Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Life > Academics

Rest To Impress: The Art Of Deliberate Rest For College Success

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 U Conn chapter.

As scary as it sounds, we are nearly a third of the way into the semester. As we enter the beginning of the midterm season, and the eagerness to enter a new semester is quickly wearing away, it is so important that we are taking time to rest.

I know, I know. Rest? Who is she? Amongst the constant bustle of campus, a nearly never-ending stack of assignments, and the balance of every commitment and extracurricular (do I dare mention, a social life?), the last thing on our minds is probably rest. And no, I’m not talking about the mindless scrolling on TikTok, but deliberate rest.

I always thought that taking a break on my phone was a good enough study break. But good enough is not what is going to energize or refuel us to balance, and most importantly, thrive in everything we have going on in our lives.

Deliberate rest is a term that was popularly coined by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang in their book Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less, which was brought to my attention by my advisor when doing research this summer. The main idea is that quality work cannot be done without purposeful rest periods so that the brain can recharge. That’s why the toxic productivity that is so heavily emphasized during college is so, dare I say, toxic. Constantly working will only lead to burnout and will deprive you of the energy you need to truly work through assignments and studying.

That’s why deliberate rest in college is so important: we need to take the time to properly reset and recharge our brains so that we can be our best selves when we do step foot into the classroom or library. I know I know, this is certainly much easier said than done, especially as college students who seemingly have a million things they should be doing at all times. 

Here are some of my favorite ways to practice deliberate rest: your ultimate guide from an overloaded STEM major (aka, me).

1. Going on a Walk

I am the ultimate hot girl walk enthusiast. I will take any excuse to walk anywhere and will opt for walking over driving whenever I can. Especially when it is still nice out, walks are the easiest way to clear my brain and reset before my next class or library session. Although I do love listening to music or podcasts on my walks, sometimes unplugging and being able to sit with my thoughts is the ultimate form of reset.  

2. Working Out

Along the same lines, working out and being active is an amazing way to take a break and find time for yourself. Whether it’s going to the gym, taking a workout class, or watching an at-home workout video, there are so many ways to get active; just find the one that works best for you! This is an amazing form of deliberate rest that emphasizes both physical and mental health.

3. Unplug

Welcome to your do-not-disturb era. The constant notifications from my phone can sometimes make me feel overwhelmed, especially when I am already anxious about my classes and workload. Unplugging and taking time away from your phone allows you to truly prioritize yourself and not compare yourself to others — or prioritize people’s needs other than your own.

4. Picking up a Hobby

Okay, I think the last thing that we pictured ourselves doing this semester was picking up a new hobby. But finding an activity that we love to give ourselves a brain break is so important, no matter what that hobby may be. Whether it is reading that book you saw on TikTok, cooking, content creating, yoga, running, crocheting, or volunteering, finding something to do in your spare time besides going on your phone is an important piece of deliberate rest. Especially since I have an apartment this year, cooking and enjoying a nice meal has been one of my favorite things to do after a long day of classes.

At this point in the semester, more than ever, it is essential to take time for yourself and practice deliberate rest. Although it may sound cliche (or even like a broken record at this point), resting will make you more productive. After all, how will you be able to concentrate on your exam if you were unable to get enough sleep studying the night before? So take that everything shower, do all of your favorite activities, and most importantly, rest. Your brain and body will thank you — and your grades will too.

Emily Rostkowski is a senior at the University of Connecticut studying math and math education. She is a contributing writer to HerCampus UConn who enjoys writing on culture, fitness, lifestyle, and college topics. Aside from this, Emily is pursuing research in her field and has worked as a research assistant this past summer. She will begin full-time student teaching this spring in a high school mathematics classroom. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, working out, eating ice cream, trying new coffee shops, and attending UConn sporting events. Most importantly, she is a hot girl walk, Taylor Swift, and sugar cookie latte enthusiast.