Engineers are busy. I am certainly no exception to the rule. In high school I packed my schedule with tons of classes, jobs, and extracurriculars — if someone asked it was always “yes”. 


I started college with this mindset, joining around 5 clubs my first semester. This wasn’t normal; I was constantly stressed and sick. There were too many things and not enough time. I began this semester with mental health on my mind: I was going to make sure to leave time for myself and set boundaries for myself. I didn’t have to do everything. I could say no. 


I’ve found myself to be so much happier and healthier with this new mindset. 

This is not to say that you should cut down on your involvement. This is simply a reminder to look at your schedule and make sure you are leaving time for yourself and your mental health. No one expects you to do everything and be everything — even if it seems that your peers all do an impossible number of things. 


Here are some of my favorite self-care activities that have helped me this semester: 

  • Journal

Super helpful to write out my emotions and reflect on my day. Bonus that it makes writing these blogs feel much more natural 🙂

  • Meditate

I love to use the calm app to do a short meditation if I find myself feeling especially stressed or anxious. It’s very comforting to be reminded that there are bigger things in life than your present issues. Being present and breathing deeply really help set a relaxed, healthy mood. 

  • Cook something 

One of my favorite things to do! I love cooking, and it’s always great to have a healthy, fresh meal afterwards. 

  • Go on a walk

After all, I don’t live in sunny SoCal for nothing! Some fresh air and sunlight can always boost my mood and make me feel refreshed. 

  • Clean my room

Doing work and living in a clean space is very important to me. I find cleaning my room to be very therapeutic and calming. 

  • Read a book 

And no, I don’t mean your textbook. I love reading everything from fantasy to science fiction to psychology books. I’ve been finding time to read books that aren’t included in my engineering curriculum. They stimulate my brain in different ways than my homework does, and I love it!

  • Go the gym

Endorphins always make me feel better, and I feel a sense of accomplishment every time I finish a workout! It’s something I enjoy doing. 


Keep in mind, you are not me! You’ll have different activities you enjoy and different ways to relieve stress. And that’s fantastic! I’m just here to remind you to make time for those activities, have fun, and take care of yourself.

Maya Neuenschwander

Maya Neuenschwander

MAJOR: Industrial and Systems Engineering YEAR: Class of 2024 HOMETOWN: Hudson, Wisconsin PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @schwanders I host the Viterbi Voices podcast, and I am involved in Lava Lab, a student-run start-up incubator at USC. Outside of school, I have my own photography business and enjoy hiking and the outdoors.