Welcome to our special section, Thrive on Campus, devoted to covering the urgent issue of mental health among college and university students from all angles. If you are a college student, we invite you to apply to be an Editor-at-Large, or to simply contribute (please tag your pieces ThriveOnCampus). We welcome faculty, clinicians, and graduates to contribute as well. Read more here.

I had forgotten how beautiful it is to have breakfast in bed. Today got me remembering. Needless to say, I had cereal, one that I am yet to find in stores outside Nigeria (it’s called GoldenMorn, by the way). For the past month, I have followed a strict morning routine which involves waking up unprompted between 8:45 a.m. and 8:52 a.m., rushing off to the shared bathroom on my college dorm wing, “easing myself,” washing my face, gargling some water then rushing off to the cafeteria to grab some breakfast before it’s too late. Starting your morning in the cafeteria has to be the most on-campus cultural thing to do in college. It sets you up for all sorts of student vibes — student feelings, student problems, student banter, student anxiety, and more.

Today has been different. I woke up at 9:15 a.m. and concluded that it was too late to rush off for breakfast, hence the aforementioned cereal. Something about the way the morning has started makes me want to spend the day doing all the things that I love to do or choose to do on my own terms. Today’s date is special to me, so that adds to the spice. 28 is my favourite number, so today being the 28th day of February, the word “special” cannot even begin to qualify. Besides the fact that the day heralds an official five-month countdown to my 21st birthday, it also puts an end to what has been a very rigorous, emotionally draining month for me. February used to be my month of peace and sanity. Somehow, this one has been different and I get why. The pressure that comes with being a final year student overthrew the mild and calm energy of the one month that pacifies the aggressions of all other months.

Because I am totally basking in the good vibes of this day, I will be adopting a rare weekday routine that always puts me in the right mental and physical state of being. I will shut my laptop for the day, pick a book to read and serenade every vein in my body with uplifting gospel music. I will write. I will pray. I will listen to a sermon. I will call up a friend and crack a stale joke. I will make sure I share the leap year joke before the day ends — “Hey, I was born on the 29th of February so I celebrate my birthday once every four years. That’s why I am 6, and in college. You?”

I currently have When Everything Changes, Change Everything by Neale Donald Walsch on my bed. I started reading it two days ago. I could continue today. I also have The Third Door by Alex Banayan which I have been reading slowly and extra consciously for about three weeks now. I could read one more chapter and take some necessary mental notes. My friend suggested the audiobook, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept by Paulo Coelho. Maybe, today would mark my initiation to the world of audiobooks. Every song I would play today is a YouTube autoplay away. I just need to pick the right first song. Josh Groban’s Granted, maybe? It’s 10:39 a.m. and I am heading “in” to spend a worthy day. I hope you have a great one.

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More on Mental Health on Campus:

What Campus Mental Health Centers Are Doing to Keep Up With Student Need

If You’re a Student Who’s Struggling With Mental Health, These 7 Tips Will Help

The Hidden Stress of RAs in the Student Mental Health Crisis