Take personal time this summer

Summer can be a powerful time for students to recharge and recover from the stress of college.

Alia Jeraj

It’s May, and my internal clock  is counting down the seconds until summer. Though I know I’m unlikely to realize my dreams of lying on the beach all day, every day, I’m definitely looking forward to a break from the stress of school. 
I know I’m not alone in feeling that I could really use the break. Eighty percent of college students report experiencing stress, with more than 85 percent of them saying they’ve felt overwhelmed by the amount of tasks they had to achieve during the year. 
Stress isn’t inherently bad. In fact, moderate amounts of stress are essential for learning. However, when we begin to feel overwhelmed, we see our performance suffer. 
Popular culture often portrays summer break as an idyllic period when students have no responsibilities and can, in fact, spend every day at the beach. I think many of us know how far from the truth this is.
I’ve spent many summers feeling even more stressed than I do during the semester. It’s not easy to juggle internships, summer classes, friends and the occasional beach day. 
Clearly, I don’t think three months filled with absolutely nothing is the solution to summer stress. Three open months can provide an amazing amount of time to devote to saving money or learning a new skill.
However, rather than cramming our summer schedules completely to capacity, let’s take advantage of the season to enjoy at least a little time of relaxation. This will help us focus on a specific task, giving us the chance to clear our minds a bit and find a healthy break from our stress. That way, come fall, we’ll be ready to perform to the best of our abilities once again.
Alia Jeraj welcomes comments at  [email protected].