The Crimson White

Give yourself a chance to slow down

Benjamin Burkeen

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I feel as though I have never been busier in my entire life as I am right now. Life in college can be mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally exhausting. There is always another meeting to go to, another dreaded group project to tackle or another test coming up. Amongst all of that chaos you sometimes manage to eat a meal from somewhere other than the fast food options in the building next door and sometimes you get a good night’s rest. Across campus, this week in particular has seemed to be one of those that is more hectic than normal.

What if we started saying no to things once in a while? What if we left an hour open in the middle of our day to intentionally do nothing? A foreign concept to many of us that have a workhorse mentality. Allow yourself to not feel guilty about taking time for rest. Realistically, your body and mind cannot survive at a breakneck pace and one thing or another will end up suffering: grades, sleep, relationships or even your health.

Turn your phone on airplane mode, forget about the 295 tasks left on your todo list for the day, and get outside in this (soon to be) fall weather for a short while. Reevaluate your goals and ask yourself why you’re doing the things that you are. This exercise can be affirming, motivating and freeing when you are able to separate your priorities from your trivialities. I’ve found that even stopping on the quad to sit for no particular reason can give such a sense of clarity; taking a moment to breathe allows me to clear my head and remember why I’m here.

This university is an incredible place. And we are all incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to grow and learn alongside such a diverse and engaged community. In the midst of the rat race, I lose sight of blessing that is the ability to be busy. There is so much on this campus for us to be busy with: research and service, academia and a bustling social scene. We should take more moments to pause and reflect on what we’re doing and realize how amazing it all is. 

Benjamin Burkeen is a senior majoring in management. His 
column runs biweekly.

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Give yourself a chance to slow down