Using Breaks Wisely

Incredibly unsurprisingly, you don’t get a lot of free time in college. No matter who you are or what you do in your after-class hours, you will very rarely be bored. I’m not sure whether that’s a blessing or a curse, but there are very few moments you’ll be given the freedom to do whatever you want an impending exam or essay begging for your attention. 

But every now and then, you’ll get a glimpse of liberty and if you’re anything like me, you’ll have no idea what to do with yourself. 

Take for example, Spring Break. An entire week free from courses with nothing but yourself in the way of pure relaxation… right? Even if you do have midterms to study for or projects to work on, they surely won’t occupy the entire 168 hours of freedom you have to do absolutely nothing. 

Still, you’ll return to campus seven days later and when your professors ask you how your break was, you’ll without fail in unison, with the dozens of other students sitting around you, murmur “not long enough”. 

The truth is, no matter how long your break was, it will never be long enough. You can only do so much in 24 hours, and when your ‘If I have free time’ to-do list is already overflowing, you’ll never be able to actually enjoy that rare time. 

College survival tip #11: When breaks roll around, put your life on pause. Forget about the to-do and should-do lists and just let yourself relax. 

You may think you’re going to stress yourself out more in the long run if you put off all of the assignments due in the future, but trust me when I say that you need to give yourself time to be yourself. You work hard year-round, you deserve the time off.

When you finally get those moments of free time, cherish them. Don’t spend them stressing out about all of the work you’ll have to do when you get back in your routine or how behind you are in your reading for your classes. Let all of the stressful thoughts go and revisit them when you have a clear mind. 

That’s way easier said than done. One of the hardest things for me to do is calm myself down when I get stressed. But when I get worked up and overwhelmed, I’m not nearly as productive as when I’m focused. Don’t let it get to that point. 

Take the breaks you get and be strategic with what you do with them. Don’t do whatever your friends are doing just because you don’t want to be left out, do what you genuinely want to do because you know it will make you happy. 

At the end of break, you should feel level-headed and ready to tackle the problems at bat, not like you need to hibernate to catch up from your so-called break. Breaks don’t come along often so really make the most of them so that by the end of it you’re not saying “it wasn’t long enough”.

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