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Wellness > Mental Health

BU Student Filipa Costa’s Advice To Stay Healthily Busy

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BU chapter.

Filipa Costa, a junior at Boston University, does a lot. She’s majoring in Psychology and minoring in Portuguese and Brazilian Culture Studies. She works as a work-study employee at BU’s Romance Studies department, as a research assistant at BU’s Translational Research Lab, and as a Global House Portuguese leader. She hosts Zoom sessions for students taking Portuguese classes that want to be more involved in the language. On top of that, she’s also the President of BU Student Immigrant Alliance, an up-and-coming on-campus group that she helped establish.

Costa’s experience with the BU Psychology department has been great. The professors have been engaging. The subject material has also been interesting enough to “whip out randomly and discuss with my friends,” who, Costa cheekily remarked, have a love/hate relationship with hearing her psych class fun facts.

“I have always been interested in psychology,” she recalled. “When I told friends what I intended to major in, they told me that I am such a great listener and would be perfect for therapy!”

Costa cites mental health and a desire to help others as the driving force behind her decision to pursue psychology.

“My brother was diagnosed with depression some years back,” she said. “Seeing the struggles he had to overcome was a huge turning point for me to want to study psychology and to become a clinical psychologist.”

Work-life balance is always hard to achieve, especially for a college student in the time of COVID-19. Costa has figured out what works best for her quickly, though. She notes that luckily for her, her commitments only take up weekdays.

“I have my week split up into work and social hours,” Costa explained. “On weekends, I devote a portion of it to relax, meet up with friends, and explore the city of Boston—if weather and safety during the pandemic permits!”

Photo by Gemma Chua-Tran on Unsplash

Costa has maintained a nice balance, thanks to her accommodating team at her work-study and lab positions. Still, she feels burn out because of the semester and the pandemic. She is working on prioritizing her mental health by taking breaks and being kind to herself.

Since Costa has been home, she has baked a new dessert every weekend and asked her family for honest reviews.

“I love trying to bake new things, and I love even more to try them,” she said.

She’s also made more of an effort to communicate and engage with her friends, who she hasn’t been able to see in person. Costa recommends conducting work sessions over Zoom with friends.

“I have been doing this every night, and I feel much more productive having my friend online,” she said. “I can get more work done while at the same time taking breaks and just talking to her.”

Woman sitting at computer drinking coffee
Photo by Bongkarn Thanyakij from Pexels

Costa is also a huge TV and film person, which has allowed her to engage in both her passions and a way to destress. Every Friday, she watches The Mandalorian with her family, which she always looks forward to after a long week. She also highly recommends The Crown on Netflix.

Costa has also taken up other arts and crafts to take her mind off schoolwork.

“I recently got into bracelet making, and I find it so relaxing because not much thinking is required,” she said. “I find it more productive to do this than stay on my phone.”

Costa has been able to balance all her academic and extracurricular commitments by taking time to herself—and that’s her biggest takeaway as we navigate the pandemic with all of our other responsibilities.

Next time you’re at a loss for what to do during break, try one of Costa’s newfound hobbies, like bracelet making or painting/drawing.

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Carina is a senior studying Economics + Psychology at Boston University. She is passionate about marketing, Sally Rooney, and caramel lattes.