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How I Am Taking Better Care of Myself This Semester

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Northeastern chapter.

Summer can feel like some of the worst months of the year for college students. This year for me, summer meant going from cramming for finals every night to having ample free time for four months. I read 40 books this summer and drove around to walk in different places with my dog: a pretty lonely and unappreciative-to-myself summer. The last month of my summer, however, I made a change. I decided to work towards taking better care of myself by dedicating more time to schoolwork, spending more time with friends, participating in more activities and spending more time around campus. 

Now that it’s three weeks into the semester, I’m feeling great about how things are going. I have been making time for myself and others. I honestly feel a wonderful balance in my days which feel like they have purpose this semester. Working harder on myself has paid off more in these three weeks than my entire previous semester did. 

One of the most important ways that I am balancing myself is by taking time to read. While studying, I have been offering myself breaks between subjects to read for an hour. Reading is one of my favorite things, and giving myself time to relax and focus on something outside of my personal realm has helped me to feel more motivated to study and do other work. I feel like I work very hard. But I also allow myself breaks, so I do not feel as overwhelmed with studying and homework. 

Another way I am focusing on myself, which is only possible now that I am living in an apartment, is cooking. I’ve found that listening to podcasts or music while making a meal makes it a more fun and less stressful experience. I feel more accomplished and productive when I’m able to learn something while I cook. I also recognize how important nourishing your body is for it to function properly. Cooking and nutrition can certainly be stressful, so listening to something as a distraction or just to feel like food is not the main focus can help.

This may sound cliché, but simply going outside can wake me up almost immediately. Finding somewhere outside to sit and enjoy the day makes me feel brighter and warmer, like the sunlight is soaking beneath the surface of my skin. I have worked harder this semester to go outside and do work or read while experiencing the beautiful day that I am living in. Sitting outside by myself or with friends automatically makes me feel more productive, motivated and excited about being at school and making the most of my semester.

School may be important, but so is being in the moment with the people you love and doing the things you enjoy. I have found comfort in different ways that lessen my stress about school and make me feel like both a human being and a student. Life feels a little bit lighter this semester with just a few priority changes in my first few weeks back at school. I’ve realized that life really is beautiful if you take a little time to focus on it.  

Rachel Mahoney

Northeastern '26

Aspiring journalist that loves to write. Especially interested in forms of investigative journalism, current events, women's rights, LGBT+ rights, and open to writing other stories. I love to write stories and share them.