It can be difficult to take care of yourself when the school year picks up and academics take priority over your physical and mental well-being. However, making time for yourself is important for those of us entering adulthood.
I found it hard to make time for self-care in high school. My workload was stacked up to tremendous heights, and my day was packed with after-school soccer practices that kept me out of the house from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Every available moment in my schedule had to be spent doing work or scrolling on social media to avoid doing work.
I fell into a perpetual cycle that went from, “Oh, I’ll get to that later,” to, “Oh, I have to get that done ASAP,” and finally to, “Oh, I no longer have time to do that thing I’ve been wanting to do.”
Whether it was cracking open the new memoir I was dying to read or simply lying in bed and blasting music with colored lights on, I never had the time to enjoy myself — well, I never made the time.
Leaving the high school scheduling system behind was extremely liberating when I came to college. I’m no longer forced to sit at a desk for almost eight hours straight. Now, I only sit in class for up to three hours a day, and the rest of my time is my own.
In college, we have the choice to spend every spare moment doing our work and trying to get weeks ahead so we have free time later, or to get our priority work done while carving out some time for productive self-care.
Here are some ways that I incorporate self-care into my week:
First, one perk of Boston University is that it’s a city campus and we can walk from place to place. In my hometown of Boca Raton, Florida, I had no option but to drive everywhere.
I found myself always wishing I went on more walks after spending hours at school or studying in my room. At BU, not only do I walk to get places, but I often take longer routes and jam out to music when I do. This is an easy and enjoyable form of self-care.
I also enjoy spending time with my roommate and friends. Every Friday night, we walk from Warren Towers to the Fenway campus dining hall for dinner. We come back to the dorm and watch movies and TV shows late into the night.
This has been great for me, as I used to find myself staying up into the wee hours on Fridays doing homework in an attempt to get ahead. However, I would always end up sleeping in and having no time left to enjoy the rest of my weekend.
Movie nights are a great way to engage in self-care by surrounding yourself with friends. Rather than laying in bed and watching movies alone, or attempting to put them on as background noise while I do work, I enjoy that I can share the experience of watching with friends.
One more way I practice self-care is by making time for reading.
I was slow to pick up a book again after getting to college. I was too focused initially on adjusting to my new environment and workload. However, realizing all the free time I had inspired me to read more.
BU’s campus has so many great spots to relax and read. I like snagging a lawn chair on the COM Lawn or BU Beach to sit and read in.
You can play some background music if that doesn’t hinder your focus, but I also enjoy sitting outside and letting myself tune out the sounds of my fellow students passing by.
Whether you take a page from my book of activities, rekindle a passion for something you haven’t done in a while, or choose to take up a new hobby, there are many ways to engage in self-care while at BU.