00 a.m. experience the longest, deepest, and most restorative sleep. So a morning workout really has its benefits!

Set Social Media Limits

Excessive use of social media can lead to negative social behavioral consequences. According to the BBC, recent research has found that young people who spend more than two hours on social media every day are more likely to report poor mental health. The BBC also reported that Instagram was rated as the worst social networking platform for young people’s mental health, according to a UK survey.

It is also true that social networking apps and websites are triggering positive change in the world by providing faster connections among people at a low price. However, excessive use of these apps and sites can lead to depression. I recommend having only one or two social networking apps. You should choose the ones that are the most relevant to your personal and professional goals, and schedule a certain time each day to check your feed.

Take Control of Your Finances

I will always remember what my father told me before I came to study abroad. He said “You do not need relatives or family members abroad. Your two best friends are the brain in your head and the money in your pocket.” I have been living abroad independently for five years now and I have never faced an emergency financial situation for a simple reason: I control my money use.

Going to college is not free in the U.S. You must gain control over your money. Textbooks, food, and tuition are areas where college students spend a big chunk of their money. To cut costs, I recommend buying secondhand textbooks, cutting out junk food from your diet, and avoiding eating out at restaurants as much as possible. You should also study hard, apply for scholarships, and think about getting an on-campus job to earn some extra money.

Related Reading:

Funding Your Education E-guide

Budget Planning and Management for Students

5 Financial Mistakes Many College Freshmen Make

I hope these tips help you stay healthy and focused in college. Best of luck in your studies!

WES Student Ambassador Mehran Tehrani

Mehran A. Tehrani, a WES Student Ambassador, is pursuing his associate’s degree in economics at the City University of New York.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of World Education Services (WES).