Rest is for the stereotype

“What society thinks I do…”

I’m sure you can think of a meme that begins like this and it probably features a student lying in bed surrounded by old pizza boxes. We’ve all experienced the joke that students do nothing and, as a bed-lover, I can see where it comes from, but when faced with the classic stereotype I just awkwardly laugh and wonder to what extent they’re joking. Our family friends (especially the older generation…) seem to believe that all students do is rest.

“What my friends think I do…”

But the majority of my friends, while enjoying a lie in, work late into the night. Some will forget to eat, some will completely lose all trace of a sleep schedule, and many develop anxiety issues or stress-problems, particularly around exam time. Rest is, unfortunately, for the stereotype.

“What I actually do…”

But does it have to be?

I know what you’re thinking: you don’t have time. You can’t make food, go to lectures, revise, write essays, socialise, work and get eight-hours of sleep, but giving yourself time off is one of the most important aspects of being productive. I always have Sunday off. Entirely. Not a bit of work for a whole day. As a Christian, I look to God, who modelled for us a healthy lifestyle: six days work and one day rest. (Thanks, God!) I will acknowledge that it’s not always easy. If I’m stressed, I sometimes have to force myself not to pick up my notes and have a read through, but other weeks knowing that Sunday is in sight is the only thing that keeps me going. It helps me be more productive during the week and to put things into perspective. Uni work is not the be-all-and-end-all of my life.

You might have a crazier schedule than me, but set aside even just an afternoon and commit that time to rest. Resurrect an old hobby, go on a walk, or indulge in pizza and Netflix in bed! Don’t be society’s student stereotype, the stay-in-bed-all-day-er, but don’t be your stereotype either. You don’t have to exhaust yourself to succeed. Try it!

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