The Importance of Downtime at College

More pressure and expectation are heaped on college students than ever before. With so much to cram into your brains, while settling into your new surroundings and joining new social circles, it’s understandable why so many girls experience college burnout. According to an infographic on, 40% of college students in 2008 felt stressed, based on a survey by the Associated Press and mtvU. Furthermore, with multiple deadlines and projects to juggle, almost half (46.3%) said that they felt totally overwhelmed by their college experience.

That’s why you should place huge importance on downtime between lectures and seminars. Downtime might seem like the last thing you should do, particularly if you have deadlines looming, but studies by the American College Health Association have proven that stress and anxiety are two of the main compounding factors threatening academic success. Time spent off-task is rewarding for your mental and physical health. If you’re keen to find new ways of coping with the pressure of your college studies in 2019, consider the following tips to recondition your body and mind.

Help your brain into a ‘resting state’

It is said that your brain requires a fifth of your body’s overall energy intake to function properly while on-task. According to, scientists have been busy looking at the benefit of individuals entering a ‘resting state’, such as daydreaming. These states help us to consolidate our learning and life experiences and provide balance for our emotions and attention span.

Many students are culturally conditioned to believe that downtime is a sign of laziness or a lack of drive. However, the ability to switch off from being on-task is actually a precious skill indeed. Yoga and meditation techniques have been found to yield a greater resting state for individuals. Yoga, meditation or even pilates classes may be offered by your college, and you should take them up if you are passionate about improving your mental wellbeing during your studies.

The importance of being idle

Getting your sleep pattern right at college is vital for your learning capabilities in the classroom. In terms of memory consolidation and formation, a lack of sleep can dramatically reduce your alertness and concentration. In fact, power-napping between classes is proven to be an effective option for those who don’t get enough sleep the night before. Naps for between ten minutes and half an hour are proven to improve student performance.

Idleness is great for your brain. It allows the waste products created by your brain’s neurons to be cleansed by the body’s lymphatic system. A great way of maximizing your downtime is to engage in simple, low-energy activities.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s catching up on some leisure reading, having a bath, doing a puzzle, or even dropping into a low-key online game like slots. Activities such as these can distract your conscious mind without challenging the brain. According to, instant-play gaming platforms are increasingly popular with those that want immediate access to light-hearted video slots, without being limited to a game or operator. Being able to dip in and out of activities like these gives you the flexibility to make the most of your downtime whenever you can find it.

With so much to take on board at college and so little time to do so, it’s important that you give your brain and body the downtime it deserves, recharging the batteries to go again and give college your very best shot.