For The Student Who Feels Discouraged, It’s Okay To Take A Break

Words by Camille Geguera

Featured Image by Maxine Lim

Feeling burned out because of school is nothing new. Honestly, having a quantitative measure for everything seems a tad bit irrational. There were times that I wanted to quit school because of the stress and the very competitive environment. Even so, I’d wake up, go to school and just try to get over it. Some days are better but sometimes I felt like I was stuck in a routine. Here are four things I learned when things weren’t looking so good:

1. Having a good support group is important.

There is literally no flower that blooms all year long, so why beat yourself up trying? For all the times that you wanted to cry when it felt like everything was too overwhelming, having a supportive group of people is important. May it be your family, your friends, org mates, or even your pet. Remember to be there for them as well when the time comes. The people who stuck around when you were feeling down are the people who are worth holding on to.

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2. You don’t have to be good at everything. 

This is something I learned along the way–though I did not want to admit it at first. I was a jack of all trades. I’ve accepted the fact that I suck at math and memorizing information just for the sake of it. I used to pull all-nighters studying, trying to keep up with my blockmates but it seemed like it wasn’t working.

After grueling over my mediocre grades, I tried to pursue other things: applying for school organizations, side jobs, and applying for internships. These are just some of the things that I always look forward to after classes. It wasn’t easy to apply and join extracurricular activities given that I have bad anxiety; however, having courage even for just five minutes can change everything. I may not be good at the conventional style of learning but I am trying to hone my craft in other aspects.

3. Your mental health is far more important than grades.

Try to internalize this: your self-worth is not equated to the quantitative grade you get from a subject. Sure, attaining a degree is important but at the cost of your mental health? I’ve had friends who took time off from school and rested.  They’re far healthier now and are able to think through what they want to do in the future. If there’s a need to do so, try to take a break from school. It may be hard to explain to people, most especially your parents,  because of the stigma but taking care of yourself is another life lesson that everyone should really learn. Getting a degree is not a race.

4. It won’t last forever. 

If anything, you should be proud of yourself for making this far. And like everything, it will all be over soon. School takes up around 1/3 of one’s life–there’s still 2/3 to look forward to! There may be times that the pile of paper works, readings, and reports seem endless but trust me when I say that it will all be over soon. And when it does, you’ll be happy that you held on.

Taking a break isn’t shameful. If anything, it is one of the smartest moves. Learning how to take care of yourself may not be a norm but it’s something that should be prioritized.

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