Check in.  Those two words don’t feel like they apply to us as college students very often. Mid-semester progress check ins, checking into a hotel, checking into an appointment. Most of the time, we don’t think to check in with ourselves. The semester feels like it flies by, and we never seem to have time to check in with ourselves.  

Checking in with yourself can sound like an intensive process. Do you need to sit down, meditate, light incense? How do we even check in with ourselves? Is it self-care, or self-sabotage?  

Checking in with yourself can start when you wake up in the morning. It can start by reminding yourself of your to-do list when you open your eyes in the morning and categorizing what you need to do versus what you want to do and prioritizing. But that’s just one of the many ways that we can check in with ourselves, now that the semester is picking up and midterms are approaching.  

Body Scans

Body scans are a great way to check in with yourself. If you’re into fitness and nutrition, it can feel really nice to take a short, meditative approach to how your body feels. Reminding yourself what your body feels like, what muscles are tense, where you’re carrying tension, and cataloguing a way to change that, if that’s something you enjoy doing. Moving your body is meant to be an enjoyable activity, so it’s important to know where you’re at and what ways are good for your body to move.  


Sanvello is a great way to check in with yourself. Taking a moment and answering questions about your mental health is an amazing way to check in, especially if your emotions feel like they’re out of your reach or control. I love Sanvello, because I have a hard time confronting what is stressing me out, or where I’m at most of the time. 


Self-care check ins are often overlooked when the semester gets hard. Taking a moment to do a yoga class, laundry or the dishes can all be ways that we check in with ourselves. Asking yourself how you’re doing mentally, while doing a routine activity, like your dishes, can combat that sneaking feeling of imposter syndrome that many students get, where if you’re not doing something, you’re not being productive and wasting time.  

Ultimately, however you go about it, it’s super important to check in. If we can’t sense what we’re going through, or what we need, tension and stress builds up, and makes it even harder to get motivated, get work done, and thrive this semester. Given the year we’ve all been having, anything we can do to thrive is a good thing.  

Written by Samantha Lyn Ryan ’21, College of Arts & Sciences, Barnes Center Peer Educator