“School is something we pay a lot for but want less of.” -Anonymous
If that’s not the realest thing I’ve ever heard, I don’t know what is. College is a very stressful time, not to mention a pretty expensive time. We have multiple exams, papers, and assignments due each week. If you have a job or are involved in extracurricular activities, your time is even more limited. Being in a constant state of busy is inevitable while you are in college and not having enough time for yourself could lead to many very stressful semesters. I found myself struggling to enjoy college by the end of my second year. Sure, I enjoyed the topics I was learning about, but all the stress overshadowed the good that came out of school for me. It was something that really shook me because I had longed to go to college since I was a freshman in high school. College is a privilege and something some people would give up an arm for, yet here I was, dreading starting my junior year.
I knew I needed to switch something up. I needed to figure out what it was that made college enjoyable, something that made me happy and relieved some of that stress. Though I was short on free time, I found myself using all the time I had left over after studying laying around, watching Netflix, and repeating the same boring day-to-day schedule like I was some sort of robot. I looked back on my life and tried to figure out what it was that made life so fun up to this point. I was involved in a lot of extracurricular activities but I spent much of my time in high school cheering or dancing and although that made me extremely busy, it made me happy.
That was when I looked into the K-State Dance Department and I ended up auditioning for K-State SpringDance 2017. I was cast in a modern piece for the production and couldn’t have been more excited. I spent much of this semester preparing for the production and SpringDance 2017 officially concluded this past weekend. I can honestly say adding this extra bit to my daily life was one of the best decisions I have made in college thus far. My time was already limited and being involved in the production added about four hours a week to my schedule (production week added an extra sixteen hours) but I hadn’t been happier in a long time.
Dance was my outlet. Dance served as my distraction. With my college work being pretty intensive, I needed a place where I could be creative and let the stress of my curriculum go for a few hours. If I hadn’t been involved with dance this semester those extra hours might have been spent napping, Netflixing, or something non-productive because though I’m always stressing to find time to study, even with this crazy schedule, I made the time! Instead of doing any of these things, I was productive doing something I enjoyed.
I’ve learned that everyone deals with stress and college in different ways. School work is important and I know that’s ultimately what I’m here for, but it was really important for me to figure out what helped me deal with that stress. Once that stress was channeled somewhere else, I could more effectively study and get my school work completed. I have rediscovered my happy place and have found more joy in my daily schedule. Being busy increased my productivity and made me enjoy the free time I had instead of falling into a permanent state of lazy. My mind, body, and soul are all very active parts in my life as a college student now. I am SO thankful to be in college, and that’s how it should be. So, if you’re feeling down or just plain struggling to get yourself through the day, whether it’s college, work, etc. I encourage you to find something you want to do for YOURSELF. I know there are only twenty-four hours in a day but if you use just one hour of those twenty-four for yourself, you may find a day and night difference in your outlook on your stressful situation.
May your days be happy.