College is arguably one of the most hectic times in a young adult’s life, as they are constantly taking in and applying new information — whether in classes, while completing homework assignments and major projects, or even going through their adjusted daily routines on their own. Because of these and many other contributors, college students are known for functioning under near-constant stress.
In spite of these factors, many studies have confirmed that college students do not give themselves enough time to unwind after a long day or week, thus resulting in widespread burnout about halfway through each semester.
With this in mind, let us take a deeper look at why students should schedule breaks throughout their days:
Taking frequent breaks boosts productivity. Although many believe taking a break is equivalent to getting distracted and procrastinating their work, such an assumption could not be farther from the truth. After long periods of staring at a book or computer screen, one’s brain begins to lose momentum and the task at hand loses its high-priority standing — even if it is a project that is due the next day.
Therefore, students would greatly benefit from taking a short break every hour or so to keep their minds sharp and ready to absorb necessary content. Otherwise, they may not get as much accomplished as they set out to.
Taking breaks to exercise improves cognition. By physically moving away from their work in favor of taking a brief walk, having a small stretching session, or even doing 20 jumping jacks, students will get their blood pumping and more oxygen to their brains.
So, not only will this time break up the monotony of their studying, but it will also refresh their creativity and other cognitive abilities — such as retention of information, enhanced recall, and so on — as well.
Taking breaks keeps students healthier. If a student schedules regular breaks throughout their day and even sets a time to stop studying by, they will not only keep themselves sharp for when they resume their studies the next day, but make their mental and physical health a long-term priority as well.
This small change ought to be considered a necessity, especially as crippling mental illnesses such as depression and high-functioning anxiety are infiltrating colleges and universities across the nation. Additionally, getting consistent rest throughout the week will protect students from the dreaded campus-wide illnesses such as the flu, stomach bug, and others.