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How to Refresh: A College Freshman’s POV

How to Refresh: A College Freshman’s POV

Author Samiah Rahman by

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Having my first year of university has been a unique experience for me, and I'm sure for all the students taking online classes right now. With all the restrictions, I ask myself, what are some things I can do to better my situation?

1. Using Notion
Of course, self-care is not defined by scheduling things and such, but I recently started using a journal platform called Notion. It is basically a flexible digital platform that you can use to plan out weekly tasks, school information, money tracking, etc. I will link down the template I used! The one I use challenges me to be more aware of myself by listing out motivational factors and self reflect. I also use it for school, finance, journaling, and even my Quran annotations. It’s not only for school but for personal organizational uses as well. I feel a lot more organized and put together because of it!

2. Taking time for yourself (by yourself!)
Whenever I got the chance to take a break, I always went to plan outings with friends or FaceTime someone, and spend time with family. These are all great activities, but I think immersing yourself in your own thoughts is important too. I never used to watch television or do anything by myself really, but with quarantine, I actually enjoy it a lot. Watching plotless shows, or calming and nostalgic films, like Studio Ghilbi ones, have really helped me rewind. I like to watch ‘study with me’ time-lapses and travel vlogs on YouTube, or comedic programs such as ‘Puppet History’-which has actually taught me a lot-while making me laugh. In summary, invest in you time! Go to a cafe or museum by yourself, paint, watch films, do DIYs-these are all fun things to do with other people, but enjoying being alone is a nice feeling.

3. Intake knowledge
There are so many ways to absorb knowledge outside of the school curriculum. A less intense way to start is by watching little video graphics, such as TedEd videos. Like I mentioned previously, I like to watch ‘Puppet History’ and ‘Ruining History’ by Watcher on YouTube. Read a book or listen to podcasts that interest you! A platform I've seen many people use is Skillshare, an online subscription for learning all different types of skills from cooking to bullet journaling! All of this is completely optional of course. From a student’s point of view, it can be overwhelming to take in so many things at once, this is why I prefer to watch comedic, but resourceful, entertainment.

This year wasn’t very ideal as a Freshman who’s never experienced the hardships of University, but I try to remind myself there are a lot of people in the same situation, and that life isn’t perfect! These bumps in the road are bound to happen (although this one was crazy and unimaginable, to be honest) but everyone deserves to take time for themselves to do what they enjoy. Even if I haven't gotten to accomplish certain tasks, I try to remember that a lot of factors come into play, and that I shouldn’t doubt myself! I hope everyone finds what calms them and what they can call their safe space so these times can be a little less difficult.

Notion template I used (there are countless online for everyone’s personal needs):

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