Why School is Not as Important as Your Mental Health

School is hard. There’s no doubt about it; school is difficult, super time-consuming and a huge part of every collegiette’s life. It’s also an incredibly important part of life—the amount of value put onto a person’s education in this country is staggering, and every twenty-something knows that it’s getting harder and harder to find a good job out of college, even if you have a college degree.

School takes a toll on our mental health. Sleep deprivation caused by ten-page papers, panic attacks due to lower grades than we wanted and nervous breakdowns from the sheer amount of work on our plates are normal occurrences for the average, full-time college student. But just because it seems normal doesn’t make it okay.

Despite my preaching about how important school is, and the facts that we all know to be true—that your level of education gives you a certain value in the real world—the fact is that it should never come above your own health. I know, that’s much easier said than done. School feels like the world, and in some ways, for right now, it is. But in actuality, the only thing that’s going to last your entire lifetime is you.

Take a class off sometimes. Take a nap, sleep in and don’t kill yourself over every last assignment. I know it’s not the way they want you to think, but once you get your degree, the jobs you’re applying for aren’t going to be looking at every grade on your transcript, and your GPA really isn’t going to matter as much as you think it will. That’s not to say you should stop trying, or coast by in your classes, but it’s meant to reassure you that you don’t need to be giving 150% every single day for fear of not getting a job after school.

Always take care of yourself first. If you need to talk to the Disability Services office in order to make accommodations (if you’re seriously struggling), don’t be afraid to do just that. That’s why that office is there. Talk to your teachers; some of them are much more understanding than you think. Remember, they were in college once, too. Above all, make time for yourself and don’t ever let something as silly as a homework assignment hurt you physically. You’re never going to look back and regret taking care of yourself.