By Grace Knoop 

When I woke up Monday morning, I was not happy. All I wanted to do was lay in bed and not move for the entire day.

My alarm went off and I immediately snoozed it. Then the next alarm came. Snooze again. Because it was a holiday and we had no school, my friend and I signed up for a SoulCycle class. After several snoozes, I was supposed to meet her there.

I am always that person who’s on time and never cancels plans. But I just couldn’t do it that morning. My whole body ached and I had no energy. The idea of dragging myself to an exercise class made me nauseous… but so did canceling on my friend.

I was stuck choosing between two different nauseating scenarios. I ultimately chose to cancel because going to a SoulCycle class would truly leave me feeling sick for the rest of the day.

But instead of sitting in bed all day and pushing my never-ending to-do list off into the void, I forced myself out of bed. Then, once my feet hit the floor, I knew I had to immediately get out of my basement dorm room or else I would just crawl right back into bed. My body needed sunlight, meaning I needed to get back into the cold Boston air.

I grabbed my tennis shoes and AirPods and headed out the door. I went on a long walk to my favorite coffee shop in town, Thinking Cup.

It’s a solid 30-minute walk from my dorm to the shop, which is why it has become my special treat. Lately, I haven’t had an hour to spare to get my favorite almond milk latte. Today, I made the time.

Sometimes, I just need a minute to myself. My life at school gets hectic — fast. It can get overwhelming and from time to time, I just need an hour to breathe.

I put on an episode of my favorite podcast, “Armchair Expert” by Dax Shepard and Monica Padman and made my way down Newbury Street.

I was only listening to Shepard and peaking through the windows of my favorite shops on Newbury during my walk, but for that moment, I wasn’t thinking about all the assignments I needed to complete. I put my phone on silent and just walked.

In my head, the worst thing that I can do is cancel and let people down. But would I have been a pleasant person to be around that morning? Absolutely not. I would have been a pain in the butt and would have complained the whole way to SoulCycle.

I am learning that it’s OK to cancel. It’s OK to put myself first. It’s OK to cancel on a friend and just be by myself for a few hours. 

Every once in a while I need that, and that’s OK.