Finding Time To Breathe As A Busy College Student
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Finding Time To Breathe As A Busy College Student

Sometimes it feels like your busy schedule doesn't allow for moments to breathe -- here are some ways to find them.

Finding Time To Breathe As A Busy College Student

I am now a sophomore at the University of Dayton -- which is unbelievable. It feels like just yesterday I was that intimidated high school grad, unable to foresee who I would become at UD. As a freshman, I jammed my schedule full of commitments to my job, my classes and extracurriculars. I was also desperately trying to navigate the completely foreign social arena -- and missing my family back home.

All of this is to say, I was busy, stressed and homesick throughout my freshman year. And I began to find necessity in taking time to remind myself of why I'm at UD, what I love about it and not let the negative thoughts and feelings consume my experience. I found it increasingly important to take a moment and breathe -- enjoy the present, appreciate all the gifts I am surrounded by as a student at the University of Dayton. By taking that intentional time to be grateful and present, I was more equipped to access that joy and happiness as a college student -- because I really do love being one at UD.

Here are just a few ways I was able to find that time and create those intentional moments of gratitude and thoughtfulness.

1. Look At Moments Already In Your Daily Routine

Au Bon Pain coffee in the morning!

Anna Biesecker-Mast

For me, as a college student, it's hard to imagine fitting anything else into my schedule. When I'm not in class, I'm doing work for that class. And when I'm not doing homework, I'm at work. And when I'm not doing any of those things, I'm eating or sleeping. And then my day is over. Where am I supposed to put an intentional moment of unproductivity? I don't have time for that!

So instead of trying to cram extra time in, I decided to look back on my daily routine and try to find times I consistently enjoyed and looked forward to. For instance, I noticed this semester that I really looked forward to my morning coffee time.

On days when I work in the morning, I look forward to grabbing my hot coffee from Au Bon Pain (the staple Panera-like dining place on campus), walking to the office, plopping myself in my desk chair and sipping coffee as I peruse my email inbox or catch-up with other office workers.

On days when I have class in the morning, I have time to sit by a window in the Au Bon Pain lounge and eat a breakfast sandwich with my coffee while watching the sun rise over campus.

In those coffee-moments I have time to enjoy where I am and think about what I'm grateful for: hazelnut coffee, beautiful morning sunrises, the fact that I live on UD's gorgeous campus, and the classes I get to take every semester. I have a chance to remind myself that I wouldn't rather be doing anything else right now.

So, take a second to look back on your daily routine and see if you can find any personal moments already in your schedule that you look forward to. Then, try to be more intentional about appreciating that moment and grounding yourself in each day.

2. Slow Down Time

Taking a moment between classes to read or just sit.

Anna Biesecker-Mast

Sometimes I collapse into my bed, look at the clock -- it says 1 am -- and gape at how the last time I looked at the clock it said 8 am. Where did the time go?

With such a crammed schedule, I often don't have time to just sit and pause between work and classes to appreciate the time of day I'm currently in -- except for an hour lunch break. My G-Cal has event blocks stacked on top of each other -- with little wiggle room in between. As a result, each day can easily fly by without me even blinking.

This was especially true for my first year at UD -- I said yes to so many things that my schedule was filled to the brim. This year, I am trying to build ample time in my schedule to take a breather and be present to more moments throughout the day. For instance, my class schedule allows for me to have one to two hour breaks before at least one class everyday. It's a chance for me to check-in with myself -- eat a snack, get ahead on some homework or debrief with a friend.

Finding ways to slow down your day is especially important as a college student -- you do not want these years to fly by! You want to relish in these unique and precious four years of liberating independence, minimal responsibility and endless learning.

3. Eat Meals With People

An indoor picnic after a Chipotle/Cheesecake Factory run.

Anna Biesecker-Mast

Meals are crucial for incorporating a definite moment to breathe in your daily schedule. It is indisputable that you need daily sustenance -- breakfast, lunch and dinner. For me, it is easy to inhale a necessary meal and move on with my day.

Everyone needs to eat -- so meals are the perfect time to sit down, socialize with other students and slow down your food consumption time. Not only are you getting a longer moment to pause in your jammed schedule -- you are also working to build relationships with others.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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