Letter from the dorm: study hard – but don't neglect your physical and mental health

Letter from the dorm: study hard – but don't neglect your physical and mental health

It’s crunch time! I’m currently in the middle of exam preparation, and let me tell you, the mountains of books, megabytes of PDFs, and writing sores on my hands are all too real.

Would you like to know what else is all too real? You. And your physical health. And your mental health. If there is one thing you take from this column, it’s that you have to take care of yourself during this period.

Pretty much everyone around me is stressed. From my fellow second-year buddies busting their brains over our economics assignments, to my third-year friends doing dissertations; no one escapes the pressure. Not even my brother, who is doing 12 exams for his IGCSEs. If it weren’t for my parents delivering food to his study hole and dragging him out for a run every once in a while, he wouldn’t be studying as well as he is now.

Which brings me to my next point: recent events and health scares have made me realise the importance of physical health. Ever heard the saying; “healthy body, healthy mind?” It’s more relevant today than ever before. It’s important to make sure your body is getting enough vitamins and protein. Don’t ignore your stomach, and if you need that little nibble of chocolate, then allow yourself to have it.

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I’ve also realised that you don’t have to be sporty to exercise. Go for a run through the rain, sign up for a gym membership, or simply click on a Blogilates video and stretch along. You might feel a little weird pretending to be a Nike ambassador or a cross-trainer, but your brain will thank you.

Exercise and food will at least have your physical health under control, and will help you think clearly. Hong Kong’s recent student suicides are a sad reminder of the immense pressure that we students face. It’s important to do well and get good career prospects, but you have nothing without your health. It is the reason you’re able to get out of bed in the morning and sit at your desk, so that you can achieve all of your aspirations.

It’s also important to talk. Talking is not a sign of weakness. Neither is crying. It’s important to open up to your family and friends. Talking doesn’t have to be serious; it can be as simple as buying coffee and laughing with your friends for an hour. We need to realise that time not spent studying is not wasted time.

Yes, when it comes to the crunch a majority of your time does need to be spent studying. However, it’s equally important to eat well, exercise and take a little time out for yourself. Hang in there, you’ve got this!

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Study hard but don’t neglect your health


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