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How to Make Sundays Your Favorite Day of the Week

I recognize that you probably read the title of this article, shook your head, and thought “that will never be me.” I was in that same position one year ago, before I completely changed how I approached Sundays—and improved my school-life balance.  

Like most full-time college students, I constantly feel overwhelmed and anxious thinking about the thousands of assignments and exams I have coming over the next few weeks. This time last year, as a scared first-year student, I let those thoughts take charge of my brain. I woke up every Sunday morning, dreading the week ahead. I wouldn’t leave my dorm and spent all my time sulking and thinking about everything I could be doing, instead of actually doing it. In hindsight, I was really dreading the week ahead for many reasons I didn't quite realize at the time. “School is the only thing I should be spending any time on,” I would tell myself. Nothing else mattered. If I had assignments to be done, I sacrificed everything, and I mean everything, to complete them.

As a sophomore, I came back to school with many things to be excited about—I was ready to dive back into life on campus. I promised myself that I would make time for myself, whatever that meant. I was not allowing myself to fall into those dreadful Sunday routines of last year. 

The first Sunday of school, my best friend texted me and asked if I wanted to take the T into Boston, go to the Boston Public Library, and then walk around Newbury Street. When he first asked me, I was shocked—how could I possibly spend my Sunday doing anything other than homework all day, painfully fixating on the upcoming week full of endless assignments, clubs, exams, and social events? Despite my instincts, I said yes, and went to Boston. 

I have now spent every Sunday of sophomore year exploring the city. The rule is that we go to the Boston Public Library first, get at least something done, and head off for an adventure. When I am doing work, I am focused. That time afterward is set aside for what I consider “me time.” We walk around the city, get a meal at a new restaurant we have never been to, and simply spend time doing whatever we wish. For any student struggling with their Sundays: make time for yourself, whatever that means. Get off campus, try that thing you’ve been wanting to try, take the T somewhere new, and appreciate life outside. Everything will still be there, waiting for your return. 

Taking time for myself made me that much more productive during the time I specifically designated for schoolwork. Now, I come back from my Boston endeavors, still have time to finish what needs to be done, and then take the rest of my Sunday evening for more “me time,” before the week ahead. For me, this looks like getting dinner with my roommates, taking a long shower, planning my week, and hopping into bed for an early night, ready to wake up early the next morning. 

So, on those Sunday mornings when you wake up and fear the upcoming week—get up and start your day! Waking up with a pounding headache and only a few hours of sleep is brutal, but simply start doing something. Leave campus, go on a walk, do something to get your mind in the right place. Make time for yourself and initiate plans with people who make you feel loved. Create a to-do list consisting only of what must be done for the following Monday, then check off tasks as you complete them. Once you head to bed early, set an alarm for early Monday morning—where you can wake up extra early to get a head start on your week. 

Starting anything new is challenging—but staying consistent will make all the difference in just a few weeks. Pick just a few actions to add to your Sunday routine, and adapt what works for you. Having a routine will make you more productive, even if it seems overwhelming now.

Morgan Bleakley
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