Life Is Fun Again
By: Connor Lenahan
The new school year is still in its relative infancy, but it’s already the best year of my life with regards to schooling. Classes are interesting without being overtaxing. Work is fun and engaging. Announcing games continues to be fun. Despite the normal aches of dropping temperatures, my health is resoundingly strong. I keep seeing my friends all over campus again. I’ve been smiling constantly despite regular rain for the past few days.
What happened? My plan worked.
For the majority of the last two years, my life was consumed with being busy. I am the type of person that despises sitting still. I was always running somewhere, in class, at work, in a meeting, writing, or trying to keep from going entirely insane. It’s a fairly normal life of a college student, which is to say it’s incredibly taxing.
There’s a physical element to it all, and that extends to all of life. You do too much, don’t get enough sleep – or come just shy of getting enough on consecutive nights with the exhaustion accruing – and suddenly your body can’t keep up. But mentally college can be draining. At any point for the last two years, I have been in four classes, announcing for six different collegiate teams’ home games, writing every day, and working upwards of 15 hours for the Student Activities Office at Boston University.
The second semester of my junior year left me wiped in a way that no semester of school had ever done before, including the beginning learning stages of college, the high school run of the SAT and college applications, and/or the Juno Blizzard. After working and running from place to place I was mentally gone. I just couldn’t wake up anymore. I needed some sort of relief from the stress that I had largely put on myself.
So I made a calculated effort.
This summer I decided to make some large scale switches with my life. I began working for BU Today, leaving my managerial position at the Student Activities Office. I took classes twice a week all summer to allow me to take a lightened course load this fall and next spring. I consciously began thinking about what the next stages of Unbreakable would be – setting my expectations to draw back from daily posting to two or three articles a week.
We are just getting into October, and letting my foot off the gas, even while keeping myself busy, has been the best decision I’ve made in a long time. I actively enjoy going to class this semester, both because of the content of said classes, and because I am rested enough to tackle them each day. I’m still announcing every game I can, but working 10 hours as a writer rather than a heavy 15 as a manager makes this more fun than it has been in years. I didn’t write anything for the last three days and I was so relieved. I looked around and saw articles that I would have forced into being pieces that I didn’t really have fully fleshed out in my head, and I knew I could wait on them until I did.
Why does this matter to you? A good question, because the above is all very personal to me. But I hope that the central thread can help you. It doesn’t matter if you’re a student or professional, the idea is the same. We constantly put pressure on ourselves to do as many things as we can. It’s regular. But it’s imperative for the sake of mental and physical health to assess your current situation and make conscious efforts to improve your happiness.
I’m very happy now. I ran into a handful of friends today by pure chance that I’ve barely seen as of late. Seeing them for 45 seconds or 5 minutes all left me feeling happy. I felt like I was a functioning human again, rather than a worker and worker alone. It doesn’t mean that I’m going to let up on finding a job, writing articles I believe in, or kicking ass in class, but it does mean that I don’t feel like there’s a knife to my throat every day. That’s because I came to find that I was the one holding it there.
Take it from me, just try to relax and enjoy the world around you. It’s tough to upset the status quo, and this I am sure of. But if you really are truly unhappy with what the status quo is do everything in your power to change it. Do not subject yourself to more pain than necessary. I learned that with taking on too many responsibilities and I learned it by walking on stress fractures until my legs gave out in 2009 and 2013. It won’t be worth it in the long run.
But that smile on your face when you’re going to bed at night? That’s priceless.