Iku Nwosu, Meds '22
We start off the year full speed ahead, spirits ablaze. Whether it is orientation week, meeting 100+ new faces as first year students and group leaders, or even just coming straight into class (the infamous, well-loved Cardio-Resp block), suddenly you cannot catch a break. You may have a plan at the start of the term; there is always a plan. You want to be disciplined, eat healthy food, work out often, have some nights out with your friends, and even keep up with the DILs. You also want to be involved “just enough” to keep your CV on edge. Two weeks into second year for me, I was already starting to burn out.
I am the first to admit I probably do too many things. And no, this is not a humble flex or subtle brag. Being busy is not cute. Overworking yourself is far from a “vibe” when you are actually living in it. It is easy to judge someone who suddenly chooses to drop a commitment or group, but when I see it happen, I have started trying to understand. Dedication is an important skill to develop but not at the expense of your wellbeing. The whirlwind of everything we “balance” can start to make you feel suffocated.
Now, you might already see where I am going with how this relates to COVID19. In the last couple of weeks, all the commitments we have had look completely different or are off our plates altogether. The kind of free time I have now is honestly baffling. If you are someone who makes to-do lists like me, you have probably laughed to yourself about how short it can be these days. It is in some ways relieving if I am being completely honest. The Spring Formal I no longer have to plan and promote, the interest group meetings I do not have to squeeze into my schedule, the lunch talks I can attend comfortably from my bedroom, amongst everything else academic that has shifted.
I do not want to downplay the severity of this pandemic or disregard the immense privilege I and many others have. We are very fortunate to be able to go through this with some semblance of normal or feeling of safety. However, if there is one simple notion that I can take away from this time (and there is no pressure to have to “take away” anything during a pandemic), it is this: I was spread astonishingly too thin. Perhaps when we re-enter life as we knew it, as joyous as this prospective occasion will be, I will try to do so not as full speed ahead.
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