Why You Shouldn't Overbook Yourself in College

In college, it can be tempting to join several clubs that really interest you, take more than the minimum 12 hours and also have a job or internship. Trying to balance a schedule that includes a seemingly never-ending list of meetings, assignments and shifts is stressful, and while taking part in all of them is perfectly justifiable to help you get a job after graduation, it’s important to keep your mental health in mind (pun intended). 

For instance, I had a semester where I was taking 15 credit hours, trying to find an internship and was regularly involved with two clubs with which I also held executive board positions. At first glance, this sounds pretty manageable, but when you take into account the intensity of and amount of outside-group work two of the classes required, coupled with the fact that one of my classes was about an independent research project I was doing that included a trip to New York I needed to plan and then add in my extracurricular activities, there was hardly any “me time” left where I could hang out with friends or simply put on a face mask and watch TV for a relaxing night in. 

The latter part of my previous statement is more important than a lot of people like to think—if you never give yourself any time to truly be by yourself, do something you find relaxing, you never get to rest or “recharge your batteries." College students often do this and this behavior is detrimental to, first, mental health, and second, physical health. If we keep neglecting our needs to take a break every once in a while, our mental energy gets completely drained and then that depletion begins to affect our physical wellbeing, which is how people who always run themselves ragged are more prone to catching a cold

Becoming ill, in turn, has negative side effects: you aren’t able to perform at your best at school so your grades can suffer, you risk the possibility of falling behind because you weren’t feeling up to the task of doing all your work, your sickness spreads to other people and now they’re sick....

...which leads to my conclusion: taking some time everyday or at least every week where you simply let yourself rest and relax is as beneficial for you as it is for everyone who surrounds you. So, for the sake of us all, take a hot shower (or bath, whatever floats your boat), put on your comfiest PJs and a face mask and indulge in that new Netflix show everyone’s been talking about.