Hi, my name is Shrinidhi, and I’m a freshman here at UD. As we all know, this year has been a lot more chaotic and unpredictable than any of us would have ever imagined. Regardless of whether it’s someone’s first year or last at UD, this semester has been a learning experience for everyone, and we’re all going through this together.
Being a freshman Honors student with an academically rigorous course schedule, I find myself spending a tremendous amount of time sitting in front of my computer. Unfortunately, that is something that can’t be avoided because all of my work, whether it be my classes, homework, or my internship, requires me to be constantly staring at my computer screen. And because of this, I have found myself spending less and less time taking care of myself, doing the small things that make me happy, and enjoying the little moments of my everyday life.
Over the last six months, I’ve come to realize the importance of self-care and self-love more than ever before. During the beginning of quarantine, towards the end of March, I had way too much time on my hands, if that’s even possible. It was the first time in my life that I didn’t have anything to do–no task that I was rushing to complete and no goal that I was eagerly running towards. Honestly, I felt weird, like super weird, because I simply had no idea of what to do with all that time on my hands. It’s actually quite ironic now that I look back and talk about it because I remember always thinking to myself that I would accomplish so many things if only I had more time. And when I had an abundance of time, I didn’t know what to do.
So, I guess my first go-to task was cleaning, like excessively cleaning. During the first two weeks of quarantine, I probably cleaned my bedroom over eight times and my entire house twice. And when I say cleaning, I mean deep cleaning, like with mops, vacuums, Swiffers, and all those things. For about three weeks or so, I tried to be super motivated and catch up on all the things that were on my “backlog” list. So, I cleaned, exercised, worked on some artwork, caught up with friends, spent time with my family, and most importantly, caught up on all the sleep that I missed in my last four years of high school.
Long story short, I spent a lot of time doing things for myself, small things that added joy and happiness to my day-to-day life. I read a lot about the importance of mental health and well-being and began investing my time in self-care. At the end of the day, this is your life, and you have to love yourself more than anyone else.
Starting off college virtually with a packed course schedule can be overwhelming. One thing that I have found to help me stay positive and motivated is creating a daily schedule and task list for myself. This small change has helped me to not only be more organized, but also feel in control of my day without having to be stressed about all the things I have to do. It’s also allowed me to have more time to focus on my personal growth. For example, in the little blocks of time I allocated for “recharging,” I was able to have more overall mental stability by balancing work with fun activities like dancing, listening to music, watching movies, exercising, shopping, etc. I’ve been able to follow through with my passions and hobbies, and most importantly, I’ve become a much happier person. Looking back, it seems like the desire to change my habits and outlook was a small step, but I now know that it was an essential step in my journey.
As a student, the majority of our day-to-day lives is consumed by our classes and homework. But we need to make sure that we take enough time out of each day to care for ourselves and make our happiness a priority. The first step in our beautiful journeys of life starts with loving ourselves. 🙂