It's Okay To Take A Break
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Student Life

It's Okay To Take A Break

When your mental health and/or physical health is suffering, you need to take the time to recover.

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It's Okay To Take A Break
A Girl, Books, and Other Things

In my junior year of high school, my English teacher said, “In America, taking time to relax is seen as a bad thing, it’s seen as lazy. However, in other countries relaxation is seen as a necessity.”

As university students in America, there is a constant pressure on us to be consistently busy. If we ever have a free moment to simply sit and reflect, it feels odd to us. I, for one, had not had a free moment to open up Netflix and watch even an episode of FRIENDS since school started in August.

I finally came to realize that there is something wrong with this mindset. The pressure we feel as college students is pressure we put on ourselves to do better, to overachieve, and to go above and beyond. However, going days without sleep in fear of missing out on a night out or not getting full points on an assignment is not worth compromising our health.

This past week, I was extremely sick, more so than I could ever remember being. Not only was I not able to eat or get out of bed, I also wasn’t able to go to class at all. I could not believe that I simply skipped class as if it was no big deal.

No one does that, just goes 3 or more days without going to class, especially with midterms and papers looming in the near future. Needless to say, I was stressed and rather appalled at myself. But what could I do? I was so physically weak and in so much pain, I would have been useless out of bed. I decided to finally take the time to rest up.

A few days later, after visiting the doctor, getting blood tests and the works, and finally receiving antibiotics, I am slowly getting better. However, I am definitely much further behind on my assignments than I would have liked to be.

Although my professors seemed to be strict in enforcing due dates and midterm sessions, they were surprisingly understanding when I finally got the chance to explain my situation. I finally came to realize that taking that time to get better is not only okay, it is advised. It should not be recommended, it should be required. In high school they tell you the real world waits for no one.

In college you come to the understanding that sickness, health, and personal problems are part of the real world. Everyone has them and everyone understands them.

The moral of the story is: TAKE THE TIME OFF. Do what you need to improve your physical health or your mental health. It is important to be your best self in everything you do, and sometimes we need that time off. We need time to unwind. So skip the goddamn party. Flunk that one assignment. Drop out of the time-consuming club that is not adding much to your resume anyways.

Do what you need to do in order to put yourself first.

Because, as students, we have never been taught to prioritize health. We have been taught to prioritize our social lives, our classes, our internships, our jobs, our families, our significant others, but never ourselves. It is time to change that. So tonight, I plan to throw on a pair of my favorite fuzzy socks, make a cup of coffee, and watch an episode of FRIENDS. Maybe two episodes. Even three if I’m feeling a little wild.

And here is my formal invitation for you to join me, because couldn't we all use a little breather now and then?

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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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