Let's Be Real
Blogger: Lisa Chung
I just want to be real in this post. As a student admissions blogger, I tend to feel this self-imposed pressure to paint everything in college in a positive, happy light. And yes, things in college are for the most part awesome. I love my classes, professors, friends, extracurricular activities, and I absolutely love Oxy. But there are days and weeks when all of us can literally start to feel our shoulders sag from the weight of just... everything.
It's that time of the semester when students are starting to burn out when they least need it. With finals around the corner, student clubs and groups holding end-of-the-year events, and research projects being assigned left and right (I have three research papers to do), I know that, at least for me, it has been harder to find the motivation to do these things. I'd like to think that a Green Bean dirty chai and staying up til 3 a.m. with my friends every day is going to help me complete these endless tasks, but alas, such is not always the case.
I know I'm not the only one. These days, when I greet others and ask them how they're doing, instead of responding with the usual, "I'm good, how are you?," they often just respond with a long and heavy sigh. Truly, no words can express how we're feeling. Especially as an RA and student leader in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, I've listened to some of the deepest struggles and insecurities others are experiencing. And as stress piles up, deep-seated fears surface and we are more vulnerable than ever. Instead of waving them off with a quick, "I'll pray for you," (which I'll be the first to admit that I sometimes use as almost a distancing mechanism) I've learned to listen and try my best to empathize. It's easy to absorb myself completely with my problems, my work, my studies. But that is not how I am called to live.
It's times like these when I reflect what is most important to me. Even when I went to bed late last night, do I take an hour to nap despite knowing that a friend really needs to talk to someone? Even when I have a ten-page paper due tomorrow, do I sacrifice my personal time conversing with God and worshiping Him? Even when I am tired and no amount of sleep seems to be enough, do I find bursts of strength and energy in caffeine, or long lasting peace and joy in something greater?
This is not my attempt to show how great or selfless of a person I am. I am constantly reminded of how selfish I am as a student, and I fear that college tends to foster in us this selfish mindset as we each try to figure out our own plans and futures. But I hope that, as a campus (and I say this to myself too), we can learn to step out of our own bubbles. We can learn to take a moment to really engage in meaningful and edifying conversations, instead of complaining about our next assignment. We can learn to take breaks in stillness and contemplative silence, rather than filling our lives with meaningless noise and distractions. We can learn to be still, to be alone, and to not avoid our raw thoughts when we are alone in the silence. We can be real with each other. Let's be real.