Relaxing in the Midst of a Tough Semester

Eric Kolb on Tuesday, 16 October 2018. Posted in Student Life

Hi again everyone!

It's week 8 now, and we're more than halfway through the semester. As it gets more difficult and as the work starts to really pile on, it can start to feel extremely overwhelming. I have definitely been in spots myself where you feel like you won’t be able to do it, and you don’t have enough time in the world to get everything you need done. Even though you feel like you must spend every second of your time studying, doing homework, working on projects, or working on your extracurriculars, it’s super important that you take time to yourself and relax at least for a few minutes. Being constantly working is very stressful and can really take a toll on your mental and physical health. You will also look back on times where you worked for too long with no breaks and you realize the time went by so fast, and you wish you would have done something fun during that time. This break from studying and work doesn’t have to be long either.

 If you need a nap, taking 20 minutes can really make a big difference. Watching one half hour episode on Netflix can also really calm you down. Making a quick snack, chatting with a friend, playing a video game or board game with a friend, really anything you enjoy doing can be essential to keep you mentally stable. The important thing you must do is make sure that you can separate yourself from your work, and from the fun as well. If you’re mind is on your work while you’re relaxing, then you won’t REALLY be relaxed. Besides taking these short breaks in between working, taking days off is also important too. Doing homework all weekend, every weekend can hurt your mental health even more. Even if you have a ton of tests to study for, projects to work on, and things you need help with, you should take some Saturdays or Sundays off. This means spending the whole day contributing to your enjoyment, whether that’s hanging out with friends, going out, or staying in and being lazy on the couch. Whatever you do, these relaxation days are important for your well-being.

You may feel like you’re behind when you do these things, but they can really make the difference in your happiness. When you take breaks, it can help reset your mind and refresh you, allowing you to fully dedicate yourself during working periods. If all you do on the weekends is homework, projects, and studying, you won’t meet new friends or strengthen the relationships you have. I can personally attest to this, being someone that worked all the time and my friends would always ask me why they hadn’t seen me in a while. This doesn’t feel good, and looking back taking any chance I could to hang out and have some fun would not have affected my academics, and would have made me happier at the time. Making closer friendships and prioritizing doing things I like, rather than taking no time away from academics, would have been far more beneficial for my happiness and mental health. 

If you take some time to relax during stressful periods in your academic career, you'll have a far better experience and be happier overall!