The Importance of Taking Care of Yourself

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As a college student, you have to prioritize school over a lot of other things. From going out and having movie nights with friends to going home for an extra weekend with family, sometimes it just has to come second to the time you’re putting into school. Over my four years of college I have learned the hard way that taking care of myself is always something I have to give priority to.

 

We have all seen the triangle featuring self-care, good grades, and a social life. You are told that you can only pick two. My freshman year, I hadn’t heard this before. I really thought I could have it all. I didn’t realize that to have my thriving social life and academic career, I was sacrificing myself.

 

Fall semester of my sophomore year I was fried. I was taking seventeen hours, working two jobs, in a sorority, in a relationship, and three hours away from my family. I thought all was well until it clearly wasn’t. That entire semester really looked like me just falling apart. Not pretty.

 

After the catastrophe that was my life three semesters into school, I took a step back and saw myself for the first time. I was worn down physically, emotionally, and mentally. This was a scary thing to realize. It is not fun to be introspective for the first time in a long time and not like what you see.

 

Once that realization hit me, I pushed school to second place. My life completely flipped. I moved from Michigan to Alabama to Oklahoma in three months. I spent time with my family and got to know them for the first time in several years. I started dating the man I later married. I made sure I slept at night and I only went out when I needed socialization, not just because I was bored. I reconnected with old friends and watched more Netflix. (Netflix can be a good thing, I promise.) I started reading books that I wanted to read instead of just assigned texts. I started working out again. I got a journal and actually used it. I liked myself again.

 

You know what the kicker was? Since I have been taking care of myself, I have gotten a 4.0 every semester. If you had asked a sophomore version of myself if that was possible, you would have received a hard “no”. But here I am, a better version of myself with a higher version of my GPA.

 

I haven’t taken the normal route. I’m four and a half years into college and just now in my last semester. I will turn 24-years-old a couple weeks after I graduate. I’m married. I’ve gone to three different universities. But my route was the one that was best for me.

 

I want to encourage you, wherever you are in life, take a step back. See where you are on your priority list and reevaluate. I dare you to put yourself first, just for a couple weeks, and see what happens. You might impress yourself.