“I literally have no time to do anything.”
“When is the semester over again?”
“I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.”
“I’m drowning right now.”
Being a student is hard. I can personally attest to this after realizing that I’ve been in school every year since I was 5. I’m 23. The statements above have been personal comments I’ve heard over the past month, and I’m sure I’ve said all of them at some point this semester.
The most challenging aspect of being a student (I’d argue) that despite the stress of assignments, expectations, and exams, it’s harder than ever to take care of your mental health. Sometimes, the gym seems so far away when you have to get home to finish off that assignment for the next day. Having 10 minutes to meditate can seem like such a struggle even though it looks silly because it’s 10 MINUTES. Even when you’re hanging out with a friend or loved one, you don’t feel like you can connect with them because you’re thinking about the 37439 other items on your to-do list.
I understand where you’re coming from and I’m here to help with my secret weapon – hygge.
I need to thank hygge for a lot of things as a college student, including my overall temperament this past semester. It wasn’t until I appreciated the hygge lifestyle that other parts of my school life became bearable. Don’t get me wrong, hygge doesn’t solve everything (though I wished it did). I had an entire month of crying at least once every time I saw my boyfriend, and I felt hopeless too. We all do. If you can relate to anything I just talked about and want to find some refuge to make it through the semester, I have some recommendations.
Wear comfy-chic clothes
Comfy-chic does not mean sweatpants or shirts you’d only wear at home, just to clarify. Wearing comfy-chic this semester has raised my mood and off-put some internal pressure on myself. When I dress for school, unless I’m presenting that day or doing something significant, I try to focus my outfit on the thought of, “What can I sit in comfortably for multiple hours a day that will still gain me professionalism marks?” (Yes, my program has professionalism marks. You get used to it though.)
By dressing in a way that I can be respected in but still feel comfortable in, that’s the ultimate hygge opportunity. I recommend Levi jeans and a cardigan as my hygge comfy-chic go-to’s. I also recommend the perfect blend of shirts that are looser but aren’t baggy. It’s hard to feel good and professional when it looks like you just got off the couch.
Make a nightly routine (and prioritize it)
I’ve already talked about my nightly routine here and how it’s helped me, but I recommend all students make one for themselves too. No matter how your day was, good or bad, having a nightly routine will tie it all together in a cute bow. My routine centers me, and I find significant validity to it, quite like hygge itself. When you prioritize your time and the way you go to bed, it’s excellent for your mental health and to have a better day tomorrow (with tea and cookies as a reward for all the hustling you’re going to do!).
Make a bullet journal (and use it)
I genuinely don’t know where I’d be without my bullet journal and wished I had used it when I was in university. Head over to this site here and get ready to have your mind blown. One misconception that I’d like to debunk here is you don’t need to have a dotted journal to create a bullet journal. My lined journal was $2 from Dollarama, and it’s been helping me track my daily, weekly, and monthly adventures. If you do want to buy a dotted journal (which I ultimately purchased on sale – saving it for the new year!), there are nice ones at Chapters Indigo here.
Bullet journals relate to hygge because you can customize bullet journals however you’d like, and they help you keep track and accountable to your busy student life. You can also make you bullet journal focus on hygge (I will make a particular post on this!) and mental health. If you want help getting started, I like these BuzzFeed articles here and here.
Talk to a counselor. Seriously.
If you are fortunate like myself to have decent access to a counselor in college/university like I have, I highly recommend you take this opportunity. Tuition covers most counseling services, and it’ll be expensive to hire a therapist once you graduate. A misconception that I find people have is the thought that they don’t have anything wrong going on in their life and they don’t need to seek help. Frankly, I didn’t “need” to see a counselor this semester, but I did, and I’m thankful for it. Beyond its ability to heal, counseling provides as much peace to the soul as hygge does. You get to connect with someone one on one, and you’re able to get things off your chest that you didn’t even know were there. I found that the most impactful sessions I had were the ones that I didn’t go in having an apparent problem. Stress, time management, and anxiety are some of the many issues that college/university counselors can help you with. They are there to help and are the unsung heroes of many successful students.
Hygge is hiding in many places for students, despite popular belief. It’s not always hiding underneath your coffee cup or beside you when you finally have this magical thing called “free time.” Hygge is everywhere, you just have to look for it.
I’m so proud of you, student. You’re going to go so far in life.
Wishing you lots of love and coffee,