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Finding a balance

Michaela

MICHAELA

Major: Gender & Women’s Studies
Hometown: Boulder, CO

Year: Sophomore

I came to college simply expecting a degree, a simple diploma in hand. Now almost half way through my time here, I can already affirm I’ve gained so much more. I’ve walked a knotty road of stretching myself far too thin and had to bounce back from a fluctuating ebb and flow of people and places buzzing around me in a busy chatter. Coming to college has been a meaningful journey and I’ve learned many important lessons, though one lesson stands out to me the most: finding a balance between work and play.  Coming into college, I was thrilled to discover an amazing amount of opportunities that presented themselves from Bee Club to the Society of Business Leaders to Poetry Club to the Residence Hall Association.  As a motivated and inspired student, I immediately joined as many clubs and activities as possible.  Before long, I was well known across campus for being an over achiever and activist and I loved it this way.  It wasn’t until I pushed myself to the point of crashing and burning that I found value in taking a step back and learning to find a center within a calm breath of meditation. 

One of the many clubs and activities I joined as a freshman was Meditation Club.  I would come each week with my sitting cushion and slowly close my eyes into silence.  I had meditated before coming to college though it was here that I truly found a passion for it and found it to be really useful in helping to manage my stress.  While I realize that meditation may not be for everyone, this simple practice has taught me the importance of sitting in peace with one’s mind; I don’t always have to be the best or achieve everything.  It’s okay and even ideal to not have to be involved in all activities at once.  In fact, college has helped me narrow my focus and discover what my priorities are for the future.  It is important to become involved, benefiting and contributing to the community, though it is equally important to balance work with equal and safe play time whether that is just going for a quick hike or having a de-stress session with a friend.  At the same time, one must also balance play time with meaningful work so as to not get distracted in the amazing social opportunities that present themselves at college.  While it is good to be a motivated individual and take charge of one’s life, my own experience in college has taught me that I can also be content with going with the flow and just seeing what life brings in with another tide.  While meditation may have been a means to discovering this, the end has not come yet and I am excited to discover what else my time here has to offer.  While I will continue to work to provide a meaningful existence for myself, I’ll remember to refuel my internal fire of motivation through fun, friends and an unknown stillness at the edge of my next breath.

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