Glorifying the grind

Many textbooks in the shape of a deep spiral

We're about halfway through the first semester and I've been hearing competitions of who's getting the least amount of sleep start floating around campus.

University is a challenge and it can harder to conquer some times more than others. These last couple of weeks, I've been going to sleep later and later and waking up earlier and earlier. Despite having a big headache and my body feeling sluggish and unmotivated about my studies, part of me wants to say, 'this feels good.' I've been starting to use my body as an indicator of how hard I'm working.

When I share this with people, it's like I want others to see how hard I'm working, even though what I'm truly saying is how burnt out I feel. The more I do this, the more I subconsciously associate achievement with poor self-care and struggling mental health and before I know it, my motivation is at an all-time low. I think there is a fine line between pushing through the tough times and strengthening my perseverance, and then pushing myself too far to the point of mental exhaustion.

The mid-semester break is the perfect time to reset the body clock, detox from a caffeine overload and start the second half of the semester healthy and well-rested. While I cheer my peers on, I want to make sure I celebrate their success and hard work, not how much sleep they've lost. I don't want my friends to feel as though the only way their effort is recognised is by sacrificing their physical and mental health.

Does someone you know come to mind? Perhaps yourself? It can take a bit of mental work and sometimes I need reminding, to glorify the good in self-care and not the detriment of the grind, not just for the sake of my friends' health but for my own too. I want university to be time I fondly look back on, after all!

Tagged in What messes with your head, mental health, exam stress