Opinion | Dedicate time to yourself this semester


The Daily Illini File Photo

An Illinois student relaxes on the Main Quad on April 3. Columnist Noah advocates for taking relaxation time for yourself.

By Noah Nelson, Senior Columnist

A few weeks into yet another stressful and mentally draining semester due to remote learning, most students can agree on one thing: School is overwhelming. Is it because everyone sits online all day long? Because we can’t do our normal activities quite yet?

Whatever the case may be, so many students have maintained that they’re all overwhelmed. When school is done for the day, they don’t have the energy or power to do anything else. It’s unfortunate that this is today’s college life, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

While you’re dealing with school and everything that goes along with it, take time for yourself this semester. You know you need to.

How does one go about taking time for themselves? Do whatever makes you happy. Honestly, it’s that simple. When you find yourself stressed and don’t want to function anymore, take a break and do something you love to do. College is a great time to explore new passions and practice old ones. This will not only help you, but it will keep you sane.

By doing so, finding a creative outlet could do the trick. Write in your journal. Paint on a canvas. Play a musical instrument. Take pictures of the world around you outside. Anything that will get your creative juices flowing will not only help you forget about school for a little bit but also relax your mind and body.

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If you don’t want to be creative, try doing an activity that requires no imagination whatsoever. Play your favorite video game. Binge-watch a season of a television show. Ride your bike. Take a Buzzfeed quiz. The possibilities are endless when you don’t have to worry about its productive value — you can just do it.

While you’re doing these activities, whatever ones you choose, don’t forget your friends and family. Keep in touch with them as much as you can. They are by far the most important people in your life. Don’t abandon them simply because you’re busy with school. More than likely, they will help keep you grounded and, hopefully, stress-free, at least for a little bit.

College is what you make of it. The four years at least you spend in higher education are some of the best ones yet. You don’t want to look back when you graduate knowing that the only thing you did in school was study or stress over the next paper or text. You want to look back and remember all the good times you spent doing the things you enjoy with the people you love.

There’s no doubt life is difficult right now, especially for college students. None of us want to sit behind a computer screen all day, but it’s the way the world is now. Hopefully, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, but for now, we have to endure.

School is important — there’s no other way around that. However, spending every waking moment of life dedicated to it will slowly drain you mentally and physically if it hasn’t already done so. Keep up with it, but in times of stress and discomfort, you need to take time for yourself.

Whatever you end up doing to relax is completely up to you. Taking part in hobbies of your interest will not only keep you grounded but content too.

Wherever you are this semester, know that you’re not alone in feeling overwhelmed. We will get through this together because as Illini, we’re all in this together.


Noah is a junior in the College of Media.

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