It is hard to believe that there are only three more weeks before the last day of school. Three more weeks before we say goodbye to a long, subdued academic year. Three more weeks until our seniors take their last steps on a campus they have long called home. It may seem like a short amount of time, but I have no doubt that these coming weeks will be filled to the brim with busyness. Classes will ramp up for the final exams; performing groups will rehearse for their final shows; and sports teams will practice for their final games. From now on, everyone will likely be hard at work till the end of the semester. For many of us, it will be tough, but there is an end in sight.
In the next few weeks, as stress begins to rise and assignments begin to pile up, it is important to recognize the value of proper rest. We college students often find ourselves restless, torn between too many commitments, stretched far too thin. We may find ourselves overwhelmed as we pursue our academic interests, participate in clubs, and progress through our various jobs. Even for the most skilled time manager, it can all be too much. In the quest for that stellar resume or that near-perfect track record, we tend to forget how to simply be.
What we need is to take a bit of time, at the end of the day or week to just slow down. Set aside all of those assignments and commitments for just a bit, put down your phone, and contemplate. Read, write or draw for pleasure, listen to music, go on a walk or pray; it is up to you. Anything that provides a momentary escape from the pressures of college life works. If you are one of those who finds rest in the presence of friends, go to lunch, dinner, or some other event on campus, and just enjoy each other’s company. Even in the moments between classes, as you walk from building to building, look up from your feet or your phone and take in the sky, trees, and flowers around you in our lovely campus.
Now, you might be thinking that all of this must be some sort of fantasy, conjured up by a hearty dose of wishful thinking. There is hardly any time to finish all of the work we have, much less to enjoy any sort of leisure, you might be thinking. Yet, though there may be times when there is just too much work to set aside any time for rest, in many cases you can ensure that you have some leisure time with the right planning. Though it may be tempting, procrastination is not your friend. As a chronic procrastinator, I have found that on the rare occasion when I actually get things done ahead of time, it both dispels stress and frees up my schedule for leisure down the road. In turn, this leisure time is now unafflicted with worry. To deal with procrastination and other study struggles, the library has academic success coaches who can help you organize your schedule and fit in more rest. There are even events across campus like this reflective lake walk to foster some contemplation — even complete with journals! There are many opportunities to find rest as the semester comes to a close. Maybe through taking some of these opportunities to rest, you will find that the load for these next couple of weeks feels just a little easier to bear.