OPINION: Take time to smell the roses

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Let’s be honest, college is rough. It’s rough on students’ minds and bodies as they try to keep up with busy schedules, lack of sleep and stress.

It might seem to be easier said than done, but there’s a really simple way to make all of that easier and that is to just make time for yourself. Take some time every day to do something you enjoy and gets your mind off of things to help with mental and physical stress.

There are just a few steps to becoming a healthier student such as eating healthy, building relationships and working out, according to Laura McMullen’s U.S. News article “How to be healthy in college.” But realistically, that can be pretty hard.

When you’re on a budget and have been eating Ramen for several days, that chocolate bar in the vending machine is looking pretty dang good. It might not be super healthy all the time, but it’s a nice treat. Also, if working out is really just not your thing — it’s not mine, so don’t feel guilty — don’t make yourself miserable trying to do it. Believe it or not, a lot of activities you actually like doing or just walking to class can help with that.

The only thing in the “How to be healthy in college” article I could really get behind is the last tip it gives: Look good. There’s a reason beyond vanity for this. Sure, feeling confident in your appearance can be a good self-esteem boost, but I like the idea behind this: Taking the time to do something that makes you feel good when you’re jam-packed with stuff that, in all honestly, can really just make you feel like crap.

If you’re not into taking the time to do makeup, pick out trendy outfits or whatever else might make you say “Oo-la-la” to your reflection. Take that time to read a book, work out, watch a movie, take a nap. Anything your heart desires can be yours if you just take a moment to realize you’re human and have needs, which do not include running yourself ragged.

“Who cares what your GPA is when you feel miserable?” Nora Turriago wrote in her Huffington Post blog, “The most important lesson from college? Learning how to take care of yourself.”

Turriago makes a good point. Stress comes when you stop looking forward to your busy schedule and put too much pressure on yourself. You’re not going to be happy with yourself or anything you do if you don’t treat yourself every now and then. Your GPA might not even matter in the long run, and you could be making yourself miserable trying to achieve it.

According to Robin Reshwan’s U.S. News article, “Does GPA matter when applying for a job?,” while some employers consider your GPA, many don’t. There are some companies that will try to shrink the application pool by having a minimum GPA, but there are still employers who will look at your experience and won’t consider a lower GPA a deal-breaker.

This is a comforting thought when students are trying to make time to do something for themselves. Those moments that aren’t consumed by classes or homework can actually be used to focus on something you enjoy. Doing little things throughout the day can help relieve stress often associated with being a college student.

The work isn’t going anywhere, so sit back and smell the roses every now and then.

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Hi everyone! I'm a senior in journalism and cultural anthropology. My favorite things are storytelling, coffee and meeting new people. In that order.