Whether this is the first semester of your freshman year of college or your final “first” semester of graduate school, the start of a new academic year can come with so many new and different things.

Some might be exciting, like meeting new roommates; while others might be challenging, like repairing a suffering GPA.

Regardless of what experiences come your way, it is important to find a balance between school, work and your social and personal life.

A great way to start the new academic year is to establish a daily routine.

While classes naturally create a routine, there are many other areas of your life that could benefit from some structure.

Setting aside certain days or times for things, like hanging out with friends or catching up with family, can be just as important as scheduling time for studying.

Having an exercise routine can also be helpful and more than just managing weight.

Regular exercise can help manage stress, anxiety and depression.

Eating regular, well-balanced meals at around the same time each day can further help with overall physical and mental health.

Additionally, taking time to relax can help balance out the stress of studying, working or dealing with social/ extra-curricular demands.

Give yourself the gift of setting limits on where and how you spend your time.

It might seem like extra work now, but it will pay off when October hits and you find yourself not wondering where all your time went.

If you find yourself having difficulties that cannot be resolved with setting routines and engaging in self-care, reach out to someone for support.

You can also visit Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), where a variety of mental health and wellness services are available to assist students so they can successfully reach their own personal, academic and career goals.

We also offer weekly counseling groups, including Mood Matters on Mondays, a group on managing depression and anxiety; Let’s Talk on Tuesdays, which explores ways to improve relationship skills; Proud To Be Me on Wednesdays, which provides support for LGBTQ+ concerns; Understanding Self & Others on Thursdays, which explores personal identity and interpersonal success; and Emotional Flexibility on Fridays, which provides a variety of stress management techniques.

More information regarding CAPS’ services and support can be found by visiting: www.fit.edu/counseling-and-psychological-services/

We are here to help you achieve your goals and be the happiest and healthiest Panther you can be.

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