To-do list: Take care of you

How much time do you have for yourself? If your answer is none, you’re doing something wrong.

As Loras students, our lives are busy. We often commit to multiple organizations, take a full course load, work more than one job or internship, play a college sport, volunteer in the community, and still find time for … wait, ourselves? As is the case with many college students, and many people in general, we are so busy that we often put ourselves aside.

Does this sound familiar to you? Sleep is cut down during all-nighters to finish that research paper you put off because you had three hours of work and two meetings that went until 10 p.m. Exercise is put on the back burner until the idea is burnt to a crisp and you discard it entirely. Meals sometimes are skipped because you are “too busy” to pause and eat, or you find ourselves eating ramen in your room because there is no time to go to the Café.

We devote ourselves to what we love or what we know will benefit us in the future. However, what is lost in the process? Yes, college is a time to stretch ourselves, but we can only be stretched so much until we break.
Instead, we have a proposition to make. Put yourself first sometimes.
What does this mean? Basically, take care of yourself. A car cannot drive if it is running on empty no matter how much the driver urges it to go a little farther. If you are empty, exhausted from putting everything but yourself first, take a step back. It is not selfish to put your physical and mental health first. In fact, it likely will bring you more success in the long run.

This doesn’t mean we can’t be involved or busy. Yet, we all need to put ourselves first sometimes. Make sure you are eating and sleeping well so you can have more energy to devote to the tasks you love. Your friendships also will be stronger if you are able to make time for them and go on little adventures.

Also, it is OK to say no. Just because someone asks you to do something doesn’t mean you have to. Yes, the opportunity might be fun, or look good on a resume, but if you already don’t have time, it might be best to say no. We all need to be a bit more conscious of how we use our time. If we can do that, we might just enjoy life a bit more.

Work and busyness will always be a part of life. But if we are not able to enjoy what we’re filling our time with, the busyness is pointless. So seniors, make sure to enjoy your last year at Loras. Say no to some things so you can say yes to what matters to you. Sophomores and juniors, try and find that balance. And first-years, understand that you have four great years ahead of you. If you learn to put yourself first sometimes, you can best appreciate what Loras has to offer.

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