Taking a break from the stress of the semester

Madeline Bruce, Features Editor

Recently, I’ve been feeling extremely overwhelmed.
I don’t think that sentiment is exclusive to my own experiences, either. The last year has been tough, and to make it even harder, we tried to resume our normal lives amid very abnormal circumstances.
Often, it feels difficult to keep my head above water. I’m balancing a 17-credit courseload, two jobs that I work 27-28 hours at per week, my position on the editorial board of The Knight, studying for the LSAT and my personal life. It’s a lot at once, and it often feels like I’m about to fall off the tightrope.
Recently, the lack of a break has really been getting to me. It’s not even that we don’t have any scheduled breaks, like spring break or Easter break, built into the semester. It’s that my life schedule doesn’t allow for breaks, even on the weekends. And I can feel this physically manifesting in my body. I go from classes, to interviews, to jobs, to production, to doing homework, after which I collapse into bed late at night just to get back up and do it all over again. I’m tired and unmotivated all of the time, which further worsens the anxiety I already struggle with.
Last Monday, this really hit me. I felt like I was being pulled in a million different directions and couldn’t catch my footing. So, I took a step back and tried to see things from a different lens.
I love everything I do. I love my two jobs, I love working for The Knight, and I actually really enjoy my classes this semester. Studying for the LSAT is tough but going to law school is something I want to do, and the LSAT feels like my last hurdle to get into the schools I want to next year. There is so much going on in my life that it’s easy to get caught up in the busyness and demand of the moment. Sometimes, I just need to remind myself to take a step back, look at what I’m doing, and separate myself from it for a little bit.
For me, this can look like practicing yoga, journaling, going for a drive or a walk around Presque Isle or just lying on the couch for an hour to watch an episode of a TV show.
College is demanding. On top of being full-time students, we need to make money somehow, while also building our resumes, doing things we enjoy and having a healthy social life.
The pressure of all of this can sometimes be a little too much to handle, especially if we don’t take breaks from it every once and a while. Of course, with the pandemic, the opportunity for built-in breaks doesn’t exist. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take one, it just means we have to individually prioritize mini-breaks.
Yes, school, money and social lives are important, but so are mental and physical well-being. If you can feel that you’re in need of a break, give it to yourself. You’ve been running a marathon, so to speak, for two months now with barely any break. Take an evening, or if you can spare it, take a whole day to yourself. Put away your textbooks, your laptop and your worries about school.
They’ll be there the next day for you to start working on again.


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