It’s Okay to Take Time for Yourself

As college students, we’re under quite a bit of pressure in our lives. Stress over classes, stress over jobs, stress over finances – we just generally have plenty of stress to deal with every day. It becomes natural to fret over every aspect of life. Unfortunately, that tends to expand into times that should be reserved for fun and relaxation, the moments that are needed to help us get through the other, more difficult parts.

Society has ingrained in our minds that hard work will lead to success. While that particular statement could lead to a conversation in and of itself, it has definitely had some negative impacts. Particularly, it has caused many people to feel that they constantly need to be working, and working hard. It doesn’t matter how run-down they feel, any downtime seems to them that they’re slacking or forgetting something. Downtime just means that they’re procrastinating, and will be left behind. This twist of perception causes downtime to turn into the very thing it is meant to combat: stress.

We all know that too much stress is a bad thing; however, taking any time to ourselves feels like a mistake, so we are left with a curious twist in circumstances. We take things that are meant to be fun, meant to be a relief, and turn them into serious endeavors. How else can you explain how poorly the young adult genre is treated within literature? The subjects covered in this genre don’t suddenly become uninteresting because people have aged into adults. The topics covered in these novels are often ageless and the same topics covered in classic literature. They may even be more relevant because many are current and inspired by modern times. They just tend to be more amusing than more “mature” literature. They can cover serious issues, but still be fun.

I’m by no means advocating that we never read classic literature. There are plenty of novels that fall under that criteria on my reading list. If you enjoy a book, by all means read it to your heart’s desire. If the only reason you are reading it is because it is considered a classic and hate every second of it, consider waiting until later to read it. People already spend too much of their lives doing things they don’t necessarily want to do. Don’t let that spill into the time that should be reserved for self-replenishment.

Literature, of course, is only one example I could have gone with, but the general idea holds true all throughout life. We get enough academics on a day-to-day basis. The time that we have to just be ourselves and relax should not be required to be serious. Everyone needs some time to just have a break once in a while, have some fun, maybe even be a bit goofy. We owe ourselves that much.


Images: Cover, 1, 2