Sadie Says …
Got a question? Send it to me at Sadie@thetriangle.org! My name’s Sadie Samson, and I’m an undergraduate student here at Drexel University. I love to write, listen and give my opinion, so ask away!
I know school just started, but I’m already feeling run down. I’m doing well in all my classes, am active in a couple of clubs on campus and have made great friends already, but I feel like I can’t enjoy it all feeling run down all the time. I can’t sleep in ever because I’ve got early classes, I study in the evening and on the weekends to keep my grades up, and time between classes is spent with friends. The quarter’s not even halfway up, and I can’t wait for winter break. I don’t know what I’m asking for exactly, but I need some sort of advice about how not to feel run down. Does that make sense? I want to enjoy college, not feel like I’m muddling through it!
Dear Exhausted Emma,
For one, I must say congratulations on being able to balance a hectic schedule and still do well academically. School’s tough enough by itself at times, so hats off to you. Next, I have to say that while reading your letter, all I could think of was, “When do you ever spend time with yourself?” You talked about studying time, friend time and time for activities, but where’s the Emma time?
It’s easy to get totally absorbed in the hustle and bustle of schoolwork and activities and forget how important it is to schedule time for yourself just to breathe and to feel that when you are relaxing, you’re wasting time. Change this sort of view by scheduling time for yourself and sticking to it, as it is just as important as your other obligations. Try scheduling in a hobby — read a book for leisure concurrent with your reading for school, schedule empty time when you can just nap, take a walk, or whatever else pleases you throughout the week. To start, I’d say take at least an hour a day for yourself — it sounds like a lot to ask, but having time to be alone will certainly help with your feeling run down.
All that said, if you ever feel like you just aren’t yourself, or like you can’t shake away feelings of being run down no matter what you try, you may want to look into scheduling a session with a counselor at the Counseling Center. It’s free, confidential and may help you tremendously by allowing you a safe environment to talk about things that are bothering you.
Best of luck this year,
What are some ways to get involved on campus? And how do you know where is “right” for you? There are a ton of flyers everywhere, and I feel like at times I want to just join everything at once, but some older friends of mine have warned me against this so that my schoolwork doesn’t suffer. I have a ton of interests, so I really don’t know how to begin narrowing down what I should do. What do you think?
Your friends are right. While it may be tempting, making a large amount of commitments to student groups and activities early, without really getting a feel for how much you need to study and devote to your classes, can be detrimental to your grades. That being said, it’s wonderful that you’re excited and interested in joining activities around campus! They are a wonderful way to meet people, gain an outlet and indulge in experiences you may not get otherwise.
In order to find the place that will give to you as much as you give to it, think about your hobbies and personality for a bit. Do you like discussion about things you’ve read? Writing about things you’ve seen? Are you competitive? Love to be outdoors? Narrowing these down will not only guide you as to what student organization you might enjoy, but what you might find most fulfilling in being part of that organization. If you’re good with event planning and love to dance, you may think about joining or starting an enthusiast group on campus.
College is an excellent time to broaden your horizons, as well. Don’t feel limited to joining groups that deal with things you’re passionate about — join one that catches your eye and interests you and makes you want to learn more. Just joining groups that are focused on things you already find interesting may limit the things you may discover — the possibilities are endless when you’re open to them!
All in all, I’d say to focus on not only your hobbies and interests but also your personality in determining which organizations you might look at joining, as well as what your role in said organizations might be. And don’t limit yourself. You may be surprised with what you find a keen interest in once you give it a try.