Stress-free way to be
Assistant Sports Editor
Forget the stress: that's my new philosophy.
We've gotten past the first couple weeks of school, when everyone's pretty relaxed. Now the projects, presentations, papers and exams are piling up.
It's all I seem to hear these days.
One friend is too busy studying physics to stop and talk for a minute. Another is too worried about a French paper to go to the dining hall and eat dinner. Someone else can't make it to dorm Mass on Sunday because she's stressing about a business project.
Don't get me wrong, I used to worry about grades as much as anyone. And I'm sure I'll be stressed at times this year, but I'm not going to become a basket case over a tough week like I might have a year ago.
I don't know what changed my attitude.
Maybe it was spending a semester in Spain, a country where people work to live and don't live to work, like so many people do in the U.S. They know how to relax, whether it's coming home from work for lunch and a siesta or spending a day in "el campo."
Or maybe it came from spending a summer working with kids who worry about their dads being in jail or not having enough food in the house for dinner.
Whatever happened, I'm glad because I have more important things to do than spend all my time worrying about flunking a test or bombing a paper.
Like tailgating and going to football games — it's still a blast even if we're not undefeated.
Like writing stories for The Observer.
Like going to a party with my friends and letting off steam from a tough week with a game of cups. Who knows? That cute guy from class (or the one you work with or hot dining-hall man) might be there.
Like running interhall cross country with the girls from McGlinn.
Like sitting around with my roommates, chatting about our days, our plans, what I missed when I was abroad, our dreams.
Like going to a hall formal and dancing the night away with the people I care about.
Like sending a letter to my family or my friends who are studying abroad.
Like watching the season premiere of 90210.
Like having a Little Sister from South Bend and becoming an important part of her life.
Or getting a good night's sleep.
After all, what am I going to remember 10 years from now — the grade I got on my philosophy paper or spring break in Florida freshman year?
Do I really want to tell my grandkids that I missed out on four years of my life because I was too worried about getting a good job when I graduated?
I'm not telling anyone not to study for a test or not to read that book for senior seminar. There's no need to fail out. Just don't make school the only thing that matters in your life. I'm not going to fail out, and I'm having more fun than I can remember.
We've got the next 50 years to work hard and worry about house payments and promotions.
Enjoy life under the Dome while it lasts.
The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.
All Inside Stories for Thursday, September 30, 1999