Henry: If there is any time to not take summer classes, this is it

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Collegian | Ava Kerzic

(Graphic illustration by Ava Kerzic | The Collegian)

Brendan Henry, Collegian Columnist

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

The last few days of the semester are coming to an end, and summer break is on the horizon. The days of grinding away at term papers and cramming for finals are coming to a close, and for some, the result is receiving a degree. For the rest of us, the struggle will continue when the fall semester rolls around.

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If there is any time to not take classes during the summer, this is it. COVID-19 restrictions are lifting as vaccination totals continue to go up and the number of cases goes down, resulting in plenty of activities to partake in. Go to a concert or a ballgame; just enjoy the sun.

The stressors of college can cause issues within the brain, such as issues with concentration. These stressors can also cause physical health issues mixed with anxiety and depression. Everyone could use some time to purge their brain of all the stressors from the past year of constant lectures and massive research papers.

Mental health is just as important as physical health. Taking time to do what you enjoy is more important than cramming in a few credit hours. Make an effort to smile, not stress.

Hobbies are important to mental health, and being a full-time student means there is likely very little time to pursue those endeavors. Take those few summer months to forget about class and increase your dopamine levels. You could even try to take on a new hobby or interest.

“The luxury of summer breaks will not last forever. The days of prolonged vacation are coming to an end, so take advantage of this period of life and make the most of it. After the past couple of years of strangeness brought on by the pandemic, you deserve some positivity without being bogged down by university obligations.”

Some students may be on their own for the first time in their lives, so what better time to explore? That does not necessarily mean going on a 40-mile hike up a mountain — it could be something as simple as finding a hole-in-the-wall restaurant or a nice little thrift store in a small town somewhere.

Summer break is also a good time to be with family and friends. Being with the people you love has been proven to increase happiness and would be beneficial to your mental health. Surround yourself with people who care.

The luxury of summer breaks will not last forever. The days of prolonged vacation are coming to an end, so take advantage of this period of life and make the most of it. After the past couple of years of the strangeness brought on by the pandemic, you deserve some positivity without being bogged down by university obligations.

Maybe you need to cram in a few credit hours to stay on pace for graduation, but try not to overdo it. Make sure you leave time for yourself. Get in those adventures, whether they’re big or small.

We live in a world constantly pushing negativity down our throats, whether it be political division or differing views on social issues, but stop worrying about all of that for at least a couple months. Clear your mind; take a breather; reset that overstressed brain of yours.

Make the most out of summer. Make it memorable — or don’t. Do whatever you need to be happy.

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Reach Brendan Henry at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @BrendanHenryRMC.