As an overachieving college student, I have very little free time or money for myself. When I'm not in class, I'm busy filling my time with clubs and activities that will spruce up my resume or working. All of my money either goes towards gas, my Netflix subscription or paying my student loans.
Back in March, I decided to pre-order Nick Jonas' new CD (if you have not listened to it yet I highly recommend it) and a ticket to his soundcheck before one of his concerts. The total was only $25. However, despite it being relatively cheap, I could not help but feel guilty at the expense. Did I really need this? Will it affect my budget? The amount was the current minimum I pay on my student loans, should I just have put it towards that?
Then I realized something: I have every right to treat myself every once in awhile. As I stated before, I work extremely hard and try to be sensible in every purchase I make. Why can't I treat myself to a CD or that cute top in Macy's every once in awhile?
Treating yourself is not just limited to money either. For all of the readers who are on diets and obsessed with cutting out sugar: I assure you if you eat that one piece of cake you will not gain all 10 pounds you have lost again.
My mother always told me that everything is good for you in moderation. This is so important for you as you start to go into the real world. The real world is extremely stressful so it is important you reward yourself for accomplishing goals or occasionally "just because."
It is important to be healthy, maintain a budget and keep a good work ethic. However, there is a reason operant conditioning is such a popular psychological theory. Humans are driven by rewards and punishments. If we reward our good behavior every once in awhile, science points to the fact we will continue that positive behavior.
You cannot argue science right? So go ahead and eat that cake, buy that dress and take a day just to watch Grey's Anatomy or read your favorite novel. It is only going to help you in the long run.