A lot of teens have now finished their final A-level exams (or are about to finish), and Uni offers have come in, and now is the wait time. Waiting to hear whether your marks are up to scratch and whether you definitely have that place at uni or not. It can seem an eternity as you wait for your future to be decided ..... but what can you do in the meantime, to prepare for uni? There are habits and actions that you can put in place now, to help you be at your best when you start your degree and I am going to help you navigate some of these habits and actions in this blog.
So what good habits can you start working on TODAY that will help you in the present, and in the future, for your future success?
1. Mindfulness practice: Mindfulness is "a way of paying attention to, and seeing clearly whatever is happening in our lives." Mindfulness practice is becoming more and more well known, and as the benefits of mindfulness are revealed, it is being taken up by a lot of people. So how can you develop a mindfulness practice and how will it help you at uni or in a new job? There are many different tools you can use to cultivate mindfulness, the most popular one is meditation. Meditation is cultivating the ability to sit in silence and focus, learning how to deal with the distractions that your own mind can throw at you, and how to understand your emotions, as they alter and change throughout the day. If sitting still for 10-15 minutes a day isn't for you (and to be fair, I know quite a few people who struggle with sitting still), try walking or running. Getting out into nature and walking for a few miles every day or second day, is like a meditation in itself. Or try colouring in or drawing/painting, getting creative is a definite meditative practice, as you focus on the action of colouring/drawing. The positive effects that building a mindfulness practice will have on your life as a uni student is constant. You will find that your levels of focus will increase, the ability to tolerate and deal with stressful situations will increase, and your creativity will increase.
2. Be organised: You have finished high school and now you have a few months to chill, party, and socialise like it's the end of the world .... but suddenly it is September, and you have less then 24 hours to organise your life to move to uni and you are STRESSED! I know it can be hard to focus on what needs to be done, when all you need (and deserve) is a holiday/break - but trust me when I say if you start getting organised for uni/work now, then when it comes to the crunch you can enjoy the process much much more. So what are a few things that you could be organising for now? Start to think about your budget, speak to banks, speak to parents, do your sums and see what you can and can't afford, and prepare for the year on a financial level. See if there are any Facebook groups or forums where other new students are and join in the chat, get to know people before you even start uni. Make sure that you know the basics of looking after yourself, ask your parents for a few easy cooking lessons (or check out StudentRecipes.com), ask how you use the washing machine, and what are the best products to use to clean the loo - this might seem a little silly to think of these things now, but trust me, you will appreciate it in a few months time.
3. Formulate your Goal Journey: So you know where you want to be in a few months time, but do you know where you want to be in a few years time? It is time to think about your plan for the next few years and really start to map where you want to go .... and make this goal setting and mapping a habit. Make a goal journey for the bigger picture, and use that as a template to make smaller goals and mapping those too. The sooner you get into the habit of setting goals, the easier it will become to set them and achieve them at uni/work. Success really is about habits and actions, so you might as well set the habits now. (In my next blog post I will take you through the steps to setting goals and mapping them).
These are only a few habits and actions you can start working on now - can you think of any others? Or do you want me explore some other positive life habits? Let me know in the comments below.
"Your Determination is Limitless"
- Elizabeth Wright