Proud2Bme | 5 Ways to Make Your Campus a Safe Space for Recovery: A Countdown

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5 Ways to Make Your Campus a Safe Space for Recovery: A Countdown

By Kimberly Neil--August is almost over, which means that a new academic year is beginning for most college students. A new school year can feel like a much-needed fresh start, especially for students who either commute to their campus daily or live in their colleges’ dorms. As someone who spent her entire sophomore year in a completely new environment – I was a transfer student – I’ve seen the way being on campus can easily turn into a distinct all or nothing situation when it comes to making the most advantageous decisions to help your recovery journey. So, here are five ways I think Proud2Bme readers can try to shape this semester into an empowered one:

5) Always remember the power of setting goals and good intentions.

With each new syllabus and responsibility that being in college brings, it is very easy to become overwhelmed somewhere between the first week of classes and midterms. Or between midterms and finals, because really, it’s a bit of a cycle. College forces you to commit to putting your best foot forward in so many different situations. Between classes, endless chapters of assigned readings, friends, dating, and extracurricular activities such as sports, clubs, or even a job/internship, things can start to feel overwhelming quickly.

This, combined with the natural comparison that happens between you and your peers, can be triggering. One of the most important aspects of recovery is constantly working to be okay with yourself, as you are, in the present. This process can be challenging, but it’s definitely harder when comparison can feel like one of the most triggering experiences.

Being a student surrounded by other equally intelligent, amazing, talented individuals might cause your old disordered voice to creep back up on you. It’ll whisper something like “Why are you tired? You aren’t in as many clubs as her! Why didn’t you do better on that quiz? You aren’t even taking as many credits as him!” Everyone is on their own path, though! So while you might not have as many executive board or committee meetings packed into your week, or as many credits packed onto your schedule, it absolutely does not make you a less deserving person. Something about you is unique! You chose to go to college to follow or discover your passion. Remember that.

This semester, challenge yourself to set small, achievable (daily or weekly, your choice) goals. A couple of ideas include: arriving at your earliest lecture a few minutes before you usually would, or stepping outside of your comfort zone by visiting your favorite professor’s office hours at least once. All of your goals don’t have to be academic in nature. You could also aim to pay it forward by showing one of your friends you care by bringing them coffee or setting aside a little extra time to catch up with someone you might not see as much as you did in previous semesters. If you’re an incoming freshman or transfer, you can also aim to talk to one new person from one of you classes or student organizations!

The purpose of setting these goals is to give yourself solid evidence – think of it as a sort of armor – for when those disordered thoughts try to drag you down. You might not be like one of your peers, but you’re an awesome, unique person and you’re always accomplishing something new. Combining this practice with setting good intentions (I will be honest, I will be open-minded, I will give my next assignment/quiz/exam my best) can be the key to slowly rebuilding the confidence in yourself that your ED might have taken away in the past. 

To read tip #4, click here. 

To read tip #3, click here. 

To read tip #2, click here.

To read tip #1, click here. 

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Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

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