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We’re halfway through the semester…Wow. 

After spending hours tapping away on the keyboard and the light of your computer screen blaring into your eyes, it’s understandable if you’re feeling burned out. On the other hand, it might feel like the end of the semester is just around the corner, and the pressure to be at your most productive is at an all-time high. However, it won’t do any good to tackle the rest of the semester head-on without making an effort to properly transition. 

Which brings us to…

BALANCE.

We all struggle to achieve it. It’s that impossible medium between work and play. For college students, it’s arguably even harder to create. We want those straight A’s, a solid workout routine, adequate rest, social lives, and dare we even imagine doing things purely for the fun of it? 

In other words, we want our cake and we want to eat it, too. 

I’m here to tell you that the desire to have it all isn’t foolish, nor is it unrealistic. For instance, instead of binge-watching an entire series on Netflix, try to instead commit to watching only one episode a day. This is especially relevant considering the many binge-worthy TV shows coming out with new seasons this month, including “YOU,” “Locke & Key,” “Dynasty,” “Another Life,” etc.

If you’re assigned a ton of academic reading this semester, consider reading for leisure, even if it’s only a chapter or two. I promise escapism isn’t actually your enemy. The point is, it’s important to remind yourself that you deserve to have a full life that doesn’t revolve around homework assignments or classroom discussions.

I know it is easier said than done when pulling yourself away from the millions of “I need to…” and “this is due on…” thoughts, but a simple way to ground yourself is to unplug. 

Yes. You read that right. 

UNPLUG.

Shut off your phone, your laptop, your iPad, and any other device you own for thirty minutes to an hour. The benefits of stepping away from the online world, even for a brief moment can have amazing mental health benefits. 

Most importantly, be kind to yourself. You are doing the best you can, and that is no small feat. 

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Sarah Laver

UC Berkeley '22

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