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Being Kinder to Myself

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCD chapter.

While I’d love to believe I prance through the motions of life as a flawless being, I simply cannot deceive myself… or anyone else for that matter. Like many others, I bear an unexplained pressure to achieve perfection at all times, unable to accept anything less than as worthy. After indulging in a summer of reflection following my tumultuous first year, I’ve begun my transition from chasing futile perfection to exploring growth and protecting my peace. Recognizing the unpleasant truth that this journey will persist as neither linear nor comfortable, I’m determined and excited to treat myself with kindness and patience as I enter my second year of undergrad. Evidently, as a part of this journey, I’ve decided to document a few practices and virtues I aspire to build my second year upon. 

Resting Without Guilt

Unapologetically, I am a napper. In fact, one of my many talents is the ability to nap whenever and wherever regardless of the day of the week. With this gift, comes the repercussion of sleeping through many alarms and potentially productive afternoons. While part of my talent may come naturally, napping is definitely partially a result of my poor sleep schedule throughout the week. As a result, I often feel guilty when I nap and become trapped in a cycle of late nights and sleepy days. Yet, rather than feeling guilty, I should try to ask myself why I require the extra rest and allow myself to recover appropriately. Yes, sometimes I am the cause of my demise, whether that be wasting the night away scrolling through TikTok or texting a friend. Yet, sometimes I just happen to be having a physically exhausting day because of strenuous travel or my period.  Regardless of the reason, I want to allow myself to rest without guilt. During this quarter’s Week 0, I held on to something my calculus professor declared during our first lecture. “The night before an exam, if you are choosing between sleep or studying… choose sleep! Please, choose sleep.” So, this quarter, still upholding motivated and diligent study habits, I am going to listen to my body and choose rest.  

Establishing a Fulfilling Morning Routine  

This summer, I had the luxury of afternoon work shifts and spent my mornings peacefully engaging in calm activities rather than the regularly scheduled rushed chaos that comes with early morning classes. This quarter, my blessing prevailed and I’ve been granted 11 AMs, allowing me to establish a mindful morning routine. Now making an effort to engage in physical activity, read something of substance, and eat a proper breakfast before my classes begin, I’m able to start my day with peace and mindfulness. How I start my day defines my intentions and mindset for the remainder of it, so creating a fulfilling morning routine is key to leading a fulfilling school day.  

Checking In With Myself

Oftentimes, when my workload picks up, I tend to spiral into a drained shell of a student.  Most importantly, I forget to check in with myself.  I forget to take a moment to simply ask myself “How do you feel and how can I make you feel better?” At the end of the day, I am my own best friend and want to treat myself with respect, sympathy, and love, making sure to prioritize my mental well-being above all. Yes, I do have ambitious life goals and identities that may cause stress, but none of that is worth it in the end if I’m unable to protect my peace and virtues.  

Mihika is a third year microbiology student at UC Davis. While she is a STEM major, she loves to reading, writing, and being a member of UC Davis' Her Campus chapter! She also enjoys dancing, watching movies, trying new foods, practicing yoga, and spending time in nature.