During this time of the year, it seems like everybody is more stressed out and irritable as we enter the never-ending prelims-semifinals-finals season. Even though spending every waking minute on studying, jobs, etc., might seem appealing for the academic and financial benefits, it can actually hurt your health in the long run. As college students, we sometimes don’t take the time to think about our physical, mental, and emotional health. We tend to do things like bragging about how many all-nighters we pulled this semester or how many consecutive hours we worked on something without a break. We are likely all guilty of this, but should we really be sacrificing our health just to prove that we are workaholics? When phrased like this, it seems obvious that the answer is no, so how do we care for ourselves while maintaining a healthy work-life balance?
Everybody has heard that we should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night in order to stay healthy, but how many of us actually reach that number? If you are not getting that amount, think about your daily schedule. Am I taking 22 credits because it is absolutely necessary or am I doing it due to peer pressure? Am I joining clubs for the experiences or just as a way to put one more thing on my resume? This semester, I dropped a class that I thought I was definitely going to take a few months ago because I realized that it wasn’t the right fit for me and I wasn’t getting anything out of it. I also left a club when I felt that I wasn’t getting any meaningful experiences from it. By doing this, I feel like I can prioritize my health a bit more and decrease any unnecessary stress.
While sleep is an important aspect of the self-care equation, what we do during the day is equally important. With the vast number of online classes this semester, it seems like we are always cooped up in our rooms, only leaving for food and surveillance testing. However, that takes a mental and physical toll on our bodies. During this semester, I have continued to go on a run several times each week, and I try to spend at least some time outside every day. I find that going on a 15 minute walk outside can do wonders for clearing my head and reenergizing my body. Although we seem to live in a virtual world right now, that doesn’t mean we need to sacrifice our health. Therefore, I encourage you to prioritize your health first this semester since the long-term gains will be worth it.
Justin Xu, ’23