Why It Is SO Important To Spend Time Off Campus!

Stepping foot on a college campus for the first time can be such an exhilarating feeling. Finally, no parents, no rules, just freedom! Trust me, we have all been there. When I moved into UMass my freshman year, I was obviously sad to leave my parents. However, I was beyond ready to be independent and live a full force campus lifestyle!

But college life is not always like what it seems to be in the movies. It seems… perfect! People make it out to be a time full of parties and non stop fun, but that is not the case. Believe it or not, college is not always perfect, and being on a campus all of the time can actually make you feel a little bit suffocated, no matter how big the school is. UMass Amherst is obviously a huge school, but being on campus and seeing the same buildings and people everyday can be a bit too routinely for me. After being a resident on campus for the past year and a half, I realized I need to sometimes just get the heck away and feel human again! And that is why I believe the best thing to do for yourself and your mental health is to step off campus, and breathe in the air of the real world again! 

It is easier said than done, especially when most underclassmen do not have cars and are unable to provide themselves with transportation needed to get off campus. On the bright side, some big schools, like UMass, have public transportation. There are multiple bus routes, and one of them brings you right into downtown Amherst which contains a ton of little shops and places to eat and do homework. My favorite place to go is Bruegger’s Bagels or Antonio’s Pizza. There are also a ton of cute little coffee shops to sit down and study at as well! 

I don’t think students realize it but having the same routine every day and not doing much else can take a toll on your mental health. Obviously college is extremely important and every student should focus on their schoolwork, but mental health is just as important. Hours of schoolwork should compensate for at least one hour of self care and enjoying yourself- right? 

When you are older and have a house off campus, more time will probably be spend off campus as you already are living away from it. And trust me, it is worth every minute to take a little bit of time out of your day to feel like a real person again.

Even if you go off campus to just do some homework, it really does help you feel better. You don’t need to go all out and shop until you drop- but I mean… why not?! Sometimes even when I am overwhelmed with friends or something not involving schoolwork, it feels good to step away from the situation and get a breath of fresh air. 

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