Thursday, September 22, 2011

Secrets to Sanity in Senior Year

By Luci Farrell

Secrets to Sanity in Senior Year

As I find myself a few weeks into my Senior Year, I find that I have suddenly gained the role of life coach. Friends, residents, and people who know me in passing look at me in confusion. How am I balancing my job as RPM, working on Senior Project, writing my blog, joining clubs, and getting my usual work done without having a complete mental break?

So my darling, avid reads, pay close attention. Here are the three secrets to keeping your sanity:

Have fun.
Stay Social.

Scream. Yes, I’m serious. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not giving the okay to go up to a professor and lose it. Don’t stand in the middle of the diner and scream. Don’t go up to a random person and yell at them for five minutes. Take a deep breath first.
What I do mean is that you need to let out your frustrations. Grab a pillow, put your face to it, and scream. Don’t be afraid to cry if you need to. Don’t feel as if you need to hold it in. You aren’t alone. Get your friends together and have a night of getting your frustrations out. Complain. Share in your frustrations. Let everyone get it out. Go to the gym. Get a punching bag. Yell at your stuffed animals. ANYTHING! I am serious about the stuffed animals or knick-knacks. If you find yourself in the early morning hours writing a paper and you’re frustrated, talk aloud. I personally have a little gargoyle, fondly named Dante, who has been with me since high school. Dante has kept me company many nights listening to me. Poor guy has listened to so much swearing and grumbling over the years, yet he takes it all without complaint.
Don’t keep your frustrations bottled up inside. Sometimes you need to get them out. Channel that negative energy into something positive. Don’t let your woes eat you up.

Have fun. School always has opportunities. Here at SXU we’re in the middle of homecoming week. Monday and Tuesday we had a poster sale on campus. I went looking through all the binders knowing my room needed a little sprucing up. That makes me happy. On Thursday we have Mercy Day, an event that I was very familiar with in high school. It’s a day to celebrate the sisters of Mercy and how they’ve dedicated their life to others. Thursday night there is a meet and greet with some sisters from the Chicago land area, and I have to say I’m pretty excited to meet them.
On Friday we have the big Homecoming football game. This is the perfect opportunity to spend time with your peers. Maybe you don’t understand football. Perfect! Go and learn. You may see that person you’ve had class with, but never spoke to. Maybe they can explain the game to you. New friend acquired! Or maybe you say something slightly nerdy like that and find yourself talking about video games. Maybe you even start a debate over which video game’s soundtrack was better, Bioshock or Fallout: New Vegas?

Stay Social. Don’t stay cooped up in your room. If you lose sight of having fun and seeing your friends, you’re in trouble. It’s one thing to work on your homework, but it’s another to lock yourself in your room and never come out. Go to the library. Start a study group. Take breaks from work just to grab coffee with a friend. I know within my group of friends schedules don’t always meet up. That doesn’t stop us. I get a phone call from friends around the quad asking me to meet them outside for fresh air. I’ve gotten dragged out of my room on Saturday nights to go for a car ride. Of course, my favorite is coming into my room and seeing my friends sprawled around doing homework. We don’t need to talk. We don’t even need to look at each other. It’s just enough to feel the presence of someone else in the room. Personally that’s something very important to me this year as it’s my first year on campus that I don’t have a roommate. It’s nice hearing someone else in the room. Even better to have someone else making coffee. Also helps that I’m not drinking multiple pots of coffee by myself.

I hope this has given you all a little laugh and reminds you that you need to keep a balance of fun and study. Stay sane and grab some caffeine. Even with all my pushes in the right direction, you need a little help. Caffeine (in moderation…or whatever qualifies as moderation) is your friend. Stick with coffee or tea. Energy drinks may seem like a good idea, but the crashes are never worth it. Keep your travel mug and march on!

Keep Calm and Put the Kettle On

Luci Farrell is a senior from New Haven, CT. She is an Organizational Communication major with a minor in Anthropology. Luci is a Resident Peer Minister on campus and chair of the Honors Program Advisory Council at Saint Xavier University.

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