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Nick Foley

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Spring Break: Striking a Balance

Posted: 03/22/2012 7:49 pm


Last week, as I sat idly in class with my right fist digging into my cheekbone, mouth agape, looking at the projector screen trying to absorb the words but instead just gazing into the bright light like an idiot (does this happen to anyone else?), my phone sat in my lap, blowing up with work-related messages. I wanted to die; the effort of feigning interest in my professor's stagnant lecture while fielding work texts made want to fall into a black hole. Or throw my phone at the wall, which I have done before (I was channeling Naomi Campbell).

Fast-forward a week to today, when I tugged down the blinds and saw that it was cloudy for the third straight day. Like the vapid, narcissistic college student that I am, I emitted a bitchy groan, annoyed that I might not roast to a divine shade of golden brown over Spring break like we're all supposed to. Honestly, it's Spring break! (I just channeled every college student, ever.)

Instead of going out or doing homework or worrying about the weeks ahead, I'm ignoring my phone and staring at the ceiling for this entire week, willingly falling into the black hole I was lusting after just a week ago.

At school, we basically run ourselves into the ground for five days in anticipation of the weekend: this amazing two-day release in which we forget about the stressful week and recharge our souls for the next one. This sacred view of the weekend creates a constant fluctuation between crippling stress and mind-blowing fun, and it's exhausting on both ends. Which is why, this week, I think it'd be nice to find a balance.

We're lucky that we have a weekly escape from everything that worries us; that we can be young and unpredictable and still bounce back by Monday. But it seems like we live by these dramatic extremes: draining our bodies by pulling all-nighters or thrashing around to "Call Me Maybe" at a bar. Where's the middle ground?

In some ways, college prepares us for the real world. We inevitably uncover our identities because we only care about ourselves for four years straight. We meet people, we intern, we discover our purpose, all while publicizing how much pressure we're under on Facebook and then releasing this stress via Britney Spears power hours.

But it's important to realize that as you get older, these extremes will inch closer together. We'll settle into real-life jobs and form routines that will carry us into the rest of our lives. The reckless spontaneity that makes college such an unforgettable experience will cease to exist, forcing you to deal stress in a more mundane way -- such as plastering yourself to a lawn chair, ripping the battery out of your phone and relaxing under the sun for a few hours, letting the harried thoughts trickle out of your head and into the Spring air.

 
 
 

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