The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
It’s close to the middle of the semester. You have projects and essays due, one right after the other, and midterm exams to study and ace. However, just pushing through all that mess wouldn’t help you pass. In fact, it’s more likely you won’t pass that midterm if you don’t do the one thing everyone needs: take a break.
I know, most high schools drill it into your head that professors don’t care about you, and that you need to have perfect attendance. Well, I’m telling you now, it’s okay to take a break. Most professors allow you a certain number of unexcused absences that mean you can not show up to class and not be docked for it, especially if attendance is a part of your grade. A senior criminology major is giving you this advice as someone who learned the hard way. Sometimes, when you’re not okay, it’s best to stay home until you are okay.
So, How do you take a day?
Step 1: Pick a Day. If you’re desperate, just chose the day after, because you need that time as soon as possible. However, if you think you can manage a little longer, choose a day where you don’t have many classes, so you don’t get so behind, and you’d be done early that day either way. Whichever suits you best, and whichever gives you the best time to heal (I choose Fridays because I have fewer classes, and it’s the beginning of the weekend).
Step 2: Email your professors. You don’t necessarily have to, but it’s common courtesy to let them know you won’t be coming to class. You also do not have to go into detail, just tell them that you need to focus on your mental health and they’ll understand.
Step 3: DON’T GUILT TRIP YOURSELF. Sometimes, if you’re one of those students who is used to pushing through the week, you can sometimes feel bad for not going. Don’t. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and crying every day after class due to stress, is not mentally healthy. It’s okay. You’ll get back on the horse the next time!
Step 4: Do as you please. Do whatever you want with your day. Want to catch up or get ahead on coursework? Do it! Want to sleep until 2 pm in the afternoon? Do it! Play video games, draw, go shopping, listen to music, learn a new hobby, talk to friends or family, whatever makes you happy and relaxes you, do so! Once you do something you’re not really required to do, you can reset your mindset for coursework and learning later on. Focus on you. Once you do that, you’ll feel a lot better about going back to class and hitting the books again.
Step 5: If you still feel off, take some more time. Emailing your professors not only builds repour with them, but also, keeping in contact helps them further understand your struggles, and they can help you catch up with work. Not all professors are like that, but most of them are willing to work with you if you are willing to talk to them and keep them updated on what’s going on. If it’s getting too hard, maybe speaking to a therapist or counselor to see if there is anything else going on can help you feel better.
Your health comes first
I know school is important to many of us. Even more so for those on academic scholarships who need a certain GPA in order to receive that funding. However, your health should ALWAYS come first. You can’t excel if you’re not feeling good mentally, emotionally, or physically. If you need to seek help, do so. Don’t be scared to. If you just need time to re-center yourself, then do so! Being an excellent student is great and all, but what’s the point of being great if you don’t feel well all the time. Take the time off. Do something fun or relaxing, catch up on work later. You need to take care of yourself! There is only one you in the world, and the world wouldn’t be the same without you.