Oberlin Blogs

Treat Yourself

September 17, 2018

You worked hard this week. Take a break. Relax.

I believe that the perfectionist nature of Oberlin in general can take a toll on its students. I know it affects me almost every day. I have to be on top of my game in the classroom or else I’ll live with the embarrassment of not doing as well as my peers.

Sometimes, it even gives me anxiety problems. That’s how the college experience is for a lot of folks. Since Oberlin is viewed as an elite institution, the pressure is amplified for Obies.

If you feel overwhelmed, the counseling center is always available. Also, talk to a friend if you’re comfortable enough to do so.

That’s right! You don’t have to struggle alone whenever you’re feeling stressed out. We’re all in college, so somebody is bound to relate to you in one way or another. Talk to a friend if you’re feeling that overwhelming stress.

If you feel uncomfortable with your friends being too in your business, you can always go to Oberlin’s counseling center. I have personally never been, but I consistently hear great things about that program from friends and colleagues around campus. 

Try your best not to overwork yourself. Resting your mind and body is just as important as the work you put in on a daily basis.

I know, I know. “It’s college.” It’s really difficult to sleep well during the work week in college, but it can still get done. It’s all about how you manage your time.

If you find a way to get all the work you need to get done that day and you have down time along with that, don’t waste that extra time. Invest that time into getting your mind and body refreshed. I can’t stress that enough. 

That doesn’t mean you should slack off either. Rest as much as you CAN, not as much as you want.

I feel like that’s another issue that many Obies face. Sometimes, we get carried away and chill a little too much. It’s important to understand the difference between resting because you need it and resting because you’re lazy. Trust me, the difference will feel obvious.

Give yourself enough time to complete all the work you need to finish. THEN you should rest. This especially relates to time management. College is all about time management. If you invest it properly, you won’t have too many issues with resting.

When it’s time to sleep, turn off the TV, put the phone down, and turn off all of your lights. Concentrate on your body getting the rest it deserves.

I say this because all of those things are distractions that keep you awake. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve stayed up too late because I was on the phone. Ever since I’ve put my phone down when it’s time to rest, I’ve slept better. Playing soothing music helps me sleep as well, but the volume needs to be low. If it’s too loud, you may find yourself turning up in your room at midnight, and we don’t want that.

“Treating yourself” also means eating right. Keep those Stevie fries to a minimum throughout the week!

I personally designate one day on the weekend to eating fried food. I try to eat healthy for the other six days. The reason why I say this is because you can’t function as properly with junk food in your system. You know that feeling when you’re stuffed and you don’t feel like doing anything? Well, junk food only makes that feeling even worse.

I don’t mean to sound like a helicopter parent here, but EAT YOUR VEGGIES! Nobody is here to monitor what you eat anymore. You have to be in complete control of what you put in your body. It’s like the old saying: “Garbage in, garbage out.” If you put stuff in your body that you don’t need to be eating, your output and production isn’t going to be as great as it could be. I know it gets hard to find good and healthy food options in Oberlin, but it’s possible. Self-discipline is key.

Be wary of what (and who) you associate yourself with. If a certain environment isn’t for you, remove yourself from it so that you don’t have to deal with unnecessary stress.

This is another tough but manageable situation that college students find themselves in. Sometimes relationships get toxic. Maybe it’s time for you to move on. If you surround yourself around negative people, it’s almost a guarantee that their negativity affects how you feel. Get out of that situation, because there’s simply no benefit to putting yourself through that.

It is totally OK to let some people go.

Personal growth involves cutting folks off sometimes. It’s never fun, but it’s almost always necessary when those people only bring you down. If you need extra advice on whether you should remove yourself from a certain situation, talk to either a family member, a friend, or even a counselor. Either one of them should be more than capable of helping you out.

Treat yourself so that you give yourself the best chance at being successful in life, not just school.

These aren’t tips that only apply to school. These are solutions to dealing with LIFE. Life is going to be tough sometimes. It gets unpredictable and ridiculously stressful. You’re going to deal with things you have never dealt with before. You’re going to lose sometimes. You’re going to get overwhelmed at some point. It may happen this week, next week, next month, or even next year.

As we get older, our struggles won’t get any easier. We have to learn how to treat ourselves when we have the opportunity to do so. If not, we may deal with too much stress, and that’s never fun to deal with. College is hard. It’s supposed to be a challenging experience that prepares us for the world. Why not practice good habits now?

Let’s treat ourselves so that we give ourselves the best chance to leave Oberlin as happy and productive people. We got this!

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Responses to this Entry

Really good info Jason. I found that discovering mindfulness and yoga helped me relax during exam season.

Posted by: karl young on September 17, 2018 4:37 PM

Thank you very much Jason for this wonderful piece of write up, in my country here, people see overworking themselves as hardworking. If in any way you aren't doing same, then you're lazy.
They really need to see this!
Warm Regards!

Posted by: Augustus Nwobodo on November 9, 2018 5:11 AM

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