Make time for what you love (even in college)

student taking the time to relax with a book

You lead a busy life and it’s difficult managing all of your responsibilities: work, class, family, homework, studying, and figuring out where your next cup of coffee comes from. A lot of college students get burnt out when they are constantly going, without making time to relax. I know that for some people, the concept of fitting another task into your already-busy schedule seems stressful and impossible, so why bother trying to add in something for fun when you could be working on something productive. I know, I understand. Believe me. This is how I used to feel until I found that setting aside time for reading actually calms and de-stresses me. In fact, I use it as an incentive to get my homework done faster. When I’m talking about relaxing, I’m not talking about watching Netflix. As fun as binge-watching your favorite show is, it often leaves you tired and never truly satisfied. You are passively watching the screen. Let’s be honest, do you feel like you’re refreshed after watching Netflix for four straight hours, or do you feel like you’ve just wasted a huge chunk of time? When I talk about relaxing, I mean find something that exercises your mind and gets you thinking. Some great examples are reading, going for a walk, painting, drawing, or working out.

Every day, I set aside at least thirty minutes to read. I get to work early so I can read before work, prepare for the day, and enjoy myself before I begin my tasks. To be honest, I read in my parked car so that I am not tempted to do homework or study, nor am I tempted to turn on the TV. I also turn my phone on “Do Not Disturb” so my thirty minutes are not interrupted and I am not tempted to check Facebook. These thirty minutes of reading are very important to me because it is time to myself that is for pure enjoyment. If I am unable to read before work, I make sure to go to bed a little bit earlier so that I can read before I fall asleep. Making sure I have time to do something that I truly enjoy is one the things that keeps me happy and sane when I’ve got such a busy life.

I would urge all college students to do this same thing. Although you may not read, you could set aside thirty minutes to write, make music, paint or draw, or pursue other hobbies that you do not normally get to do because you are too busy. If you have not already mastered the art of time management, now is the time to start, and you can do so by incorporating something that you actually enjoy into your schedule! Thus, the enjoyment that you get out of your hobby or activity is a reward for your ability to manage your time well enough to be able to do this activity. This is a great incentive for you to manage your time and follow through with your scheduling, which is a great skill to have. Who knew relaxation could be beneficial?

You work hard and you deserve to set aside some time every day to acknowledge your hard work. So go ahead, make time for the things you love! You earned it.

Hannah_Dollinger-HeadshotHannah is a Psychology major at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, GA. She graduates in May 2017 and hopes to get her M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis. For her career, she hopes to work with with autistic children through ABA therapy. Outside of class, she reads novels and watches The Office.