Section: Opinion

Midterms got you feeling low? Don’t sulk; take a walk

By Griffin Burrough

I get that feeling around the two-hour mark. You know the feeling: you want to flip the chair you’ve been sitting on and scream at your studies for their annoyingness and complexity. That feeling that you have a better chance of breaking through the wall with your head than finishing your paper. It’s times like these when I take a walk.

Some people like long walks on the beach. To me, the beach is overrated; long walks at night are far more desirable. A long walk at night is the perfect way to clear your head and get some time alone — and you do have time for them. Sure, we have our schedules with our classes and extracurriculars, and we all need some sleep, but how you spend the rest of your time each day is up to you.   

People really do have time when they say they don’t. In high school, people would always complain to me that they were studying eight hours for this AP bio thing or reading this boring play. I could never sympathize with them because I was thinking of all the things I do in eight hours. If I spent eight hours studying my notes for a subject, I better have memorized each word by the time I’m done. When people tell me they studied for eight hours that really means they had their work open for eight hours, and glanced at it occasionally over that period.

We spend so much of college surrounded by other people. It’s great most of the time but not when your back’s against the wall and that paper is due tomorrow; then people can be the bane of your existence. It’s important to get away from these people, just for a bit, and find your own place. Making the most of one’s time can help relieve stress, but so can getting away from it all and finding your own place around Kenyon.

How do you find your place? Well, it’s different for everyone. I know I just gave you the same blanket statement that everyone gives you when you need advice, but it’s true. Some people like me need to be active and get away from studying in a chair. Maybe if you’re someone who studies in a group you need to take a second and listen to some smooth jazz. Perhaps, like some Kenyonites, you need to be wild and crazy to get all of your energy out.

It’s different for everyone, but a running theme that I’ve found is that your break needs to be the opposite of what you’re doing. Take a rest and clear your mind, and working will feel a whole lot less like trying to smash a wall head-first.

Griffin Burrough ’18 is undeclared from Summit, N.J. He can be reached at burroughe@kenyon.edu.

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