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By Kabita Das

The summer before my freshman year at Boston University, I focused a lot on my physical fitness. High school had been so time consuming and stressful that I was excited at the prospect of focusing more on a healthy lifestyle. With more time and fewer responsibilities, I had never felt better that summer than I ever did before. Exercise became much more important to me because I had the opportunity to make it my own.



            When move in day came around, as well as my first weeks at college, I didn’t have the time to go to the gym as often as I used to because I had classes, homework, and extracurriculars. I couldn’t help but feel guilty because I felt like I had thrown that summer away by resorting to my usual sedentary lifestyle. Staying home to do homework rather than go to the gym made me feel like I was slacking. But the choice to focus on schoolwork rather than exercise isn’t a bad one, so why do we feel so guilty when we make it? Is choosing academic activities—or even non-academic activities—over athletics really a bad decision?


            I don’t think it’s a bad decision, but I know how easy it is to criticize yourself for skipping leg day when all you can see on Pinterest and Instagram are your favorite internet celebrities working hard. Online fitness has developed its own culture, but I don’t think that famous users who devote their entire lives to promoting their exercise routine are the best role models for everyone. For many of them, physical fitness is their life’s work, and for overloaded students to make the same commitments as they do is unrealistic, because their priorities don’t align.


            Thus I have come to terms with the unfortunate, but also the comforting reality that I don’t always have the time to work out. By cutting myself slack when I am too busy to go for a run or to pump iron, I feel significantly less stressed—and that’s important. Everyone is different, but I learned that as a student, my list of priorities shift and physical fitness is booted out of first place as education becomes increasingly important.



            So really, don’t get swept up in the social buzz of hardcore fitness if you just don’t have time to go on five-hour bike rides, or to spend the rest of your life at the gym. If you do have that time, and that’s how you want to spend it, you should do it because that’s really cool! With that being said, make sure you plan your routine according to what is most important to you, not what other people say is important- you are the best judge of what you want to spend your time doing!



Writers of the Boston University chapter of Her Campus.
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