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Campus is an awfully brief period. It is arguably the shortest phase in the academic lifecycle, and not just because it is 3 years for most. People are usually just preoccupied, doing so many things at the same time; trying to make ends meet and planning for the future, all while keeping up with a demanding class schedule. Because of this, a lot of people forget to build some key life habits for after school. The practices that enhance quality of life and will enable you to live a fuller, richer and healthier life.

The concept of quality of life is hardly ever talked about, especially for young people. Partly because everybody is expected to figure out what suits them, individually, but mostly because, in general, people believe that the only thing you need to know about quality of life is that you should make money, loads of it. While the latter is desirable, it is only a means to an end and not an end in itself. While the practices discussed in here will definitely be much more enjoyable where money is sufficient, without them, life with plenty cash may still feel a bit hollow. These practices fill the void.

Note, however, that, like many habits, these have to be built, overtime. They become a culture, an integral part of your everyday life. That’s why you should start working on them ASAP. Do not be tempted to wait for when Arab money starts to roll in. Alright, enough with the pep talk. Let’s get to it.

Make Memories: You probably do this already, but what I meant is, go out of your way to make memories. First, you must recognize that a time will come when you are not as young and vibrant as you are now. So intentionally identify exactly what makes you happy. Go to the beach, go swimming, camping, hiking, whatever it is that you want. Schedule leisure trips purposefully and try to take in as many of those moments as you can, knowing, consciously, that these are the moments you are going to look back at when you are older.

Document Your Life: Some people leave campus without so much as a picture to show for it. In Uganda, we don’t have a culture of intentionally documenting our lives. Usually we leave things to chance. Do not do that though. Take pictures. Take videos. It doesn’t even have to be a special occasion. Pictures of something as small as your discussion group together will bring back fond memories in future. Also, guard those pictures with your life. Back them up on google drive or iCloud, so that even if you lose your phone, you can still access your memories.

Develop Your Hobbies: Most middle age people I know take immense pride in their hobbies. They spend all week at work looking forward to a weekend at the Golf Club or their favorite swimming pool. It is their escape from the hustle and bustle of their daily life. That is why you should develop your hobbies while at campus. You don’t have to be earning from it in order for it to be worth your time. Plus, it’s good for networking. For those who love soccer, there are already avenues, such as old boy’s leagues, for enjoying the game while, at the same time, catching up with old buddies.

Develop a Workout Routine: Unless you are already an athlete, this is probably the last thing on your mind right now. Young people are known to undervalue workouts the most, compared to their middle-aged and elderly counterparts. But working out is a culture. Your body has to get used to it. You cannot start out of the blue just because the doctor just broke it to you that you are at risk of catching diabetes. So start now, and start small. Develop a routine that you are comfortable with, identifying a few movements to start with, such as squats and sit-ups that you do consistently on a regular basis. After you are comfortable with those, over a couple of weeks, for example, you can start to add other movements or increase the number of sets or reps.

Mind Your Diet: By ‘mind’, I don’t mean, by any means, that you should start limiting yourself. However, there is a lot that you can achieve just by being more keen about your nutrition. For example, calorie intake is something that not so many people care about. But a lot of the weight issues that we struggle with during our middle age, arise primarily from unbalanced calorie intake. The hack is to identify, within your schedule, when it does or doesn’t suit you to consume a certain number of calories. Also, other things like protein-carb intake ratio may not seem important, but may rise serious health concerns later in life. So get in touch with a specialist, a little information, now, may have you feeling much healthier later on.

Hydrate: There’s an ongoing adage that even if you take your water and mind your business, people will get offended. The point is on the taking water. Very few people actually mind the quantities of water that they consume. The side effects of not taking enough may not be outright visible, but that doesn’t make them any less serious. Plus we are playing the long game, right? So build a habit of religiously taking your H2O. The recommended quantity is 3 liters per day. You can start by taking 1 liter and increase once you get used. The aim is to build the culture first, then you can worry about meeting the quantity requirements later. You will feel fresher and more assertive. Thank me later!


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Naya Bala

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