An hour-long nap is a luxury enjoyed only by kindergarteners and household pets – for college students an hour might be a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, sleep deprivation is only the beginning of a “well-rounded” student’s woes.
Not all majors are created equal, but they all have homework. Professors assign projects, papers and readings on a weekly or even daily basis, with little regard for the fact each of their fellow professors is doing the same. Even if students walked, head down, from home to class and back again, it would be nearly impossible to be completely prepared for every class.
But if we all took a light 12-hour class load and renounced our social lives in order to finish, we’d be labeled bad students. You see, the model student does much more than the minimum.
She is a Students’ Association representative, a social club officer and a varsity basketball player. He takes 21 hours, runs five miles every morning and has time to go out to Wild Wings with his friends every weekend. She works two part-time jobs, has an internship lined up for the summer and eats lunch with her “little” twice a week. He’s a small group leader at his church and tutors every Friday.
We are machines. We are socially, politically, physically, academically and spiritually active. Our resumes are as flawless as our perfectly straight, white smiles. Our clothes are always ironed; our beds are always made; and our refrigerators are always stocked with leftovers from the four-course meals we purchased and cooked for ourselves.
The mark of a well-rounded student is the harried look on his face or the dark circles under her eyes as she rushes off to her next appointment with a Sing Song smile pasted on tight. But we keep going like less appealing versions of the Energizer bunny.
In the midst of the stress, it’s easy to forget to brush your teeth, not to mention spend time with God, regardless of ACU’s Christian environment. Several of the traditional spiritual disciplines involve silence and solitude, and although we’d like Chapel to be a place where we could all unplug, it’s tough when the face of the kid next to you is lit by the gentle glow of an iPhone.
We’re not very good at relaxing – OK, let’s ignore for a moment the Mabee men who sit in the lobby playing Call of Duty instead of answering it and heading to class. On second thought, let’s not ignore them. Maybe they have it right. Maybe we need to take a mental health day every once in a while. Maybe we don’t have to be quite so driven.
Most of us have multiple talents and interests and responsibilities, but we don’t necessarily have to exercise all of them all of the time, despite what your parents might have told you. You might be great at tennis and astrophysics and cooking, but when you start confusing your racket with a skillet, it’s probably time to take a break.