Going to college in Boston isn’t always a walk in the park.

Luckily, David Mercier, author of the award-winning book A Beautiful Medicine, recently launched an app called Gradlike that is designed to help students cope with the stress of college life. Mercier’s take on “the art of living” comes after years of clinical research and experience studying the mind and body, and the active measures people can take to ensure the their overall health. After listening to several GRADLIKE podcasts, here are five main takeaways that would benefit any local college student.

Resilience and Perseverance

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In one of the first podcasts on the app, Mercier addresses the reality that picking yourself up from humiliation or embarrassment must come from you. Whether you are still emotionally recovering from spilling your entire tray in front of the entire dining hall, or you have failed every test thus far in the semester and you are scared to go back to class, you have to make the decision to change the situation. With resilience and perseverance you can achieve more by pushing yourself.

“Congratulations, you are normal!”


Your bad habits as a college student are normal. Procrastination is a monster of a problem, but Mercier wants you to stop thinking you are going through any of this alone. What you need to do is avoid isolating yourself for fear of standing out as a lesser individual and accept yourself as part of a community-even if it is a community of people that can only write essays the night before they are do (which is not a Mercier-recommended strategy, by the way).

No Shame When it Comes to Feelings


As it turns out, it’s OK to miss your parents. It’s also appropriate to miss your friends at home, and your own bed at home, and even your pets at home. There is this beautiful lie that things and you will just automatically be different when you get to college. Of course you can take advantage of the opportunity to “start over,” but that doesn’t mean you dump all of your born characteristics and emotionally attachments out the window. Mercier reminds college students to process their feelings rather than hiding from them– embrace these feelings and consider them carefully when you make your decisions.

Don’t Let FOMO Own You


Most college students are all-too-familiar with feelings of FOMO. Mercier’s podcast talks about the natural desire we all have to fit in, and the way we fit in is to do the activities and spend time with people we hope to fit in with. What we can take away from his advice is to make decisions for ourselves. Granted, some opportunities are once in a lifetime deals, but when it comes to the option of attending a regular old party or studying for a huge test on Monday, sometimes social sacrifices must be made. Don’t let FOMO run your life; if your friends are worth your time, your relationship won’t be affected by your inability to hang out every day because you made the decision for yourself to do something else.

Treat Your Relationships Like a Newborn Baby


Whether the relationship is one of romance and intimacy, friendship, or work related, take care of it. Fight your instincts to be jealous, vengeful, or anything else that would result in you yelling at the other person in this relationship. Would I say that to a newborn baby? Would I use that tone with a newborn baby? This question allows us to analyze whether or not we are being nurturing, respectful, and comforting to our friend or partner. If you have something important to say, then be honest, but be honest with a mindful tone.