by Yasmeen Salha
College is a time where there are millions of things being thrown at you from different directions. Maintaining one's grades, mental and physical health, and social life along with other commitments can be extremely tedious and often overshadowed. Students seek out all aspects of what college can offer, and while this is important to the experience itself, it is also important to remember that it is okay to say no to things to prioritize your own needs.
A huge part of college is the social scene; going out, hanging out with friends, and having a diverse social life. Students struggle with the idea that they do not want to miss out on things that their friends do, often known as the “fear of missing out,” which tends to damage their own mental and physical health. As a senior in college, I can attest to this.
My college years have been wary; I spent my freshman year at American University and transferred to Boston University for the remainder. Sophomore year was a COVID year, which tainted the experience. By the time I was a junior, I was ready to partake in every single thing college had to offer, including the social aspect. This was particularly draining and my mental and physical health suffered.
As a senior, I am now aware that missing out on things does not make me the odd one out, it allows me to prioritize myself over others and can allow me to actually enjoy everything I do, rather than burning myself out. As a result, I feel as if I am extremely independent and enjoy my own company, taking my time, and catering to my own needs in order to succeed in all aspects of my life as a college student.
To those who are underclassmen, coming from a senior, there is always time to do things with your friends, but putting yourself above what others are doing will make you strong and successful. Listening to your body and your mind will teach you that self-care trumps the rest, and that your own company is actually the best company.
Yasmeen Salha (she/her/hers) is a senior Psychology student at Boston University. She's worked with Neolth since the Summer of 2022, creating a video series about her experience with social anxiety (featured on the Neolth app) and now participating as an Outreach Intern.