I’ve been pretty open on this blog about the fact that my first year of college wasn’t so great. Well, the first semester. But after several months I adjusted to college and learned to love it.
Going in to my sophomore year, I was excited at the new opportunities I had. I’d wanted to be an RA since my first week at school, and I had been made co-president of my Unitarian Universalist group. People talked about the Sophomore Slump, but having come out of a year that was 60% slump all on its own, I was ready for a fresh start. And you saw in my previous posts, my first semester this year was absolutely fabulous.
Not so for all my loved ones, though. February, especially, has been rough for almost everyone I know, and that includes me. I don’t know what it is about February – maybe it’s the appalling weather, or the fact that you’re already 100% done with winter and Mother Nature has at least 6 weeks left to go. Maybe it’s the start of a second semester after a month away from school. Whatever the reason, it has been a rough time all around. My periodic depression came back full-force and knocked the wind out of both me and schoolwork. In my group of closest friends there have been two break ups and a death in the family. Both of my best friends from high school have had such an awful time in their personal lives that they decided to take the rest of the semester off. And here I am, waking up every morning to a to-do list as long as my arm, dying for the weekend, for spring break, and for the summer.
I don’t want to “live for the weekend.” Life is not about paying your dues until you get a break, or, at least, it shouldn’t be. Not everyone has the luxury to do what they love, and I’m sure that I will be paying my professional dues for years before I get the job I’m dreaming of, but that doesn’t mean that my life until then has to be a spinning wheel of grindstone, sleeping, eating, and vacation days. I want to make the room outside of my obligations to do the things I love that are totally unnecessary to success.
Those things range from blogging, writing, and crafting to minor things like curling my hair sometimes and investing in some drugstore makeup. Too often in college, we lose ourselves to the endless cycle of working, sleeping, and vegging out. Somewhere in there, self-care flies out the window. You shower only when your hair is oily enough to hold itself up, and a one-time application of eyeliner lasts you three days. Laundry is done only when you think other people may start noticing. And that’s no way to live.
I suppose this is a post about indulgence. I don’t like to feel like I’m wasting money, which is why most of my clothes are either dresses I bought in highschool or sweaters my mom picked up at Sam’s Club that my dad didn’t quite fit. When I buy new clothes or craft supplies with my parents, I walk away from the register so I don’t hear how much money they’re spending on me. But there is a time and a place for treating yourself. And I am trying to teach myself that.
TL;DR: Is $8 a ridiculous amount to spend on shampoo? Yes. Is it too much to invest in one of the few self-care rituals you have during the week (a shower that leaves you smelling like a coconut)? I think not.