The Art of Slow Living

“Alright, I need to get from Spencer Engineering to Natural Science in eight minutes. I have a lab meeting from 12:30-2:30, followed by a 3 hour lecture, and then I have to write this paper due next week. Music in, world out. Ready, set, go.”

This is what runs through my mind every morning after my 9:30. I plan my day the night before, I adjust my schedule when something uncalled for comes up, I dodge the geese on my way to class – though outwardly unfazed, inwardly I’m crying.

I’m sure this time is hectic for all of us. Whether we’re wrapping up midterms or just getting started, we’re definitely feeling the pressure. Things seem to be moving a little too fast for our liking. Skipping class just to sleep for one more hour becomes an all too appealing urge. The hustle can be a good thing, but we’re not meant to be machines. We can’t work every hour that we’re awake. We need to take it easy.

Over the past few years at Western, I have come to learn this hard lesson. I say ‘lesson’ because stepping back, breathing in, and taking time to just look up doesn’t come easy. It’s an art, if you will. I understand deadlines need to be met, but spreading yourself thin will only leave you spent. Take your time in the morning. Make yourself breakfast. Sit and drink your coffee (or tea). Go for a walk – campus is beautiful right now. Get off your phone. Smile at people on your way to class. Grab lunch with your friends. You can afford an hour, trust me. School is more than strictly grades. This is the time to make memories, strengthen bonds, and grow as individuals.  Find that sweet balance so you don’t forget why you started your academics in the first place.

When was the last time you stepped outside the ‘Western bubble’? If your answer is “to go back home”, you might want to change things up a bit. Don’t get me wrong, Western is a beautiful campus with amazing people. However, it is so easy to start living as though what matters in life is school and school only. There’s more beyond the walls of main gates. Go check out some local cafes, take a walk through Victoria Park, go bowling!

Things will get done, but you need to take care of yourself. You are more important than a deadline. Don’t lose yourself in this fast-paced lifestyle. Don’t get so buried in books that you miss out on living beyond the text. So, fellow Mustang, before you take that first step to class – breathe in, earbuds out. Ready, set, slow.

 

 

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