Is self-care even a priority to students?

Kiana White, Contributing Writer

In this day and age, the phrase “self-care” is common, but some college students see it as a joke. Several students may comedically say “what’s self-care” or “that’s no-existent to me” but self-care, especially, is most needed by college students. Take a moment to think about it. When was the last time you practiced self-care? As college students, we face pressures from academics to extracurriculars and even job employment. We as college students need self-care like we need food or water — it’s a necessity.

The University of New Haven recently implemented Re-Charge days to seemingly relax, cool-down and rest. Honestly, though: did students actually feel renewed, refreshed and “re-charged?” Personally, although I appreciate days set aside for relaxation, four days just isn’t enough. With COVID-19, it is more difficult to find ways to relax than ever before. The thoughts of wearing masks 24/7, making sure to social distance in public and the lack of daily social interactions can feel tiresome. Thus, more Recharge days are needed and desired. With these Re-Charge days, although few in number, we as students should make the most out of it. Despite COVID-19 and the workload piling up, there is no excuse not to prioritize your self-care.

Self-care is something that many students joke about, whether it’s through memes or social media referring to the overdramatized struggles of a college student. While these timeless renditions of laughter are in fact funny, the concept of not prioritizing your mental and physical state is no joke.

Self-care is prioritizing ample time in which you do activities that help you to relax. Not taking time for one’s self-care is like a running car without breaks. If you continue to remain on the gearshift drive, you’ll eventually run out of gas, causing an overheated engine. In other words, you can burnout. When students get to this state of extreme fatigue or burnout, they often question how they arrived at such a state. This is a sign that you are lacking self-care.

Take a moment to think about when the last time you made yourself a priority. If it has been a while, then ask yourself these three questions. Have you been properly managing your time? Have you engaged in activities that help your well-being? And lastly, have you experienced constant fatigue? If you answered yes to any of these questions, I encourage you to engage in activities that will help your overall well-being. And I know you may think that disregarding assignments or half-heartedly completing them is not a form of self-care. Neither is not attending classes or disregarding university emails, yes, I know it’s very tempting not to. But self-care is relieving stress and anxiety.

Some of the ways I can recommend to practice self-care are creating a jam session by listening to music, developing a consistent skincare routine, or even hanging out with friends on the weekends. In all honesty, it all depends on you. Whether it be finding a quiet space to meditate or go to the gym and work out, do whatever makes you feel comfortable. The beauty of self-care is that it can tailor to everyone’s needs. So if you haven’t considered taking up an activity solely for your well-being then I ask for you to reconsider.

From one college student to the other, make time for yourself. You are your own priority, own it.