A person resting.

Why rest is important

Writer: Jethro Castillo, @jethrocastilloo

As summer begins, I want to highlight the importance of rest! It’s important to take care of yourself. It’s also OKAY to take care of yourself. In our present society, it feels that we need to constantly be productive, or else we aren’t enough. I remember my college friends would always compete over who was the busiest.

“I went to bed at midnight last night.”

“Oh yeah? I went to bed at 3 am.”

“I pulled an all-nighter!”

It almost felt wrong to say, “I got a good night’s sleep,” as if I wasn’t trying hard enough. And, before I knew it, I felt guilty for taking care of my health. I am uncertain whether you can relate or not, but regardless, rest and having time to unwind is critical not just for your health, but for your productivity. It’s essential to take some time away from something to allow new ideas to generate and different connections to form. If you only work, it is easy to get tunnel vision. Getting a fresh perspective or just forgetting about it for a bit allows you to come back to the work rejuvenated.

Furthermore, sleeping allows your brain to integrate everything you’ve learned, converting your short-term studying into long-term knowledge. Pair that with feeling alert, and the test the next morning should be a breeze. Of course, this also means no cram studying, and actually creating a study plan, but I’ll talk about that in another post. SPOILER ALERT: creating a study plan means less time studying, especially cram studying, and more time to spend with friends and/or do something you love!

There’s more to life than just studying! We learn, but we also play. Make sure you leave time to explore hobbies and passions! As cliché as it is to say, it's not like we get a do-over. We don't get to do life again (or maybe we do, but no one really knows). We should strive to live a life that gives us fulfillment, not misery.

It’s okay to take care of yourself. It’s weird to say, but it’s kind of the cheat code in life. Taking care of yourself allows you to tackle life’s problems with a much more level head. Allowing yourself time to breathe will give you the energy needed to do the work you need to do. The comparison game over who is the busiest benefits no one. We should encourage each other to balance time and maintain good health. Too often I hear:

“How are you?”

“I’m tired.”

“Same.”

This is not to say this is all entirely in your control. I think we can all agree that having to balance several classes, social life, sleep, and extracurriculars is extremely difficult and unsustainable. A bigger change needs to happen in education for this workaholic mentality to be subdued. However, there are still things we can control, and those are really the only things worth focusing on. Making sure we spend time with friends, get good sleep, and maximize weekends and breaks loving ourselves. Most importantly, being gentle with ourselves when we don’t balance that as well as we should.