Taking You Time During Finals

SSI Spotlight Spring 2020 - Nilka Montero

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Hey y’all! My name is Nilka, one of your FLI Ambassadors! I’m a rising junior at Lovett College studying Social Policy Analysis. Like many of you, the transition to remote learning has not been easy. Trying to complete schoolwork in an environment that isn’t Rice is tough and has led me to feel super unmotivated and disoriented. This stress has been exacerbated by my feelings of not ‘doing enough’ - both in my academics and extracurricular wise. During this period, I have had to learn the golden rule of a pandemic: it’s okay to take time for yourself! (Yes, even during finals prep!)   

Right now, there might be a pressure to fill up this newfound time by doing something “productive.” I know you’ve seen those Instagram posts telling people that now is the time to get #fit because “you have so much time! What else are you going to do with it?" or photos of people’s newly organized homes and all of the DIY projects they’ve finished. While at Rice, many of our daily routines consisted of running between meetings, classes, and Fondren Library with barely time to breathe in between. While at home, we might feel the need to fill up our time similarly, scheduling in a banana bread making session between the time you dedicated to updating your resume and finishing a Coursera class. 

All of these things are great, but what’s even more important is to make sure you’re dedicating time to doing things you enjoy simply because you like them. Or discovering new hobbies not because you think it’ll look great on your resume, but because you think it’ll be a fun new activity to do during your downtime. Right now, I’ve taken advantage of this time to pick up pastimes I was too busy to do while at Rice, like cooking, baking, and reading books that haven’t been assigned to me. I’ve also been trying to dedicate a little bit of time everyday to discovering something new, like shuffling a random Spotify playlist of a music genre I never listen to (check out the SSI Instagram page for some playlists with a collection of songs I’ve been enjoying!) 

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While these things may not boost the skills section of my resume, they’ll definitely boost my happiness. There’s never a bad time to take a break and do things you enjoy, but especially now during this time it’s important to do it without guilt. With finals coming up, it’s important to schedule in some time for yourself in between studying. It’s incredibly stressful studying for exams while having multiple deadlines for different assignments. In order to manage my stress levels, I’m going to make sure I spend time doing at least one thing I enjoy. For example, I’m going to try and cook at least one actual meal a day and read for a couple of minutes before going to sleep. These are two super simple things, yet they’re going to greatly help my overall wellbeing! Taking a break doesn’t have to be complicated, but it should definitely be a priority!

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And hey, if taking time for yourself just means laying in bed watching TikToks, that’s perfectly okay! Take care of yourself!

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