Learning to relax

Alex Dapp

In this fast-paced, career-driven world, the concept of “slowing down” is often frowned upon. I, like many of you, am about to graduate college. The past four years of my life have been dictated by class schedules, winter holidays and extracurricular activities.

While I have enjoyed the comfort of a schedule and a routine, as this final semester is coming to a close, I am finding that I haven’t taken any time to simply slow down. No, I’m not some workhorse who is constantly burning the midnight oil, I am simply a hardworking student who is trying my best to get the most out of my education.

Well, now that my life is about to be turned upside down in just a few short weeks, I have decided I need to take the time to breathe and reflect on this experience I have been fortunate enough to have. Though this may seem like the worst possible time to slow down, I honestly can’t think of a better time.

We are constantly being asked what we’re doing after graduation or if we have a job lined up. Those things are important, but they shouldn’t been the only things we focus on at this time. We are graduating college. How insanely amazing is that? We have worked so hard to get where we are, yet we aren’t even relishing in that fact because we have to nail down our five-year plan in order for anyone to take us seriously.

Society tells us we must know every decision that we are going to make in this life and always have the next three steps planned out. Yes, I will admit, this mindset has been great over the past four years. I didn’t really have to think about what I was doing next, it was already planned out for me; school, work, school. But as each day passes and I inevitably grow closer to “the next chapter” in my life, I find myself taking a step back and wondering why I have to know what I’m doing tomorrow, and the next 10 years of my life.

Yes, I love my planner. I enjoy filling in the days with appointments, meetings and social events, but do I love that feeling simply because I am enjoying every one of those obligations, or is it just because society romanticizes “busy?”

I am aware that everyone is a different personality type, and there are people who enjoy being busy. I commend those people. I am not campaigning that everyone stop being productive and twiddle their thumbs for the rest of the semester. I am merely suggesting we take a second to look back on this experience and ponder the possibilities of tomorrow.

So, sleep in an hour later, drink an extra cup of tea, meditate or do whatever it is that you haven’t had time to do because your every move has been planned out around classes or work. Take that time to remember why it is that you have been working so hard, and then decide what your next move is going to be. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.