Treat yourself

Image by: Curtis Heinzl

We should use self-care to combat the pressures of university hustle culture. 

In Stauffer Library, next to the café, there’s a four-foot-tall bulletin board decorated with posters and flyers. Each one is beautifully designed, vying for the attention of busy students with bold colors and fonts, all promising unique opportunities for personal and professional growth.

When logging into their Queen’s email, students find their inboxes flooded with advertisements for various conferences and networking events. The never-ending hustle of university life penetrates even the most private of spaces, as even the once sacred doors of bathroom stalls are now covered with a dizzying array of papers and QR codes. 

It seems no matter where one turns, there’s always a new opportunity to seize, a new goal to strive for, and a new rung being added to the ever-rising ladder of success. 

Queen’s has a reputation of providing its students with a wide array of extracurricular and off-campus activities. However, the seemingly endless opportunities are both a blessing and a curse as students may wind up with a deadly case of overcommitment. 

It’s easy to fall prey to the relentless hustle culture that is intertwined so closely with university life. So, indulging in self-care is not just a frivolous luxury for those who can afford it, but rather an essential aspect of well-being accessible to all regardless of their financial situation.

Prioritizing productivity is encouraged in the university setting, but overworking one’s body and mind can leave little time for rest and relaxation. Self-care is much deeper than a putting on a face mask or lighting a candle—it can mean saying no when you feel you’ve stretched yourself too thin. 

There’s a misconception that self-care requires expensive treatments and extravagant indulgences. Taking small moments throughout the day to treat yourself can be simple and easy. 

For example, leave the house early before class and take the scenic route. After a midterm, go home and eat a nutritious meal instead of slugging back to the library to study more. Treating yourself might even mean taking a break from LinkedIn to avoid comparing other’s successes to your own. 

Saying no is also a form of self-care. Students must learn how to weigh the pros and cons of each opportunity they indulge in while simultaneously being aware of their own limits. It can be easy to drown in a sea of obligations because saying “no” feels selfish and shameful.

On the other hand, it’s important to acknowledge how the rest-and-recharge strategy can backfire if taken to an extreme. A bare and empty calendar can leave one feeling aimless and unmotivated, while a jam-packed schedule can lead to burnout. 

It’s a balancing act that requires an endless amount of trial and error.

Taking more time to savor the little things and indulge in small moments of pleasure with the occasional splurge can be an effective way to maintain a sense of well-being. It allows you to appreciate your small accomplishments, which is often forgotten in the face-pasted university life where only big wins are celebrated. 

Treating yourself is not a luxury, but rather a lifestyle everyone should incorporate into their daily routine in order to live a more balanced life. 

Lilly is a second-year politics student and The Journal’s Assistant Sports Editor.


Hustle culture, self care, Student life, Wellness

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