Breaking up with the unhealthy homework cycle

Why it’s important to have a good work-life balance, especially in college

Madeline Bruce, Editor-in-Chief

Earlier this week, my roommate told me that she doesn’t know what to do now that she doesn’t have homework.

She graduated in May 2021, and I don’t graduate until this May. Because I’m still in school and she now has a job, she spent the last eight months of living with me watching me make trips to the library to study or waking up early to do homework at our dining room table.

Her comment made me realize that my life is consumed by homework, and if I didn’t have it, I don’t know what I would be doing with my free time between classes, my jobs and The Knight.

Homework dictates what I do in the evening and what I do on the weekends. It dictates my time between classes, and sometimes it dictates my early mornings. My one full day off each week is dedicated to studying and doing homework for the upcoming week.

I feel good when I work hard – like I’m being productive and working toward something. But, I can feel that I’m working myself too hard. There’s a line, and I think I’ve crossed it.

Monday, I planned on spending the entire day studying. I woke up and did homework, I went to class, I studied for a few hours and had a meeting. Then, I realized that if I didn’t do something for myself, I would be burnt out by the end of the day, and the work that I would continue to do wouldn’t be as good as it could be.

So, my roommate picked me up, and we drove to Presque Isle. We drove around, blasting music and singing to it. Then, we stopped and took a walk. Getting out in the fresh air was just what I needed to refresh, and even taking two hours to myself amid an otherwise busy day helped to prevent me from crashing by 3 p.m.

It’s important for students – and everyone, really – to know when a work-life balance has crossed into an unhealthy relationship without what’s needed in that relationship: balance.

Preventing this includes several things, including basic needs like sleep and food.

However, fitting self-care into an already packed schedule can often feel impossible, especially when it seems like nothing else can give. However, I promise you that something can give.

Move your study session back an hour. Tell your boss that you can’t work that extra shift. Learn to stop when you need to. Take a day to yourself, without any of your usual responsibilities. Resting and taking care of yourself is just as important as checking off those tasks on your to-do list or studying for an important exam.

As long as you take care of yourself, everything else will follow. You can’t do your best without feeling your best.


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