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How I attempt self-care as a try-hard


I used to wake up every day to a cold basement, with no natural light, and a tremendous fear that if I opened the curtains whichever staff member was parking outside my window would just be able to look inside of my room. I am a typical representative of the phrase “Oles can. Oles will.” Oles must, even. Between student employment, classes, club leadership and ensembles, my life seems pretty busy. Some people even say: “Wow Ron. You work everywhere. Do you even have time to yourself?” Sometimes I feel like I don’t, like I am a whirlwind of stress and chaos. But prioritizing things that bring one happiness is the process that one needs in order to take care of themselves. For me, the anxiety that as a lower-income person of color, the dropout rate is against my odds, sings in the back of my brain. Anxieties like these float around my thoughts, and seem to consume me in my day-to-day life.

One needs to set that boundary. If I am going to do something for myself, I need to start by attempting to be happy. And this is how as a busy bee, you can prioritize being happy. Being well. If you’re going to work, work doing what you love. But set out a time. Stuff will get done. It’s like how our survival instinct works, there will always be time to finish that paper. But if you’re sad, you have a predisposition to do things worse. Go on a walk, blast music in the car with your friends, study with people you love. And do it for yourself, in the name of your happiness.

I strongly believe in momentaneous happiness being productive rather than addictive. You might hear from your professors that in order to be a successful person you need to be involved in everything, and cannot have a singular moment to build connections, friendships, or have fun. That the success that you want to have requires a lonely path. But what time, if not now, to be happy? What time will you have in the future? Nothing is insured. They say college is the best time of our lives. So build towards that. I know I am trying my best. Now I wake up in the morning with curtains open watching the sunrise on my third floor room, and in my little balcony lies a vase full of Friday Flowers from my friends. I know that when I’m older I’ll remember this as a better memory.

Ron Soto-Solari
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