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Opinion | It’s okay to not be experienced in your 20s
Opinion | It’s okay to not be experienced in your 20s
By Ashanti McLaurin, Staff Columnist • 1:55 am
Micro-reviews of the 2024 Best Picture nominees
By Ore Fawole, Staff Writer • February 25, 2024

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Opinion | It’s okay to not be experienced in your 20s
Opinion | It’s okay to not be experienced in your 20s
By Ashanti McLaurin, Staff Columnist • 1:55 am
Micro-reviews of the 2024 Best Picture nominees
By Ore Fawole, Staff Writer • February 25, 2024

Opinion | Classes are important, but so is taking care of yourself

Opinion+%7C+Classes+are+important%2C+but+so+is+taking+care+of+yourself
Fikayomi Olagbami | Staff Illustrator

Classes are the main reason we are in college, even though many forget at times. Going to class is an imperative part of earning an education and getting a degree. Presumably, we are all here to succeed academically to help us prosper in our future careers. Class participation and activities are usually part of your final grade and are important to help you apply concepts in real life. 

Going to class is a hassle as the semester goes on, and it becomes difficult to even make it to class sometimes. I have experienced many instances where getting out of bed or filling up my time with class instead of studying or finishing assignments is a struggle. Sometimes, I just can not attend classes that day or week as school becomes overwhelming. 

Although I realize the importance of attending classes, sometimes it’s just not that plain and simple. As everything piles up, attending class, keeping up with assignments and other responsibilities are things that most of us cannot handle as the semester gets busier. Keeping up your grades and GPA is vital, but if you are not taking care of yourself as well, getting good scores might become unattainable. 

I have come to realize that if I want to continue to succeed academically, it’s imperative that I make sure that I am taking care of myself. Taking care of yourself will help you succeed in classes. I’ve realized it might be the secret ingredient to succeeding.

In college, taking care of yourself usually boils down to managing your time and alleviating burdens and stressors. From personal experience, I know how difficult it is to prioritize yourself some weeks. I’ll admit, I forget to quite often. 

Taking care of yourself does not have to include the stereotypical self-care activities you may think about — everyone’s self-care should look different and help you personally relax. 

One expert on stress management, Dr. Elizabeth Scott, highlighted the five important sectors of self-care as physical, social, mental, spiritual and emotional. She notes that taking care of yourself and finding a balance that addresses each of these areas is important as each sector impacts us in our daily lives in more ways than we anticipate. Lacking in any of these areas can make anyone easily irritated and prevent one from functioning at peak condition and abilities. She recommends ways to help increase your self-care in these areas.

Physical self-care means taking care of your physical body, including eating properly, getting enough sleep and physical activity. Social self-care is when you take the time to maintain close connections and relationships. Mental self-care helps keep your mind sharp and activated because sometimes it may feel as if your brain is melting when you feel drained. Keeping your mind stimulated by practicing mindfulness activities can help keep your brain active but also allow you to relax and give yourself a mental break. 

Spiritual self-care means taking care of your thoughts and spirit — it does not have to include religion. It can involve understanding meaning, yourself and your connection to the world around you. Emotional self-care involves dealing with your emotions and being able to acknowledge your feelings. Therapy or confiding in close friends about how you are feeling can help you manage your emotions.

Although these sectors of self-care are not an end-all and be-all, they are still helpful to make sure you are taking care of most aspects of yourself. However, it is imperative to remember that you should take care of yourself and your health in the ways that work best for you. 

Sometimes, fitting a workout into your schedule is impossible, and that’s OK. There are other ways to get active, including taking the longer route to class, stretching and other activities that allow you to move your body and be active. 

Eating properly is something that I never thought was affecting my studies, but boy, was I wrong. Eating actual meals and making sure to take the time to eat throughout the day helps your focus and energy levels

When I’m feeling overwhelmed and stressed — which is usually easily recognized by my close friends — I reach out to those in my life I know I can rely on to help me feel more grounded and understood. I’m constantly making sure I’m still cultivating my relationships and reminding myself to check in on family members and friends. 

I also make sure to take time out of my week to spend time with those I care about and who help me feel less stressed and overwhelmed — with the additional benefit of doing something other than schoolwork. 

Taking care of our mental health is something a lot of us in our generation struggle to do. Remember that you are not alone and to reach out for resources when you need them. 

Taking care of your thoughts and checking in with your spirit every so often can help you to feel more grounded. Burning yourself out to the point of feeling completely drained and exhausted is not healthy. Making sure that you do little things throughout your week to check in with yourself and your health is vital.

Focusing on your education and goals is important — something I’ve always done a little too rigorously — but learning the value of making sure you are taking care of yourself is also imperative. Classes are definitely important, there’s no argument against that, but if you are not taking care of yourself, it will impact your overall performance and success. Consider the sectors of self-care laid out by Dr. Scott — I know I’m going to — and figure out the ways you can best take care of yourself to help you succeed.

 

Emily O’Neil writes primarily about societal issues, politics and campus life. Write to her at [email protected].

About the Contributor
Emily O'Neil, Senior Staff Columnist
Emily O’Neil is a Political Science and Public Service major and earning a certificate in Public and Professional Writing. She is from Lancaster, PA and writes primarily about political and societal issues. Write to her at