One of the most essential lessons I’ve learned in college so far has not been taught in a class, but rather in my experience navigating through the stresses of everyday life. This “stress” inevitably comes from academics, but also stems from the pressures of socializing, staying active in clubs and sports, and attempting to balance your life.
The hardest part, for me, is the choice whether or not to join friends in fun activities or focusing on my homework at a particular time. For instance, on Tuesday, I made the spontaneous decision to spend time with a group of good friends after my service club meeting. The problem was, I had a ton of homework in my Calc class, and extra assignments due at the end of the week that I had been planning on completing that night. After going out with my friends, I took a hot shower and took a couple hours to finish my homework due the next day, but ended up going to bed at around 2 o’clock. I woke up at 7:30 a.m. the following morning to get ready for my first class, however I was so incredibly exhausted that I almost didn’t wake up to my alarm. I have always been a person who needs a certain amount of sleep at night to ensure I will be fully awake the next day, generally eight hours… So, with only about five hours, I was super tired all day. This is not a great example of maintaining balance in my life, and even though that was an uncommon circumstance, I still faced the consequences of my decision the following day. I had a great time, but I also feel a bit guilty because I know academics and adequate sleep should always come first to preserve my intellectual, mental and physical wellness.
Besides the fact that I am still learning how to balance my hectic schedule efficiently, I am having a great time in college. So far, I have gone to the mountains and downtown Denver to explore the community more and moreover joined various clubs, including DU Service & Change, Colleges Against Cancer, Cooking Club, Psychology Club, Alpine Club, and Intramural Broomball. In addition, I have been fortunate enough to meet and socialize with countless amazing individuals, including my boyfriend Ike, throughout the past four weeks, exercising my relational and social wellness. I believe this is one of the most important parts of college – it opens doors to long-lasting friendships and great opportunities that gets one involved in the community.
Since learning that I am now in the “Mental Wellness” group for our final project within the class, I have been thinking a bit about what themes I would like to focus on… I am especially interested in the mental aspect mainly due to my curiosity on the foundation of stress and how it distresses one’s daily life. Stress, an imbalance in the realm of mental wellness, affects everyone in some way and leads to many inner problems and behaviors that I find extremely fascinating and want to learn more about. I hope my group also finds this concentration of mental wellness appealing as well, so we can expand on those ideas and possibly come up with a really fruitful project.
This was one of my more stressful weeks at DU for sure, but I am looking forward to opening my heart to wellness over the weekend at the WLLC Retreat. It is going to be truly wonderful to embrace nature and solitude during my time there, as well as get closer to my fellow classmates. I cannot wait to be up in the mountains!!
Written by Alina Naismith, WLLC 2015-2016