**DISCLAIMER: ALL IMAGES TAKEN BY AUTHOR, ALI CONLON**
It’s five weeks into the semester and most college students are already at their breaking point. The work continues to pile on and there seems to be no end in sight. We live for the weekend and our next chance to sleep in. There is no time for self care or mental health. I have found the phenomena especially present at Holy Cross due to the incredible work load as well the unique students of the school who seem to stretch themselves excessively thin. I am the worst perpetrator of this. Although I have a long line of homework, I continually pick up new activities and jump at any opportunity to help out others. Holy Cross is also not the most supportive institution for mental health days. As of recently, we have been granted two mental health days a semester – that is quite literally insane. Additionally, Holy Cross is a unique environment where people do not skip class. Teachers are always adamant that attendance is important, which it is, but sometimes showing up to class can be less beneficial than taking a break. This is not a sustainable attitude as eventually we will all burn out and be left with no energy to work. Learning to balance the workload as a college student at Holy Cross is a delicate task, but here are my best tips.
Make sure to sleep
I am so sure you have heard this a million times before, but I have truly seen a difference in myself and my attitude when I get enough sleep. I also have become a morning person which is a radical change in my lifestyle. All throughout high school I cursed the mornings as all I wanted to do was sleep more, but once you get enough sleep, the morning becomes peaceful. Especially on a college campus, mornings tend to be slow and quiet which is the perfect warm up to your day.
Plan out your weeks
It can seem overwhelming when you look at all of your assignments at once, but breaking them down can allow you to know what needs to be done when. It is also such an amazing feeling when you can cross off the work you have completed. Taking it day by day, assignment by assignment, is the best way to go about it. There is no need to do everything at once, it will all get done if you can approach it in a timely manner.
Take breaks and get out!
There are a million events on campus all the time and it can be beneficial to step out of the library (or your dorm) and participate in them. If you are claiming you do not have enough time, I for sure can find an activity that works for your schedule. I have started getting up early and going to 7am yoga because that is my only available time in the day. Seelos Theatre puts on movies every Wednesday night – which I find can be the perfect midweek pick me up. My friends and I get dinner at Kimball and then head downstairs for a movie break.
Take advantage of the weekends
It is totally okay to say you do not want to go out one weekend. Spending time out with friends can be super fun but it is not always the best break as you wake up even more tired and hungover. Take a weekend night to watch a movie with your friends or make a charcuterie board. There will still be parties the next day, so just an evening for yourself.
Dedicate meal times with friends
Setting aside a specific dinner or lunch time can be a good motivator to get your work done beforehand, as well as a great chance to catch up with everyone. Usually dinner is the easiest time to get everyone together to debrief our days. This time is perfect for talking about everything else that is going on – not just stressing about school work. This may not be attainable every night, but determining a few days a week to hang out with friends at Kimball is a great way to destress.