Be Kind to Yourself

In general on September 17, 2008 at 2:46 am
Photo by Modomatic (thank you!)

Photo by Modomatic (thank you!)

It’s good to have high expectations of yourself as a student, but don’t push yourself too much.  I’ve seen many international students who spend every night and weekend studying, working through the night, skipping meals, and living on caffeine in order to achieve perfect grades. I worry about these students, because I used to be the same way. Even though I wasn’t studying in my second language, I was a hard worker when it came to school. When I was in college, I left for work at 4am, worked a full shift, and often studied until midnight. I know what it’s like to want to work until a paper is perfect or to be perfectly ready for a test. There is no such thing as perfection, though — and coming close to it isn’t worth sacrificing food, fun, and sleep.

Remember that you are human. Get plenty of sleep. Eat regularly, and follow a routine to keep yourself healthy. It sounds basic, but it’s important. You cannot stay up all night writing a paper, drink five Red Bull energizer drinks, and feel good the next day. You will get sick if you do this. I’ve known students who have been sick an entire semester because of bad habits. I’ve done it to myself. Give yourself a little time to be human, to get the sleep and food you need. Studies show that you’ll actually do better on your tests this way.


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