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As I’ve gotten older, I’ve heard more and more about meditation. I’ve heard that it’s extremely healthy for your body and mind, so much so that it’s life-changing. I’ve read articles and seen videos about celebrities who endorse meditation— even Michael Jordan loves it. If something is this impactful, then surely it’s worth a try, right? We’ve all had this thought about meditation. I’ve especially thought about this as a student with anxiety. While meditation is often endorsed, it’s often hard to find a place to start. I envy those who can totally sit in silence and find peace, but I know that it takes practice. So if I want to get there, I need to get involved. I’ve decided that now is the time to put my best foot forward and do something about my curiosity around meditation. 

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I’ve been at home for this past semester, and with my anxiety, I’ve been worrying about going back to in-person college life. Yes, it’s exciting, but I feel almost the same way that I did before even experiencing college; I have so many worries, doubts, and fears that are competing to take over my excitement. My mind is always this way. I’m always thinking too many thoughts at once, creating excessive stress that I don’t even need to have in the first place. I need to sit still with my mind, and to do so, I need to practice meditating. This is what has guided me to pursue a path towards becoming skilled at meditation. There are only so many programs out there that have a free library of meditative exercises to last for a long period of time without becoming repetitive. I’ve always had an interest in the app Headspace, although I’ve never been down to pay a lot of money to listen to meditative tracks. This was how I felt before discovering Headspace Student. 

If you’re looking for a great deal on a library of meditation tracks, then look no further. Headspace Student costs around ten dollars for an entire year of full library access— around 50 dollars less than the regular subscription cost. All that you have to do is enter your name, birthdate, and college after downloading the app, which is super easy. Within the library, not only is there access to every meditation lesson Headspace has to offer, but also relaxing music, bedtime stories for adults, soundscapes, and even workout videos. The meditations, music, and workouts are based on certain themes and goals, like focusing on studying, and there is an endless-seeming amount of options. Additionally, most of the meditations have the option of selecting your instructor depending on the specific training and meditation styles you prefer. 

Headspace recommends that those who are beginners at meditation follow along with their basics courses, with three different options for instructors. It also advises that within the app you set up a certain time of day to meditate for a certain amount of time. I selected the morning time for five minutes and did the basics lessons with the instructor Dora. I found that the ability to have so many different options when it comes to using Headspace made it easy to keep up with and set to my liking. After just one meditation session, I found myself feeling a ton more at ease than before I hit play, and this feeling is what led me to try different Headspace lessons beyond the basics. While browsing through the library, I selected a five-minute meditation session on feeling burned out— which I totally am with finals. I was surprised at how much clarity it gave me in moving forward with my coursework, and can definitely say it was healing. 

Another aspect of Headspace that I think is important to touch on is what the app offers to help sleep and rest patterns. Sleep is a word that creates tension and stress for me when I think about it, as I often worry that I’m not getting enough sleep or the most effective and restful sleep. This past year I’ve been really into the podcast Nothing Much Happens with Kathryn Nicolai to help me fall asleep, and was hesitant to try the Sleepcasts on Headspace. One evening, though, I listened to one that was about a vineyard at sunset and can honestly say that it was a lot more effective than I imagined. On Headspace, not only do Sleepcasts focus on telling a story to create peaceful imagery, but they also include moments of meditation and breathing techniques. This is a perfect combination that I think will soothe any sleep-stresser.

Photo by Polina Zimmerman from Pexels

Overall, I think that Headspace is an excellent app for college students. We’re on the go, writing papers, studying and socializing, and we often fail to give ourselves time to just be at peace. Headspace has all kinds of different lessons to suit the needs of a college student, with stress and focus meditations, easy workouts, music for productivity, and calming Sleepcasts. And the best part is that it’s a perfect deal that won’t break the bank. Anyone can practice self-care, but it isn’t always accessible. Headspace is accessible, and Headspace Student is the best of the best for the collegiate self-care we’re always searching for.

Ella Simpson

Kenyon '24

Ella is a sophomore at Kenyon College. She is an English major with a concentration in Women's and Gender Studies. In her free time, she can be found writing poetry, binging Gilmore Girls, and looking at photos of her two dogs.
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