Widgets Magazine
On embracing self-love and squares
MAXIMILIANA BOGAN / The Stanford Daily

On embracing self-love and squares

Good grades. Enough sleep. Social life. Choose two.

Most people have seen this triangle of terror, or some variation of it, at least once in their lifetime.  And, unfortunately, the Stanford bubble is starting to lose its semi-circular shape in favor of a slightly rounded-out, three-sided figure, as I find myself facing this difficult decision more than ever before.

As hard as it is to balance any combination of these options, there still seems to be something left out of the mix. In my effort to juggle these three choices, struggling to pick which one will be tossed into the air for now and how long I can manage to keep it up before it comes crashing down, I’ve realized that I’m being forced to leave a pretty important factor out of the circus routine — myself and some simple alone time.

“Make sure you’re always making time for self-love.”

During NSO, I probably heard this phrase just as often as I awkwardly introduced myself to someone, only to have the conversation trail off into an uncomfortable silence — so, basically, a lot. Whenever I heard it, “self-love” was being used in the sense of just taking time for yourself in whatever way you enjoy the most. It can be as easy as listening to music and taking a nap, or as time-consuming as binge-watching an entire season of “The Office” in one day.

While the former probably sounds like something easy to do, and despite the number of times I’ve heard “self-love” propaganda repeated to me over and over, I still haven’t even made time for it. It just seems like I’m constantly doing something. I can never really be alone, even just to do work, without FOMO, or “fear of missing out,” rearing its ugly head around a corner and making the voices I hear laughing and talking down the hall sound a lot more appealing than whatever assignment I’m doing (in part because of how very thin the walls are).

It’s not that I don’t love the people I’m surrounded by. I mean, if I didn’t like spending time with them, this wouldn’t even be a problem. I would just lock myself in my room and be alone all the time. The problem is that I most definitely do not want to do that, but constantly exerting energy through working or socializing is both mentally and physically exhausting. And personally, those four minutes I spend at night making up fake scenarios in my head before I fall asleep are not enough alone time for me.

One of my RAs put it best when she explained that one thing she had to come to terms with when she came to college was that you don’t get the same time for recuperation that you did in high school. For all my life, I’ve gone to school for seven hours a day, done my extracurricular activities afterwards, and then gone home to drop the load of the draining day at my doorstep.

There’s no longer a clearly defined line for me to step over at the end of a long day. It’s now up to me to set aside time for myself, but it’s been on the back-burner since I’ve started school. Perhaps I’ve been so focused on the triangle that I didn’t even consider making it a square. I may not always be able to hit all four corners in one week, but adding that side to the problematic polygon is at least a start.

Good grades. Enough sleep. Social life. Self-love. It’s your choice; just don’t forget about the fourth option.


Contact Kassidy Kelley at kckelley ‘at’ stanford.edu.