I can’t stress enough how important strong relationships (not only romantic) are for your mental health and well-being. Humans are inherently social creatures regardless of if you are an introvert or an extrovert. We need social interaction and we thrive when we have strong connections with people we care about. That’s why it’s important to socialize whenever possible and to maintain relationships even under exam stress and studying 15 hours a day.
Given the current global pandemic, it’s quite difficult to interact with people and socialize. It’s easy to get sucked into whatever goals and ambitions we have at the moment. However, this is exactly when it’s most important to make sure you’re meeting your daily quota of human interaction. This is likely the time in our lives when we are most starved of affection, attention, and connection. Remember to call your family if you don’t live with them, message that one friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, set up a zoom game night, even bake a cake for your friend’s birthday, who happens to be in another country (shout-out to Shalev).
This is also why it’s so great living with roommates. Having 2 great friends who live a couple of feet away, to be able to say good morning and good night to, to be able to have small chats in the kitchen, and to have a laugh in the evening to wind down. These types of things seem small but they really do make being a student a more enjoyable, and worthwhile experience. Imagine traveling to a deserted island and not seeing anyone for months on end. I don’t think it’s a crazy idea to think that many people would probably say that they’d find it quite difficult. However, too many people are allowing themselves to slide closer towards that reality during this pandemic, or during their studies in general as they neglect their friendships and relationships.
Not only is it better for your mental health, but socializing could actually help you study better. It might seem sometimes like you and your brain are two separate entities, however, surprisingly the two are connected. If you deprive your brain of an ingrained, primitive necessity, how likely is it that you’ll be able to perform at your best. We as students are athletes of our brains (as cheesy as it may sound) and we need to make sure that mentally we’re in tip-top shape if we want to reach our ambitious goals. This also links to sleep, nutrition, and all that fun stuff but we won’t go into it in this course.