The importance of self-care as a student

Faith Wilson, News Editor

Self-care is a term that has been thrown around a lot lately, but it’s not always as easy as it seems. Being a college student requires a lot of time management and most of the time, our schedules are completely booked with classes, work, study and homework time, meetings for organizations, and we can’t forget the unpaid internships.

We are so focused on our futures and charging ahead at them that we forget to focus on the now. We forget to focus on ourselves.

Going into my junior year, I thought it would be the same as my freshman year, or even my sophomore year, but I found that my classes had gotten significantly more difficult and required more out-of-class studying. My leadership positions on campus have more meetings and events that I am required to attend, and they are a lot different than they were during the pandemic.

My relationship became strained as we both fell fast into an unhealthy routine of simply getting by.

I realized that the reason I felt like I was drowning in everything wasn’t just from having a lot of responsibilities now. It was from a lack of making time for me and the things I truly enjoyed.

I thought I was really good at self-care. I would take relaxing baths and read or treat myself to a nice dinner after a hard week.

But self-care isn’t just taking a bath every now and then or buying yourself a new sweater. Self-care isn’t a coping mechanism for stress only to be used when you become overwhelmed. Self-care is an important part of your everyday life, and as college students, we tend to overlook it.

It’s making time to eat healthy. This could be setting time aside to meal prep or even just scheduling a lunch break to stop in at the café and actually sit down for a meal. That also means not working through your lunch.

We all heard of the freshman fifteen, but what about the upperclassman weight loss from feeling as though you never have time to eat a full meal?

In fact, according to, most eating disorders start in college, with 10%-20% of college women and 4%-10% of college men developing an eating disorder from a variety of factors.

Another area of self-care is finding time to exercise. This doesn’t need to be running a mile or getting up at 6 a.m. to do a high intensity workout at the rec center. This could be going for a walk at sunset to get your steps in, or even doing yoga in the evening before bed to help stretch out the sore muscles from being hunched over a desk all day.

One of the most important parts of self-care that many college students forget about is having a healthy sleep schedule. Staying up late to finish a project, paper, or study for a test tends to be the norm, but so is waking up for the 8 a.m. class a few short hours later after we’ve finished.

This leaves us feeling drained, struggling to focus during classes, and we even end up falling behind.

While getting your work done is important, so is getting a good amount of sleep. Not getting enough sleep affects our mood, motivation and even our health.

But how do we fit in all this self-care if our schedules are always filled?

The truth is, it’s really hard.

It takes setting boundaries and having difficult conversations with the people around us. Sometimes it takes being the Debby-downer who can’t go out every night with her friends.

It takes learning to make your mental and physical health, your future, and simply yourself a priority, even when you don’t really want to.

I’ve found that setting a schedule that includes self-care helped make it a more consistent part of my life, but during those really busy weeks, it can still be a struggle.

Self-care doesn’t just include the areas that I listed; you also have to find out what you need personally.

So ask yourself, what do you need?

Who are the people you enjoy spending time with?

How can you connect with yourself and your spiritual center?

What activities give you joy?

Take those answers and schedule time to start including them in your life more.

That is self-care, and I think we all need a little more of it.



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