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Acknowledging the blessings, not the stress

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November 16, 2015

11:53 PM

If I had to take a guess, the average TWAMP probably has something close to about two midterms, three papers, several club events and a few applications all due within the next six weeks or so. All of this on top of any part-time jobs or volunteering. Oh, and do not forget finals are just around the corner. It seems like the months of November and December are full to bursting with due dates and exams, all while you still are trying to find time to eat, sleep and actually socialize. Your motto for the next two months basically is going to be “Sleep is for the weak.”

We are part of a group called “generation stress.” The College of William and Mary is one of the most demanding schools in the country and it really shows in the lives of its students.

It is that time of year. The end of the semester is on the horizon and yet remains so far away — we all are going to have to hurdle a few obstacles to get there first. We may not make it out “bright-eyed and bushy-tailed,” but at least we will be able to say we finished strong with the help of a few double-shots of espresso. We are part of a group called “generation stress.” The College of William and Mary is one of the most demanding schools in the country, and it really shows in the lives of its students. The tension that often radiates out of Earl Gregg Swem Library is proof of that. I am not saying that the academic rigor is a bad thing — without a challenge, you are not going to grow or learn. However, when the stress that results from being over-committed to academics and extracurricular activities begins to consume and constitute your life, we have a problem.

I really invite you to take a step back for a moment and look at your life. In five years, or better yet, next year or next month, is it really going to matter if you stayed up those extra two hours to study or finish tweaking your paper? And I am in no way saying that you never need to stay up late to study, because there are just some times when you have to forgo much of a good night’s sleep in order to finish everything. It never fails that every assignment, test or event falls in the same week. When those weeks happen, however, I want you to keep just one saying in mind that I think captures my point: You are “too blessed to be stressed.”

You attend a prestigious university that is going to offer you many opportunities, you are surrounded by lifelong friends and professors that support you in every way possible, and you study on a breathtakingly beautiful campus.

You are, believe me. I mean, look at where you are at this very moment: You attend a prestigious university that is going to offer you many opportunities, you are surrounded by lifelong friends and professors that support you in every way possible and you study on a breathtakingly beautiful campus. I am pretty sure that you are blessed, whether you believe it or not.

With Thanksgiving coming up, I feel like now is the opportune time to really evaluate this in your life. I want you to take a few minutes and do one thing that I think will really put it in perspective for you on a personal level. Close your textbooks, shut down your laptop and take out a piece of paper. On that piece of paper, make a list of 10 things you are thankful for in your life. It may seem hard at first, but it can even be simple aspects of your life.

With all that goes on in the everyday life of a college student, it is easy to lose sight of this concept. So, while there may be very little extra space in your agenda to schedule anything more, try to schedule a little time to simply breathe, because I promise you, you will be okay.

Email Hannah Strouth at [email protected]

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About Author

  • Hannah Strouth

Hannah Strouth '19 is a business and English double major from Nickelsville, VA.