It’s alright to splurge on yourself

By Sriram Karumbunathan, Columnist

As we come to the halfway point of the semester, students have a full load on their shoulders. Between midterms, looking for jobs and internships, extracurriculars and working, students are continuously stressed out.

During this hectic time, they still must manage their budget and decide how they want to spend their money each month. In doing so, though, it is perfectly acceptable to put some money toward treating yourself to something nice once in a while.

Between books, food and living costs, students often find it hard to justify spending money on themselves. Whether it be going out and having a nice meal with your friends or buying a new outfit, there is value in dispensing money when it goes toward a nice evening or item you have had your eye on.  Putting time and money into focusing on your mental health is essential, especially during one of the most stressful times of the semester.

 Some people find it hard to justify a purchase that they don’t necessarily “need,” but it can still be worthwhile to dish out a couple of extra dollars each month on these items and experiences, because they add value to one’s life. You can even argue that this “frivolous spending” is just as vital as putting money toward tuition or groceries. College is really stressful with balancing schoolwork and other responsibilities, but it is equally as important to schedule some enjoyable and carefree moments in your life as well. If a little bit of money is required to do so, then don’t be afraid to budget “fun” money in addition to grocery and tuition money.

While it is a dangerous mindset to always be rewarding yourself for anything positive, there is a balance that can be found between work and play.  For students, there are always those big rewarding moments throughout the semester. Some examples are when you finish a big exam, have a good interview or obtain a new job. During these joyful times, when all your hard work has come to fruition, don’t be afraid to go out and spend a night doing whatever you want to do. Doing this will allow you to jump back into your work with a fresh new view, which may help you focus and succeed even more.

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Similar to how you should not always feel guilty about spending money on fun things, don’t have a guilty conscience about giving up some free time to relax and not think about work. A reward does not even have to be spending money or going out for a night. It can be as simple as just spending a night watching a Netflix series. Allocating time to doing nothing and relaxing can be well worth it. Evenings of relaxation will help relieve all the stress that has been building up over a semester, and you will likely wake up the next day with a better mindset. Every now and then, you’ll find that when you’re working too hard, you don’t always see things clearly. There needs to be something to refresh your mindset.

So don’t be afraid to treat yourself. At the end of the day, what matters is that you are happy. As Aristotle notably said, everything that we do is to attain the state of happiness. In college, we are all working toward getting a good job, which in turn will hopefully give us a good, happy life. However, along that journey, make sure you do not lose sight of the present and are happy now, rather than always looking toward the future. This is necessary, even if it means spending a little more than you intended each month on new experiences, or letting yourself forget about work for one night out of the week.

Sriram is a junior in Engineering. 

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