As an RPI student, when the semester is in full swing and I’m drowning in work, I often sacrifice my health and happiness in order to meet deadlines. I know I am not unique in this sense. Poly staff members regularly work on layout past midnight with senior board members staying until 6 am almost every week.
While planning a busy schedule, it’s crucial to set aside time for yourself. Do things you enjoy and spend time with people who contribute to your happiness. If what you’re doing neither makes you happy nor helps your career, it might be time for reflection and, ultimately, moving on. Balancing work and play can make you happier in the long run and help prevent you from becoming burnt out.
Your mental health and happiness are important but so is your physical health. Making time for your physical health can help fight the “winter blues”. Remember to take your vitamins, hit the gym, and eat your vegetables. Having a regular sleep schedule, if possible, can improve your mood and performance in classes. RPI charges exorbitant amounts for tuition and if you’re not present and alert in every class, you’re wasting both your time and your money.
I know that for most of us the primary reason for going to college is to secure a job, but remember that this is a time for making memories. Take a minute and consider if constantly driving yourself into the ground with work is really worth it. On your graduation day, will you look back on the years you spent here and regret how few memories you made or how few pictures you took? Sure you might have graduated with honors, but what else do you have to show for your time at RPI? Years from now, it probably won’t be the time you spent working in the library you remember but the friends you made and the time you spent together. For those of you walking in May, this is your last opportunity to make memories and the most of your time at Rensselaer—don’t squander it.