Break is over. A new round of classes, exams, and everything in between is revving up. But alongside the full-throttle academic chaos, guilt lingers. 

We slept too much over break. We didn’t sleep enough. We spent the whole time on summer internship applications. We completely ignored summer internships. We spent too much time rotting in front of the TV with friends. We worked so hard we forgot to even reach out to our friends.  

The new semester just started, but for some (maybe most) of us, the grind never stopped. The overwhelming pressure to keep up with your peers, who are out securing internships with Goldman Sachs, can feel all-encompassing. It is a truth universally acknowledged that college students are chronically stressed. We certainly are known for mental illnesses like depression and anxiety.

And yet, even breaks are rarely a reprieve from the stress, expectations, and demand for excellence (whatever that really means).

It’s easy to assume everybody else has their life together, but you don’t know who handed in their last five assignments late. The reality is that we’re all in the same boat (albeit a nasty one). We’re all teetering on the same ledge, dangerously close to burning out. So why do we look at how our peers are doing on Instagram and take it at face value?

There is nothing wrong with or lazy spending fall break, winter break, or even something as long as summer break as their names suggest: taking a breather from your normal schedule. 

On the flip side, some people can only go a few days before they’re itching to be productive again. But these people are no better or worse than the student who spends their month off with family and friends, eating home-cooked meals and watching movies. 

It’s about discovering what you, personally, need out of a break. It’s all too easy to envy a peer for their ability to power through and stay productive, even on their time off, but that schedule simply won’t work for everyone. Whether it’s spending time with your hometown friends, your family, or on your resume, as long as it recharges you, it was worth it. Relaxing is good, regardless of whether you’re on break or not.

Whatever you choose to do, don’t beat yourself up about it. Find what’s right for you. 

The Editorial Board is a weekly Opinions article representing the view of the Campus Times, co-written by Editor-in-Chief Wil Aiken, Publisher An Nguyen, Managing Editor Efua Agyare-Kumi, and Opinions Editor Hailie Higgins.

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