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You May Need A Mental Getaway

College feels like a never-ending string of tasks and deadlines and errands that need to be done. Somehow, there never seems to be time for it all, and it’s almost impossible to get it all done. Even if you do manage the impossible, there’ll be more to do by tomorrow. Even starting work in advance and procrastinating less doesn’t seem to lessen the stress at the moment. And the line between one’s personal life and work/college life is very difficult to manage. Managing a full-time course load at college while also balancing extra-curriculars and side projects with a healthy social life, food, exercise, and sleep, requires more than 24 hours in a day. And yet, this is how we live for nine months of a year. And even in the evenings, on weekends, breaks, and long holidays, the work doesn’t go away. We are conditioned to constantly be bettering our transcripts and resumes, often to the detriment of our mental health.

If any of this resonates with you, let me tell you right now: take a break! You are doing enough, what you achieve will be enough, and this paper or this grade will not define where you end up.

water in handsThink back over the last five years of your life, about your memories of school, and your favorite moments. Think about the people and the experiences that truly shaped who you are today. I’m going to bet you’re not thinking about the all-nighter you pulled that one time? Or that presentation you were super nervous about? You remember the people and the moments that spark joy, and the moments that you broke down. You remember the things that were different from your every day because those moments made you feel something. And if you think about where you might be in five years, do you want to remember right now through moments where you felt overwhelmed and out of energy and motivation, or do you want to remember how incredible right now is?

So here’s my advice: weekend getaways. It doesn’t have to be every weekend, but at least once every other month, if not once per month.

Anna Schultz-Girl Looking Up In ForestTake the two (or three) days to get away from wherever you are. That place you associate with deadlines? Leave. For a weekend, at least. It can be with friends, family, or alone. And don’t worry, you can still work while you’re away, but I highly recommend getting away from the place you associate your stress with. You can take public transport – you don’t have to go that far away. But at least get out of whatever city you’re in. Go to the suburbs, or visit some family, or get an Airbnb an hour away in a place you’ve always wanted to explore but never have. Go somewhere. Take a walk, take in the sights, grocery shop somewhere you haven’t before, and people-watch. If you want to go out or eat out, that’s totally up to you and your budget, but this doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, you could even make some money by renting out your own place on Airbnb for whichever weekends you’re not there. The point is to get out of your usual environment. It may not something you can put on your resume, but I guarantee it will enrich your life.