Staying healthy at the end of the semester

Finals can drive anybody into a hole. Stress, paired with the common winter viruses and colds, can make the end of the semester a nightmare.

Texas State students have different strategies for staying fit, lowering stress and staying on top of things when it gets to crunch time. Texas State also offers resources ranging from tutoring to counseling to the health center to keep you healthy in any aspect.

Mikah Lusby, a freshman majoring in history, said she was in great health before she came to college. She started going to the gym in February and created a diet focused on weight gain and muscle growth.

Lusby said it has been hard to keep the diet since coming to college because of the cost of food off campus and the selection of food on campus.

“My mom was buying my groceries. Now I go buy my groceries, so I’m getting the cheapest options,” said Lusby.

While a healthy diet is important, Lusby says she places greater importance on physical activity when it comes to overall health.

“The way I like to get out and get active is by going to the gym,” said Lusby. “I am on a powderpuff football team. That’s pretty fun. I like to play sports and go on walks with my friends.”

Lusby said her first semester being mostly consistent has helped her to maintain her health.

Shannyn Bozeman, a graduating senior in pre-med, understands the value of health, especially during finals when stress compounds.

“Personally, how I try to destress and try to make sure that I’m being healthy is compartmentalizing,” said Bozeman. “Lists helped me personally because I can check things off my list, and I’ll feel better.”

Bozeman said that when her stress gets too high, she will sometimes forget meals and have a hard time sleeping.

“With being able to sleep, I have to cut myself off. I am no use to anybody after 1 a.m. So after 1 a.m. I tend to close my laptop.”

Bozeman said she takes her mind off of stressors by painting, hanging out with friends, and watching TV. She says the key is to take time not only for your work but also for yourself.

Entering the winter season, Bozeman said she sees infectious diseases as the biggest threat.

“I feel like most of the time, the fear [of disease] comes from incomplete knowledge, and a lot of health professionals and individuals don’t really focus on trying to make information edible for people who aren’t necessarily biology or science majors.”

Healthy Cats is a Texas State student organization working to change that.

Healthy Cats give presentations and explain resources that can assist students in any of the eight dimensions of wellness—financial, environmental, social, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, physical and occupational.

Alicia Rosas, the Healthy Cats advisor, said one of the most significant signs and causes of burnout is an irregular schedule.

“Towards the end of a semester, really often we see students who are letting other parts of their overall wellness kind of take the back burner,” said Rosas. “So they’ll be really, really focusing on their intellectual wellness, but they may be neglecting areas like their social wellness or their physical wellness.”

Rosas said finding a balance between the dimensions of wellness is vital, especially for first-year students who haven’t been through the stresses of finals yet.

Rosas said it could be easy to get too comfortable, especially while living in the dorms. Sleeping, eating, relaxing and studying all in bed is commonplace in college.

“Being able to live on campus and the dorms, especially as a first-year student, can be really, really great because it saves you a lot of travel time,” said Rosas.

But studying in the same place you sleep can cause a lot of unnecessary stress, and bringing that to bed makes for bad sleep. Try to do work outside the bedroom, or at least off the bed, said Rosas.

There are a plethora of resources provided by Texas State that can assist students with their classes at any point in the semester.

“Utilizing on-campus services like the writing center, the tutoring center, SLAC that’s in the library, even departmental tutoring is really, really key,” said Rosas.

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