Post #89 Taking Responsibility for Yourself
Did you know it’s possible for you to take time away from the grind and enjoy yourself? In fact, I encourage it. Too often, engineering students get wrapped up in the chaos of coursework, commitments, and goals. And too often, you don’t realize that it’s okay to take breaks, decompress and have some fun. What are your outlets that temporarily take you away from everything?
Step 1: What are your Outlets?
First, it is possible for you to engage in external activities as an engineering student. Your mind and your body will get a break. Outlets that get you away from your duties will help prevent you from burning out. Studying and earning good grades is fantastic but ask yourself if there is an associated cost. Are you overcommitted to the point of resenting your courses or your major? If you are tired of studying, of taking exams or of serving organizations, consider outlets to help ease frustration (see Post #66). Since you’re not superhuman, there is a threshold above which you may start burning out. Let’s prevent you from reaching that threshold. What are your outlets? If you have none, start brainstorming.
Step 2: Guilt-Free Mindset
I can hear some of your objections now. I hear some of you shouting, “but I’m so busy”, “there’s not enough time to take breaks”, “I’ve got too much homework.” Your logic tells you that if you take time away, there is less time for studying or completing your commitments. Taking breaks to insert some fun into your life may bring about feelings of guilt. I’d like to share something that may be shocking to you, so I hope you’re sitting. Your productivity rises when you set time aside for guilt-free breaks. It is not intuitive, I know, and it sounds counterproductive. However, your long-term results increase as you intermittently clear your mind, decompress and take mental breaks. So, what are your outlets?
Taking Responsibility for Yourself
Some students get caught in the cycle of, “The more I study, the more I need to study.” Engineering students are prone to overanalyzing everything from food to the way their garments are stitched. This is not a bad thing; I’m not condemning this practice … unless it yields you a net negative result. It is possible, my friends, to overstudy, even to the point of obsession. You have every right, in fact it’s your responsibility, to clear out the mind as often as necessary. Perhaps daily, perhaps weekly, but you owe it to yourself to maintain your brain capacity to enable further learning. One of the best ways to do so is to regularly schedule miscellaneous outlets that allow for invigorating FUN!
For additional tools and brain exercises to help you manage your COVID-19 circumstances, visit my YouTube video: Managing Student Life During COVID-19