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When the middle of the semester comes, there are mornings where you have to pull yourself together and find motivation to go to class, work, or whatever takes up your schedule. You are busy, stressed, and exhausted. There are weeks where you don’t have time to do your laundry and you never have what you need for class. You’ve been eating out every meal because you haven’t had time to get groceries in two weeks, and that just means your bank account is dwindling in line with your GPA. Great. What’s worse it that the homework you have might even be manageable, but you’re so unorganized that it feels unbearable.

Sound familiar?

two times i feel stress day and night

Photo via Trinity Valley Community College

Well, if you’ve tried everything you can and still can’t seem to get organized or caught up, I’m here to tell you it is okay to take a sick day. Skipping a class every now and then is not the end of your future, and saying “no” can be one of the most relieving things for you right now. Sometimes all you need is one morning off to take a deep breath, make a big breakfast, and have time to at least make a comprehensible to-do list.

If you’re feeling guilty for skipping a class or calling in sick for whatever responsibility you have, here’s why you shouldn’t:

Your health needs to come first

Yes, you deserve to be healthy mentally and physically. Your schedule should not interfere with a decent amount of sleep, alone time to relax, and whatever else you need for your well being. Whether that’s making time to exercise, cooking your favorite meal, writing in a journal, or simply browsing cute animal pictures on the Internet, it’s important to make at least a little bit of time each day to reflect, relax, and de-stress.

Missing one lecture will not end your future career

Guess what: missing one class discussion on a book or one lecture on the functions of cells is not going to determine whether or not you graduate. Your employers will not ask why you got a B- instead of a B on a midterm during your second year of college. They don’t care. It’s about the overall success and work you put into your major and pursuing your career dreams.

If you’re going to fall asleep in class anyways, you’re not missing anything

Staying up all night and then trying to go to class is possibly the most counter-productive thing ever. If it’s a class you can’t miss, then get your sleep the night before. A cup of coffee can keep you awake if you get a little less sleep than normal, but it isn’t going to help you stay awake after an all-nighter. Sleep is so crucial for college students.

Your professors, bosses, coaches, etc. are human too

Everybody has days where they literally. Just. Cannot. You can only go to class with a head cold for so long before you realize the only way to overcome it is to stay home for a day. If you’re so mentally drained and exhausted that you don’t know think you can possibly make it to class, the people around you will understand. They will want you to take the day off and come back more enthusiastic and focused than before.

Groceries and laundry are legitimate things to make time for

These are just simple necessities. If you don’t have time to do them, then there is something wrong with your schedule. You can only re-wear a pair of jeans so many times. Eventually your roommates are going to want you to buy your own food. Chores and errands like these are necessary to incorporate into your college schedule.

After taking a break, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to conquer the rest of the semester…This time with a stress ball in hand.

stress ball image

Photo via G.A. 365

How do you know when you need to take a day off?

Feature Image via Associated Students of Western Washington University