An October Check-in: You Made It

Congrats, Her Campus members and readers! By the time you’re reading this, we’ll have officially made it through the first month of the fall semester! Despite the fact that classes are picking up and midterms are right around the corner, it doesn’t totally feel like we’ve started, especially because most of the things that usually mark the start of a school year for me haven’t happened (i.e. first day of in-person classes, club meetings, city outings, etc). While that definitely makes it a little hard sometimes to focus on schoolwork, I also think that this shift in the role that academics plays in my life has allowed for an important moment of self-reflection. I have so much more time to myself right now, and especially because this year has been so taxing and stressful, I've found value in allowing my classes to take more of a backseat and spending some time taking care of myself. 

Laptop with text on the screen that reads Photo by Polina Zimmerman on Pexels At the beginning of September, I wrote an article venting my nerves and frustrations about starting the fall semester online. I missed Boston as I knew it, and the feeling of coming back to a campus life so drastically different was really hard to contend with. While those feelings haven’t entirely gone away, this semester hasn’t been as impossible as it felt to me when we first started. I still miss being able to hang out with friends indoors, I miss small talk with strangers and trips into the city, but I've found myself appreciating more the small moments of joy we're still able to discover within the context of this pandemic.  I'm incredibly lucky to be here, and that's important to recognize. 

As we enter October, I want to use this article as a check-in. How are you, really? Has the routine you set at the start of the semester been working, and if not, what needs to change? Those daily symptom surveys and weekly COVID tests have been super helpful reminders to check in with our bodies and our physical health, but it’s just as important to check in with yourself mentally too. Take this moment right now to breathe. Release the tension in your shoulders. 2020 has thrown so much at everyone, and the fact that anyone has the mental energy to tackle schoolwork on top of everything else happening this year is beyond impressive. As the semester picks up, try not to demand too much of yourself– set boundaries, take breaks, and continue these check-ins when you can.

self-love Original Illustration by Gina Escandon for Her Campus Media

While fall brings the exciting promise of sweater weather and spooky season, nothing in 2020 is quite that simple. We’re getting closer and closer to the election, schoolwork is building, the fall and winter holidays are coming up, and the pandemic has shown no signs of ending anytime soon. It’s super important to do the work whevever you have the energy to recognize where you’re at and what you need for the future. 

So, take care of yourselves, Her Campus members, readers, and college students alike (and happy spooky season!)

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