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What Self-Care For a College Student Actually Looks Like

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at PSU chapter.

Over spring break, I did a lot of things to refresh and recharge myself.

I got my hair washed and a haircut. I got a manicure and a pedicure. I even got a wonderful hot stone massage.  

However, what happens after I get back to Penn State? I will eventually get stressed and just need a day to reset. Usually, college students do not have time to do a full day of pampering.

So, here are some ways you can give yourself self-care even on a hectic schedule. 

Turn off your screens

I know that after a long day my head hurts because I’ve been staring at my computer for hours. I recommend turning off your screens an hour before bedtime to soothe your head and rest your eyes. 

You should save your homework that only requires paper and pencil to do after you shut your screens off. This way, you can still be productive while taking care of yourself at the same time.  

Turning off your screens also helps your brain go to sleep. When you stare at screens, your brain is taking in information which stimulates it to stay awake. When you turn them off, your brain can slowly enter sleep mode.

Read a book

I don’t know about you, but I personally get sick of doing homework pretty fast. Staying up past midnight every night outlining chapters gets old after a while. Sometimes I just want to read something that is not a textbook. 

I have a habit of getting a book from either the Pattee and Paterno Library or the Schlow Library, then read at least one chapter every night. It gives me a little variety in my reading material, and I find it relaxing. It is a nice way to wind down after a hard day of classes. 

Take A shower

In college, getting a massage is kind of out of the question unless you have some serious free time and a masseuse within walking distance. I have neither, so I like to do the next best thing. Showering is similar to a massage in that if you have decent water pressure, it can soothe sore muscles.  

Taking a shower can also make you feel better if you’re sick. Sometimes you push yourself too far during midterms and finals, and all the late-night studying has caught up to your body. Take a shower to make yourself feel better. 

Get Sleep

As a fellow self-deprived college student, this is the best piece of self-care advice I can give you. Sleep is essential for our bodies, yet it is what we as college students lack the most.

A good night’s sleep can transform your next day. I have done poorly on tests in the past because of my late-night studying habits. 

Sleep can leave you feeling refreshed and more relaxed than any fancy massage. So, curl up with an eye mask, your favorite blanket (mine’s electric for maximum warmth) and a pillow that will support your sleeping style (there are different kinds of pillows that support back, stomach and side sleepers so that you can have a restful night without making any joints sore).  

Self-Care does not have to be what it looks like on TikTok. It can be as simple as taking a shower, getting sleep and reading something enjoyable. No expensive face masks or ice rollers required.  

Veronica Figg is a Sophomore at Penn State University with a major in Criminology and a minor in English. She is a student in the Schreyer Honors College. She has been writing since she was young. When she isn't in class you can find her in the library curled up with a good book or working on her second novel.