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I asked my friends what they do on a bad day to cheer themselves up.

dance

This is severely underrated. Recommended song: Vicious by Sabrina Carpenter. Remove your roommate from the room. Put on your headphones and crank up the tunes. Bonus points if you do it in your underwear and t-shirt and pretend to be like the teenager in the first 3 minutes of their coming-of-age movie.

ask friends to get boba

Don’t forget to laugh for three hours and make crude jokes while sucking on balls. Tapioca balls. If you forget about your ten million assignments due tomorrow, you’re doing it right.

spoil yourself

Spoil yourself and buy your favorite drink from the cafe that you never let yourself have. The one that is one dollar out of your price range. When my friend drinks a cool drink, smoothie, matcha latte, or coffee: homemade or cafe-bought, her whole life is solved!

new style

Switch it up! My sister preaches changing into an outfit that makes her feel confident and going to go study in a coffee shop rather than her apartment.

go for a walk

Some people noted that you should do this while blasting music and ignoring everyone you know. Hermit style is always best. But if you always ignore your friend because responding to texts is the equivalent of pulling off each of your fingernails, you can call them back while walking. Another suggestion includes going on the walk not to enjoy the outdoor air but rather to shamelessly indulge in bird watching. 

Hit the gym

This one is less exciting. Gym men are scary and intimidating, especially with the lack of the Barnard-only gym. But, even so, every time I feel an ick all over, the quick and fast-moving endorphins of lifting provide temporary relief, if not eternal bliss.

So yes. Life does suck and seems to be sucking particularly strong right now. But, you deserve a break, a real break, where you laugh and smile beneath the mountains of work. Whether or not you think you do, you deserve it. So please, take study breaks, eat, shower, and of course sleep. Reach out to a school counselor if things get particularly rough!

Olivia Wang

Columbia Barnard '24

Olivia is a Junior at Barnard College studying Psychology. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors and learning new languages.