As school starts to get into the swing of things, homework starts piling up, and studying midterms begins to eat up all our free time, it’s important that we, as students, remember to take care of ourselves. There’s so much more to the college experience and to our own well-being than grades and academic validation – no matter how hard coming to that conclusion may be. Yes, we want to get good grades. Yes, we want a high GPA. Yes, we want to stay active in clubs and get internships and work jobs and finish our homework and…the list goes on. So remembering to take a deep breath, maybe going on a walk, or putting your work down a little earlier tonight is important for everyone to do. 

Having small self-care rituals every day is a great way to remember to prioritize your mental health. As an environmental engineer myself, I know how hectic this time of year gets. It’s so easy to lose sight of my health and safety, and all of a sudden I’m chronically exhausted and rapidly losing motivation. To try and prevent this, I’ve been trying out some new self care methods. The one that has worked for me the most is setting aside maybe an hour or two in the day to do things that bring me joy. Obviously, I’m not going to neglect homework to read or draw or watch New Girl, but maybe seeing a few episodes or cooking a more elaborate dinner or leaving an hour before bed to paint has been amazing at getting me to calm down and focus better.  

Mental health is important. It can also feel like a chore or an impedance to success if you have to prioritize it. However, we have to remember that we can only succeed if our mental health is prioritized; how much work are we going to get done if we are burning out, having panic attacks, or aren’t able to get out of bed in the mornings? Let’s remember, especially during this mid-semester slump, to take care of our minds, because they do so much for us. 

Vidya Iyer

Vidya Iyer

MAJOR: Environmental Engineering YEAR: Class of 2025 HOMETOWN: Des Moines, Iowa PRONOUNS: they/them/theirs INSTA: @vidya.i.yer Outside of VSA, I am a co-Lead Organizer for Student Coalition for Asian Pacific Empowerment, volunteer at the LGBTQ+ student center, and I participate in activism across USC and LA! I'm looking to get into research this year as well, hopefully in water quality or CO2 recycling.

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