“The week I get back from Spring Break is going to be the absolute worst,” says an animated BC student after his last class on Friday. His friend shares his sentiment, agreeing that the week will, indeed, be a tough one. But does it have to? Students are deluded into thinking in extremes. They are seduced by a party/work dichotomy that encourages periods of concentrated stress and suffering. Do not fall into the trap of self-induced misery; constant peace and happiness are attainable. I present to you, 10 ways to stay calm on the Crowned Hilltop.
1) Be thankful you did not get hit by the Comm Ave. Bus
Excuse the cliché, but you never know what you have until it is gone. Each day you are alive and well and able to climb the Million Dollar Stairs is a huge blessing from The Universe. If you were actually run over by the shuttle and found yourself in a critical state of health, you would not care about trivial matters such as papers and midterms, losing your Eagle ID and having less than a thousand dollars left on your meal plan. You would simply wish for a normal life. Which you have. Realize that your problems are laughably insignificant, and be glad for that. Easier said than done, I know.
2) Go for a jog around the Res
We all know about endorphins, but there is something inexplicably refreshing about running near a body of water. In terms of peacefulness, it sure beats the crowded Plex. Also, there are dogs. Need I say more?
3) Make sleep a priority
Nothing can touch you when you have eight hours of shut-eye on your side. Even if you failed to complete your homework or did not bother to study, at least you are physiologically equipped to take on the day. When well rested, you can stay alert during lectures and think clearly during assessments.
4) Have a good sense of humor
If you don’t know the answer to a question on a test, draw a random, elaborate picture, or make something up that will entertain the grader. I usually bring a water bottle with me to sip on while test taking, and, if I’m stumped, I will meticulously draw a portrait of said water bottle complete with shading and signature. Chill out don’t freak out.
5) Go to Buddhism club
If you are stressing, you may want to give Buddhism a go. The club meets every Thursday evening in the Interfaith Chapel in between 90 and 66. Unlike other student organizations, Buddhism club requires zero commitments or obligations—just show up and meditate.
6) Eat food
Low blood sugar can actually induce anxiety and delusion. Forgetting to eat is as bad as forgetting to study only you are physically harming your body as well. Hungry people are panicked people. Hungry people are sluggish people. Sadly enough, your brain is just an organ running on carbohydrates and without fuel your sanity will suffer.
7) Learn to say no.
BC teaches its students to be “men and women for others,” but first and foremost you must respect yourself and your mental and physical health. Stay calm by realizing you have the power and right to say no to things that do not bring you happiness. After all, you cannot set the world aflame if you are crippled by unnecessary stress.
8) Cut stressful people out of your life
Unless you are trapped on a desert island with a crew of cannibals or are one of the victims in Saw, there is no reason to stay with high-strung people who stress you out. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
9) Give up
Accept that you cannot have it all. Coming to terms with futility is both calming and liberating. Get to the dining hall at 8:01 for dinner? You will survive. Lose your jacket in a Mod? Buy a new one. Slept through physics for the whole semester and the evening of the final is upon you? Go to bed. Always try your best, but minimize suffering and maximize utility by reacting to unredeemable failures with a cool head as opposed to with frustration.
10) Be thankful you did not get hit by the Newton Bus
But actually. The key to staying calm is to realize all that you have. Do not lose perspective. Certain predicaments warrant panic, such as being chased by a man-eating eagle, falling headfirst down the Million Dollar Stairs and getting hit by the Newton Bus. Other perceived disasters such as failed exams, deadlines and projects are all contrived worries that do not pose an actual threat to your health and wellbeing. So BCalm, and carry on.