If there is one thing that I have taken away from four years of religion classes, it’s to be mindful. Taking those few moments to just, be. Inhaling all of the stress and everything that has happened this week (even though it’s only Wednesday) and once that exhale is let go, it’s as if everything has just been lifted off your shoulders. In light of everything that has happened in these couple of months, it seems like everything is coming at us full throttle and all we want is time to just simply slow down.

So now I propose to you a challenge: put your phone down for the next week. No checking Snapchat, Facebook, or Twitter. Being a part of the generation that bases everything around our phones, I try my hardest to just leave my phone alone at times (emphasis on try). It never occurred to me how attached I was to my phone until I noticed how I would rely on articles that I found on Twitter and believing them rather than doing my own research and fact checking. All the negativity that I would see on the Internet and on top of that, the news, all of it became too much.

For someone who lives for arguing/debating with others, the things that I would come across on the news, I just couldn’t handle it; it was like any headline I saw, it was never anything on the positive side of things. All of the negativity just gave me a massive headache, so I dialed it back to sitting in my high school religion class and my religion teacher telling us to close our eyes, channel everything that had come at us that week, inhale for eight seconds and finally, exhale for eight seconds.

College is stressful, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind about that. Schoolwork, athletics, jobs; it all comes at us at a fast pace, but just make sure that your mental health is in check. By that, I mean make sure that you do not let the fast pace of school life consume you. If you are struggling, there are resources to help you. If you want to hear your mom’s voice just so you can feel at home for only five minutes, then give her a call.

Your mental health is important, so don’t ever let the hustle and bustle of school life get the better of you. You can be great and still maintain that GPA without pushing yourself too hard.