Refuel for the End of Semester Long Haul
As college students, many of us have cars or have friends who are awesome people that will let us ride in their cars with them. Also as college students, it's tempting to let the fuel gauge dip slowly down until we’re desperately praying for the Lord to let us make it the last tenth of a mile to the gas station before our vehicle is absolutely out of gas and stops running. We know it's best practice to keep our tank filled to a comfortable level, not only for our stress level of getting to the gas station, but also to not damage our vehicle's engine.
Now why am I taking you back through Car Maintenance 101?
More often than not, we treat ourselves as our poor, worn-out cars, especially at the end of the semester. We run stressfully close to empty on a regular basis, and that’s just not going to be healthy in the long run. You have to remember to stop when you’re realizing you need a refill, and take a break. Refill your engine at the end of the semester with these four fuel options:
- Put down the pencil and take a stroll around campus. Go for a walk around campus and enjoy some fresh air. Walk with a friend, or walk on your own. Physical activity is always good for clearing your mind and getting your mind back to a more positive outlook.
- Stop running on a diet of caffeine and sugar, and eat something nutritious. I know it can be really tempting to live off of soda, coffee, chips, pizza, and ice cream (I have literally eaten four of those things in the past twenty-four hours), but it's important to eat healthful food. It’ll improve your mood and give you more long-term energy. With such a variety of food on campus, take a break from stress-eating junk food, and enjoy the options here on campus. My personal favorites are the fiesta and southwest salads, quinoa blend, and sweet potatoes. Yummm!
- Take a break from studying, and chat with friends. While it can be great to coop up in the library or your room all night to get your studying in, your brain can process only so much information at once. Every once in a while, take a little ten to twenty-minute break. I usually take my breaks when I finish my scheduled homework for one subject or when I work for an hour straight, whichever comes first. Not only will the break give your mind a chance to relax and absorb information, but you’ll be more productive since you have a reward to look forward to once you’ve finished a chunk of work.
- Forget about the stress of right now for a few minutes, and take some time with God. Even though we need the peace and refreshment of a spiritual refill when we’re stressed and tired--more so than when life is perfect--we seem to especially forget about God’s support when we need it most. God knows what problems you’re facing right now, and as Paul says, His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Let Him do the heavy lifting for you, and you just do the best that you can do.
As the semester ends, if you feel like there’s nothing left in the tank, be proactive, and refuel responsibly!0