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Wellness > Mental Health

Leisure Time: The Importance of Taking Time For Yourself

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

Listen, I know what you are thinking: “I’m in college, I work part-time, and I have about a million assignments to do before tomorrow. What do you mean leisure time?”

I had the same feelings coming into college for the first time. I had this entire schedule planned out, including time slots to sit and contemplate what the hell I was doing. I was waking up, going to school, going to work, coming home, and then doing homework until I went to bed. Whenever I would take the time to do something fun for myself like hop onto a video game with my brother or read a book for fun, I ended up feeling guilty, because this was not part of my schedule. Until a few days ago, I still had the same guilt anytime I did something to enjoy myself.

But then I realized: What is the point of being in college and learning if I cannot mentally handle it? Why am I punishing myself for taking time to relax and have fun when I have just been working my ass off for 10 hours straight?

The truth is that as a college student, you have about a million things on your plate. You need to go to classes and do your homework, and maybe go to work a few times a week. Then there are all those extra-curriculars to boost your scholarship applications and resumes. You have a lot to do, and not all of it is enjoyable. If you just do the things that you need to do, you’re going to burn out and feel overworked, and your mental health will overall decline.

You know how this thing called self-care is encouraged? Free time is self-care, just like washing your face or brushing your teeth. Getting even as little as an hour of time to yourself, to do the things that you enjoy, whether that be putting on makeup for fun or playing that video game you’ve always wanted to try, is important to your mental well-being. It also helps increase productivity in the future, as you feel less burnt out when you take time to yourself. Even Psychreg, a company dedicated to informing the public about psychology and mental health, agrees as they dedicated an entire article to the importance of free time. As they put it: “Work-life balance is crucial to maintaining general well-being and long-term productivity.”

As a freshman, I am still learning the balance between work and free time. Some days, it feels like I go from one thing directly to the next, so much so that my screen time has dropped down to a little more than two hours a day (crazy, I know!). I still get overwhelmed and exhausted, but I’m now finding time in my schedule to just sit down and re-lax. I spent the better part of two hours today playing Minecraft with my family, and I feel so relaxed and ready to keep working hard tomorrow.

I know it’s hard to find time in your busy schedules to take time to yourself and find something you enjoy doing. It’s probably going to be hard for a while, and there will be days where you feel like all you did was school and work, and that’s okay. You just need to remember to take a step back when you feel overwhelmed with work and school, and if you take anything out of this, please take the time to do something you enjoy, at least for a little bit during your busy days as a successful college student.

It’s only the first month of school. Take a breath, maybe go get yourself an ice cream cone, and relax. You got it. You’re doing great.

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Indiya Warner

CU Boulder '26

Indiya is a Freshman at CU Boulder with a double major in Sociology and Humanities. She is very passionate about social justice and mental health and hopes to spread awareness and help through her articles.