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Matilde Jacobson poses for a portrait on UNM main campus after a run.

5 and Why: 5 ways UNM senior plans to stay well during school


With the new semester often comes a new set of challenges, but University of New Mexico senior Matilde Jacobson is ready to start the spring semester with plans ahead of time on how to balance school and life. Jacobson sat down with the Daily Lobo to share what she does to stay well throughout the school year.

Work toward a career

Work is fulfilling and, in Jacobson’s case, it happens to align with her interests and career plans. Jacobson used to work in a lab, but is preparing to begin an internship in Washington D.C. with the Emerging Infections Surveillance Program, an organization that conducts studies on different infectious diseases.

“I’m in my last semester so I’m kind of just cruising toward the finish line, working a little and saving for grad school,” Jacobson said.

Jacobson is excited to keep busy with her new internship and ready to enjoy her time as a student in a new state.

Participate in social activities

It can be especially difficult at the start of the semester to find a healthy balance between school and personal life, but Jacobson finds time to unwind as a member of UNM’s frisbee club.

“It’s a social thing for me … just a group of people that hang out and have fun,” Jacobson said.

After a year away from the team due to conflicts in her schedule and COVID-19 concerns, Jacobson returned in fall 2021 to a revamped team with reduced tournaments to decrease potentially dangerous contact.

“Most of (the tournaments) were canceled this year, but we still go to practice,” Jacobson said.

Make time for yourself

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While school is a top priority for most, Jacobson knows that it’s important to not sacrifice your mental well-being for a good grade and organizes her life in a way which allows her to have time for herself.

“I have a certain time in the evening past which I don’t do homework … even if I’m not finished,” Jacobson said. “I’m not productive in the evening so I’ll cook dinner, watch a movie.”

Jacobson feels that her own mental health takes precedence over school.

Prioritize health and safety

State and school regulations exist to assist people in protecting themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Jacobson, studying population health and biology, understands the need for further caution and concern, especially amid the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.

“I’m vaccinated, boosted, my roommate and I don’t go out too much … I wear masks when I go out … all those good things,” Jacobson said.

Partake in physical activities

While the frisbee club still makes for great physical activity, Jacobson sees the club more as a way of socializing. Her go-to when it comes to exercising is running, which helps Jacobson maintain her physical health.

“I’ll do a couple laps around the field and then I’ll usually finish with a lap around campus.”

Jacobson said she tries to complete 5K runs often, which each amount to approximately 3.1 miles.

As the spring semester kicks off today, Jacobson is prepared to take on a new semester with her guidelines for balance and success.

Natalie Jude is the culture editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at  or on Twitter @natalaroni

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