Lopez: It is time to put yourself first this summer


Collegian | Trin Bonner

Dominique Lopez, Opinion Director

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.

Ah summer, the one time in our very busy schedule that we get to relax in the sun and enjoy a perfect break from the busyness that we call life. Or at least that is what we think we will be doing until summertime actually arrives and we are challenged with the task of making the most out of every day.


I’ve always dreamt of the perfect summer: laying on the beach, reading a book and listening to the waves of the ocean. Yet, that never seems to be what I actually do. Instead, I am working a summer job all the time, never getting more than a day off a week.

It’s not the perfect way I would choose to spend my summer break yet, it is what I always end up doing, it is how I have been trained. However, this past month getting into summer I have begun to think about how important it is to actually take the break.

I started my summer by taking a week off to go home and then come right back to get started with a very busy work schedule. However, during this very short break I got sick, which I took as my body’s way of telling me it was time to take a break and that this short “vacation” was actually needed.

This is when it began to dawn on me that maybe summer breaks aren’t really meant to be days where I work so hard that I can’t stop but rather a time where I can take the necessary few days off that I need.

As students we don’t often get the opportunity to take a few days off that aren’t planned during the semester, because we have been trained to make the most out of every single moment. However, summer break was literally created for the purpose of taking some time off to do things that we enjoy, even if that just means reading a book for a few hours.

I’ve begun to understand that I shouldn’t need to listen to my body when it gets sick to determine when I should take a break, but rather that I should put my physical and mental health first so that I can continue to do my busy schedule to the best of my ability. And with that also comes knowing when I need an actual break.

This is something that I think we all do. We all forget to take the time to actually put ourselves first and make sure we are actually taking care of ourselves. Whether it be a day off in the middle of the work week, or planning a long weekend this is how we should and could begin to prepare and take better care of ourselves as individuals.

I write this piece as not only a sense of encouragement for myself but also as a sense of encouragement toward readers to take the time to truly do what you enjoy during your summer break.

Despite what the commercials tell you, it is not your job to make the most out of every single day of your summer, rather it is something that should be a break before you get back into the school year again.

Taking the time to appreciate yourself and even to treat yourself is something that is super important and maybe even beneficial toward getting you to do things that will make you feel more motivated to get back to work and school.


So, if you haven’t yet, I say it is time to take the time to take a day, or maybe even a couple days, out of your busy schedule to do nothing more than put yourself first. Even if that just means sleeping in and lounging in your pajamas for a day.

Reach Dominique Lopez at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @caffeinateddee6.