Los Alamos
« All Posts by this Blogger
a selfie of people studying

Class. Lab. Rehearsal. Studying. Practice. Sleep. Repeat.

As the spring term approaches its penultimate week, the workload has, for the third time this year, been reaching a climax. And honestly? It's a little tiring. I didn't expect that pushing through the third quarter of the year would be so physically and mentally taxing. Maybe it's because while other colleges on the semester system have been let out for the summer, we've still got a couple more weeks to go. Perhaps it's also because I haven't had to work so intensely through an entire year in-person since my freshman year of high school (my second semester of senior year was very relaxed). But the fact remains—school is hard! Who knew that attending an academically rigorous institution would be academically rigorous?

Dartmouth provides a lot of resources for mental wellbeing, allowing students a moment to destress and relax. My email is filled with their invitations each week. There's MoTEAvational Mondays, a program hosted by the Academic Skills Center that focuses on cultivating good stress and time management, often alongside some tea. There are yoga classes and meditation sessions hosted by the Student Wellness Center. The Mental Health Student Union, a club on campus dedicated to helping Dartmouth students with mental health, also provides peer support in the evening, where students can talk to fellow student volunteers about anything they want. And once a week, the Student Wellness Center brings in dogs specifically for students to pet and play with! Two of the dogs are named Poppy the Golden Retriever and Rosie the Goldendoodle, and although I haven't met them (I'm slightly allergic to dogs), everyone I know who's met them loves them. There are even more opportunities that I haven't described! It's comforting to know that there's a space for me when I'm stressed.

a golden retriver dog sitting in the middle of a road
Here's Poppy! (Credit to the SWC)
a dog in a field
And Rosie! (Credit to the SWC)

But to be honest, I haven't used many of these resources yet; I haven't made much time in my day to go to them this year. I hope to go to them soon, but I've also had to find my own methods to manage my stress and burnout. I've learned that one method has stood out for me: doing less.

With so much to do at school, I came into Dartmouth hoping to try a little bit of everything. Part of my reasoning of choosing a liberal arts college was that I didn't really want to choose what I wanted to do—I could just do it all, right?

From blogging, to acapella, to finding research opportunities, I dipped my feet in, and found so much to love! It still felt as if there was more that I wanted to try, but even with the best time management, there are only so many hours in the day. I realize that, unlike high school, it's not as simple to do every activity under the sun. Even if I could say yes to everything, there comes another question of whether I should say yes to everything. The burnout and stress from trying to do too much, as well as the drop in my work's quality and fun from being spread too thin, has marked a large part of my spring term.

Throughout this year, I've found that I should prioritize what really matters to me, and to truly enjoy what I prioritize. These decisions range from what major I may want to do, to the extracurriculars I think are worth doing, to the people I choose to spend time with. Making a choice is scary—what if it blocks off a certain opportunity? And yet, I believe that making that active choice may also increase my resolve; a choice could bring opportunities on its own. To believe in what you're doing, and to focus in on what you would like to do, is quite important to manage the stress of doubt.

What else is good for relieving stress? Well, dancing, of course!

a crowd of people at the green key concert
This weekend was Green Key, the school's music festival where artists are invited to perform for the campus! Not only was it a fun music festival, it was also a well-needed break from academic stress; all you need is to dance!

Posts You Might Like