College is a time of fun and high stress. But, wouldn’t it be great to have more of the first and less of the second? Well, through the people I’ve met and the research I’ve done, I’m here to tell you it’s very possible. Here are the traits of the happiest college students.
Whether you spend it watching TV, meditating, exercising, or with the boys, time spent relaxing is time well spent. While it may be fun to hop from party to party or lucrative to work full-time and go to school, to keep your sanity and mental health up, you need to take some time for yourself. A lot of college students take naps during their free time and I highly recommend that. Naps are pretty great.
Kicking back and relaxing is what everyone needs. Maybe recreational alcohol use calms you and centers you every once in a while (you can have fun while drinking responsibly). Just don’t do it too often. Plus, parties are a lot of fun and fun leads to happiness. In fact, studies have shown that college students that party are happier.
Friends will support you when you’re down, bring you entertainment when you’re bored, and help with homework if they’re in your classes. Studying in groups is more effective than studying alone, which will give you more free time and better grades (hey, they’re both on this list!). The happiest college students have a tight-knit friend group, but also get along well with almost anyone. It’s much easier to be happy when people are nice to you rather than holding grudges.
This generalization may insult a lot of my readers, but BAs are definitely easier than BSs. I don’t recommend switching to a degree that you don’t want, but if you’re choosing between astronomy and business, engineering and communications, or physics and sports management, you could consider which degree is easier. You’ll spend less time stressing and more time partying and having fun.
It’s stressful when you don’t have good grades. You may not want to finish those last three questions on your homework, but if you have a borderline grade in that class, you’ll be super stressed when finals come along trying to maintain or bump your grade up. And the happiest college students are nearly stress-free.
I understand the urge to splurge when it comes to food. The dining halls are often buffet style and every night, there’s at least one restaurant offering a cheap treat in college towns. It makes it very easy to pack on the freshman 15. However, studies have shown eating healthier leads to happier lives. It will also help with your sleep schedule, cognitive awareness, self-esteem, and you’ll look hot (maybe).
Quite possibly the greatest and one of the oldest stress relievers of all time. Sex releases dopamine like very few activities. It’s tons of fun and always makes me happy. And I don’t mean to brag, but I would say my partners leave satisfied as well. Plus it is a great workout. Exercise often makes people happier, but I don’t know any exercise more uplifting than sex.
We’ve all heard that money can’t buy you happiness, but lack of money definitely adds extra stress. If you have the time, you could pick up a job (there are also creative ways of making money). Or, if you’re a big spender, maybe cut down a bit. You don’t always need to eat out (or eat out at the nicest restaurants). You could make your own coffee instead of going to Starbucks every day. If you don’t have the time/ability to work for whatever reason and don’t spend too much, money may not be easy to check off the list, but it’s definitely worth thinking about. At least, that’s my two cents.
You don’t necessarily need everything on this list and there are definitely other things that contribute to happiness. Maybe it’s fishing or positive affirmations for you. The truly happiest college students know the secret: find whatever brings you joy, and do it. For me, it’s playing basketball/football/etc. with friends.