by Lucia Barbier
Dear 18-year-old me!
Are you having fun? Are all those International Tuesdays, the nights at Shamrock, house parties and student-life in general exciting? Are you still able to keep up with all the university stuff? All the essays and exam preparations? Let me tell you this: In a few months you are going to prepare for your first resit. “Why?”, you ask? It’s my pleasure to answer this question to you!
We all know this. The excitement connected with the beginning of the student-life. Meeting new people all the time, integration parties everywhere and, last but not least, the main reason why all of this is actually happening, the university itself. As freshmen we get to see a lot and we want to do more and more, but unfortunately we sometimes end up doing simply too much. And the classes are still there.
On the one hand we do not want to miss out on anything good, but on the other we also do not want to fail the first exams. So what most of us is naturally trying to do is to make everything fit in our daily schedules at the expense of sleep. For the first few weeks that seems to work quite well thanks to caffeine, music and alarm clocks. But then the constant fatigue, the study-hangover, kicks in and nothing seems to help anymore. And let’s face the truth: isn’t falling asleep when eating just a pathetic display of our feebleness?
We start to feel lethargic and our rooms turn into caves with the piles of dirty dishes and course books lying everywhere. We quickly turn into zombies longing for some rest. That is exactly the point when we finally realize that trying to make everything fit in our schedule may not the best thing to do. By doing that, we indulge into a circle of responsibilities which quickly becomes unbearable. You want to continue? Well, good lack with your “walk of shame” home. And redemption isn’t that hard to achieve. Actually, having some rest would be just fine.
Sooner or later we all reach the point where we have to admit that sleep, even though it does not seem that necessary in the first place, is actually essential to enjoying life. Now we have to summon up the courage for some serious student-life-decision-making. It is not easy to pass on various parties and opportunities to socialize, but maybe a quiet night every once in a while would prove to be a healthier choice?
I have a simple piece of advice for you: make decisions. I am not telling you to stop going to parties, I am simply telling you to allow yourself some hours of sleep, relax or enjoyable walk. Allow yourself to recover. I know student-life-decision-making seems hard, but trust me, a year from now you are going to thank yourself for decreasing the amount of things to do in your schedule a little bit. Because in the end it’s true again: less sometimes means more.
Please don’t let me be ashamed of myself next year,
Your future self.