Staying sane at Columbia in three easy steps
Although the stress of shopping period may have subsided, staying sane at Columbia is still harder than most people acknowledge. From being in denial that winter break is really over to handling coursework that seems to chain you to the Butler reference room, it may seem like anxiety is inevitable, as we explored in last week’s Eye.
So how does one excel academically and still retain a smidgen of their serenity at this demanding institution? I’ve got three steps for you to achieve Zen in the middle of the city. These may seem intuitive, but an earnest reminder of what our parents like to tell us while at home never hurts, right?
Go outside and change up your environment. Although this may mean wearing two pairs of pants, a knit hat, and that puffy North Face, New York does offer spots of sunlight. Getting out of your room, lifting your head from your Lit Hum reading, and actually inhaling fresh air may make life feel a little more manageable.
But you needn’t go too far – take a walk in Riverside Park, venture off campus to the new Urban Outfitters on 100th street (artificial lighting, but indoors nonetheless!), or consider skating at Central Park’s Wollman Rink.
Spend some time alone. If we don’t live with our friends, then we eat, study, go to class, and party with them. Sometimes, the lack of personal space and dearth of time to unstress takes more of a toll than we’d expect. So take an evening off from your social life. The time spent alone doing WHATEVER relaxes you or makes you smile will only improve your mood for future social outings.
Get in bed and watch re-runs of Sex and the City or the Knicks game. Pick up Vine to-go and enjoy not needing to talk to anyone but Carrie and Amar’e Stoudmire. Learn to be alone, and enjoy it – it’s a rarity in a city pushing 8 million.
Keep things in perspective. Sometimes it seems like that Frontiers of Science or First-Year Seminar grade are a life or death situation – deciding grad school, job security, and all future happiness. Be easier on yourself. You got a B, so what?! Although hard to believe, stressing endlessly and writing angry CULPA reviews doesn’t actually change the grade.
No matter how imperfect your grades or stressful the work, accept that you’ll mess up sometimes. Mistakes make you human, and getting through your college education will be so much easier and carefree if you can actually see that a grade is just that – a grade.
Check out the most recent issue of The Eye, Spec’s weekly magazine.
And make sure to follow us on Twitter for pithy cultural updates throughout the week!
Leave a Comment
Be nice. Don't use HTML tags. And consider reading our full comment policy.