Meditation is an odd thing to many people my age because our eyes have been glued to screens since our teenage years.
It seems weird to some people to just sit in a chair in silence for 10 minutes. I get it. The direct payoff of sitting in a chair is hard to imagine.
So let's use science.
Meditation has been proven to help you be more compassionate, improve your memory, decrease anxiety, and help you focus.
Many of these things I've heard many of my college peers want.
I'm not going to hammer on the benefits of meditation. There are already so many articles out there that talk about how "successful person X meditates and here's why you should do it". (For a brief primer on meditation and its benefits, check out here, here, and here.)
Instead, I want to talk about how meditation fits into the life of a college student. Let me know if you're in a similar position.
As an engineering student, I am bombarded with problem sets and projects for homework every week. I also work part-time at the school. Grouped along with the tasks I have to do for the 3 student orgs I'm a part of, I start to think about all of the things I have to do and I feel overwhelmed.
Sometimes, I don't feel in control of my life, like I'm just being reactive to different things, and life is dragging me on a chain with it. Even when I have my alone time, I'm not always having a clear head. I'm constantly distracted with the bright screen on my laptop.
So that's why I knew I needed to try out meditation. If it's really as awesome as they say, then it's at least worth a shot.
This app simplifies meditation into a less-than-10-button-process. It's exactly what a beginner needs in order to break through this idea of what meditation is and what it isn't.
I completed their 10-day trial period, Take 10.
This trial is composed of ten 10-minute sessions. When a normal person thinks about meditation, they think of how long it will take and how they don't have time for it. But who really doesn't have 10 minutes that they can carve out of their day for some mental clarity?
There's literally no excuse to not do your sessions and that's what I like about the app. Headspace simply gets you started on guided meditation. The New York Times has claimed that Andy Puddicombe, the founder, "is doing for meditation what Jamie Oliver has done for food”.
It's that fun and awesome.
Do I think the app is worth $7 a month? No. There are a lot of better, free guided sessions out there.
Once you're done with Take 10, I recommend pursuing different avenues for meditation. You can either keep reusing the Take 10 sessions (they don't go away), or you can just simply use a timer and do it yourself. There are plenty of resources out there as well if you take the time to look for them.
I still highly recommend Headspace as a starting point for meditation. This app simplifies meditation down into a language and experience that any college student can immediately understand and use regularly. I highly recommend you try it if you've ever felt stressed or overwhelmed and needed some more focus in your life.
I am not endorsed by Headspace. I just think it's a cool app. Headspace is available on both iOS and Android.