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Why Winter Break Was The Reset I Never Knew I Needed

Unfortunately, for a majority of the previous fall semester, I was sick and had to go home and miss class many times. I first had the common cold, then caught a cough and was put on steroids, and then had a sinus infection towards the end of the semester, around Thanksgiving break. Constantly being sick impacted my overall well-being and performance in school. Those closest to me were concerned that the cough would just not go away. I made it a goal of mine to not let it get that bad again after seeing the doctor three times and constantly having to catch up on missed work. 

I found myself surprised to be feeling mentally and physically refreshed after coming back about three weeks ago from winter break. I was just so physically exhausted at the beginning of the winter break in December. This was because I had stressed myself out by trying to balance classes, club meetings, work, and a social life. I thought that I would be able to handle it, but I ended up finding it hard to focus and just being in a constant state of stress without the tools to manage that stress. While I know self-care such as meditation and journaling are possible ways to manage stress, there would be no time in my day to even think about trying to manage the stress. These self-care tools are essential in college, which is often a time of elevated anxiety for many students. 

I was able to do a lot of things I had no time for while at college. Throughout break, I caught up on sleep, finally read a book for pleasure, and got into a solid workout routine. I vowed to never be as stressed and always make time for myself, because that is what keeps my mental health in check. In order to maintain my promise, I signed up for fewer classes in order to focus on maintaining grades and to feel less overwhelmed.

The beginning of this spring semester was most definitely better than the fall. I have been able to keep up with the workout schedule I created over break, and have even begun to meditate everyday in order to cope with anxious moments. Working out and meditating are amazing tools to maintain a healthy and motivated mindset. My assignments are able to be done on time, which makes it much easier to find time to spend with friends over the weekend. I am able to experience the positive aspects of college and make memories.

College is a time to find your people and yourself. It can be easy to be stressed if you are not used to always being surrounded by so many people. So, just remember to take it easy and not always be so hard on yourself. I promise it will make the experience worthwhile. 

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Harneet Kaur

U Mass Amherst '24

Harneet Kaur is a Sophomore at UMass Amherst majoring in marketing in the Isenberg school of management. She is extremely excited to be writing for Her Campus and thinks it's a great way to kick off her time at UMass. Along with writing, she enjoys listening to music, walking her dog, and playing the guitar in her free time.
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