Photo courtesy of Hasit Dewan

As Tech students, we often find ourselves scrambling throughout the week — constantly struggling to balance our time between difficult classes, various extracurricular activities and other commitments. Despite this, I feel that it is important that we step back and learn to relax, regardless of how busy we may be.

The amount of free time we have seems to almost act as a barometer of sorts through which we compare ourselves to others. If we hear that our friends have nothing to do on a Wednesday evening, we assume they are doing something wrong. Either they’re simply slackers who just do not care as much as we do, or that they are taking easy classes and are thus not “like us.”

Yet, there is nothing wrong with having free time. In fact, if there is anything I have learned in the little time that I have been here, it is that I need to make some time in my day to simply relax. Whether it be watching The Office on Netflix, hanging out with friends or even just reading a book, having something to distract us for a bit can be very healthy and, in some cases, even advantageous.

When I hear people discuss how they studied for an entire night straight or how they spent their weekend almost completely entombed in Clough,  I cannot help but feel that something is wrong. Such long study sessions surely cannot be productive. For one, taking even just an hour to clear one’s head can really enhance studying. In fact, taking multiple breaks throughout one’s day would not only help one gather oneself and stay relaxed, but also help one to simply enjoy Tech.

I mean, we are college kids at the end of the day, right? These four (or five, or even six) years should be a time we can look back on when we are older and maybe hardened a bit by life, and still smile at. Even moreso, our overall health and well-being depends on this. Those of you who have taken health already (and actually remember something from it) might remember how we learned about the importance of maintaining both physical and mental health. Well, it seems highly likely that constantly inundating our brains with stress and worry might not be the healthiest thing we do. In fact, maintaining a healthy state of mind helps us stay mentally sharp.

Now, there is nothing wrong with having a hectic few days or so. We all have those days where we simply cannot find time for anything. However, it is when these days become the norm rather than the exception that we start to face issues.

Finding even just half an hour or so in a day to just sit back and forget about deadlines or chemical formulas or whatever is stressing you out can reap many benefits in the future. It can be hard to justify taking a break when so much is due, but the benefits of a refreshed, relaxed mind far outweigh the cost of not
nailing one homework assignment.