All college students can relate to the incessant papers, studying, and career preparation. Life without a planner seems near impossible, and if you want to submit your thesis by the deadline, it looks like ramen noodles is your dinner… Again.
Undergraduate students undergo an enormous amount of stress. After having to choose a major at a mere age of eighteen, you are tackled with an enormous amount of work and responsibility. We then often sink into tunnel vision where all we eat, sleep, and breathe are deadlines and perfectionism.
You wakeup after only receiving five or six hours of sleep to be hit with seven emails from different Professors explaining how the work you have already started, is now changing. You then hand in your paper for your first class in exchange for the next assignment, that just so happens to be due the same day both your thesis and business presentation is. You promised your best friend you would go to dinner as you’ve been neglecting your relationship so all of this will probably be getting done when the sun starts to rise.
You think to yourself this might not be so bad as you should have at least four hours a day for the next two days to work on it, and then you remember the club you’re in is having an event you have to help host AND you’re still behind on applying for jobs. That debate of getting a third coffee or not is suddenly null, as a fourth and fifth seem unavoidable. Everyone is continuously telling you that you shouldn’t drink so much coffee so maybe next week you can give that a go.
You finally make it home just to be asked by your parents what you’ve actually been accomplishing the past couple weeks because your room is a mess and your laundry might just take a walk downstairs by itself. You feel pretty discouraged that they don’t see all of the hard work you put in, but this feeling has to move on quickly in order for you to focus on that assignment the non-profit you volunteer for sent you.
Are you getting my drift?
This is only a quarter of what the average student deals with all while trying to maintain a sense of self, build relationships, and remain family oriented.
The point is our agenda is often lacking a slot for ourselves. Self-care is probably the most important thing a college student forgets about. We are so focused on meeting deadlines, attending our club meetings, and planning for the future, that we forget how important both our physical and mental health are to us right now.
I know that I personally am always saying that I wish I had time to get a pedicure, or take a hot shower that isn’t rushed, or just sit down with a cup of tea and not have to be looking at a computer screen. Even more troubling is that I often say I don’t even have time to eat an actual meal and so I go without.
My advice to you, as well as myself, is to self-care. And if you don’t have time to self-care, then you really need to self-care. Whether it consists of putting on your favorite face mask, jogging on campus, spending that hour watching your favorite Netflix show, or snuggling up with your dog, you have to do it.
You have to put yourself and your health first because what good are you without it?