Maintaining Interests

University presents a barrage of work to students with any program. It often comes as an ultimatum: school work, interests or sleep. Although procrastination gives way to indulging in our interests, this procrastination is usually short-term, manifesting itself as binging on Netflix or scrolling through social media. Instagram and Twitter being prime culprits.

Our interests become diluted because after doing work, we tell ourselves we deserve a break—which we do—but there are ways these breaks can be both relaxing and beneficial.

We are a person outside of our work, after all.

This isn’t to say eliminate Netflix entirely from your agenda, but by implementing alternatives you find interesting,  you can help grow your character. These alternatives can even take place only once a week—set a designated allocation of time for it. If you enjoy art and haven’t had time to practice recently, perhaps on Thursdays at 7:00PM you can sketch a little for a breather. Or before bed, make a point of writing a segment of that book you always wanted to write. Listen to podcasts. Take walks. Hang out with friends. Take up photography. Volunteer. These encourage betterment. Betterment, and not at the expense of sleep.

Prioritization is key: according to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, adolescents need between nine and nine and a half hours sleep. Going to bed at 11PM and getting up at 8AM. The organization also offers tips to achieve this goal: they suggest maintaining a routine sleep schedule, and turning off electronics before bed.

This prospect might seem outlandish to university students, and rightly so. But prioritizing sleep is important — while staying up late to finish a project might be necessary sometimes, it shouldn’t become a habit.

School work takes up an obscene amount of time in our lives, yet it should not replace the interests we had prior to becoming university students. In the frenzy to do well in our academics, bear in mind that classes do not wholly comprise our intellect or character.

Perhaps midterm season isn’t the best time to be advocating this.

Or maybe it’s the best time.

Midterm season is the peak of stress for students who are faced with several assignments, essays and exams over the course of a couple weeks. It’s important to not overload yourself, and through small breaks, you might be able to catch your breath, or refocus. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, in fact it’s expected, but keep in mind there are things that help ease the weight on your shoulders.


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