Why We Need To Change The Stress Culture At CMU

Why We Need To Change The Stress Culture At CMU

Has it finally eaten us alive?

Before coming to CMU, I never knew what “stress culture” was. I went to a public high school where I was a diligent, hardworking student, like every other person here. I took all AP classes, had a few extracurriculars, and boom – I was accepted to one of the hardest universities in the nation.

It was after my first semester here that I realized there was a severe problem. People prided themselves on all their hard classes and their extensive course load. I knew a person taking Concepts and 112 simultaneously, all because “he just had to” and “his floor mate did it too.” I didn’t understand. Why would you purposely put all that pressure on yourself? Was there a need to prove yourself? Heck, you had already done enough by coming here in the first place.

I didn’t come to brag about how little sleep I got or how many units I was taking this semester. In all honesty, who cares? CMU is not a place for competition. It is a place of academic excellence, and we are the brightest individuals both nationally and internationally. We should be bringing each other up, not pulling each other down. Imagine what we’d accomplish if we all helped one another.

A classmate was surprised when I told her I was spending my Monday night with a friend downtown rather than studying for our Matrices exam the next day. “Why on earth would you go to dinner and not review the practice exam?” she asked incredulously.

I replied, “I know what I know. Reviewing for another hour isn’t going to help me learn anything more.”

If there’s one thing I’ve learned at CMU, it’s to go with the flow. I am still that hard worker I was in high school. I care about my GPA and strive to do well on assignments, but pushing yourself to dangerous extents isn't healthy. It’s no surprise that prospective freshman gawk at the students in Gates and the zombies walking around campus. Maybe we can change that, and show these students how much fun we’re actually having. Yeah, the classes are hard. Yes, the homework is insane. But look at us, we’re a thriving community of intellectuals. We are fighters. We are academically gifted, but we have compassion for one another. We give back to the community. I came to college to learn, yes. But I also came to explore, to branch out, and to meet new people. I came to explore my passion. We need to realize that our calling isn’t “computer science” or “economics.” It’s how we use that degree that matters. Use your Carnegie Mellon degree to do good in the world.

Cover Image Credit: http://college.usatoday.com/2015/10/29/college-student-stress/

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.


So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?



Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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My First College Gal Pal Road Trip Was Amazing

Every girl should have one good girls trip.


In some way or another, everybody has a list of things they want to do in their lives before it's all over. After all, we're human. There's adventure to be had in every life. One thing I have always wanted to do before I grew too old and grey was go on a road trip with my gal pals to the beach. A couple weeks ago, I achieved this memorable milestone, and it allowed me to open up to new surroundings and experiences.

On this trip, I went with two of my friends from college, Kait and Lindsey, to visit my roommate Elizabeth in Virginia Beach. This was pretty big for Lindsey and I because neither of us had been to Virginia Beach before. Thankfully Elizabeth and Kait knew their way around the city, so we never got lost on our way to and fro.

Like most vacations, my favorite parts probably took place at the beach. I'm always at utter peace stomping through mushy sand or leaning down to splash the salty water that tries to knock my short self over. We took pictures and did something us college girls rarely have time to do especially in school: Relax.

The four of us did not live up to the crazed stereotype of girl trips in movies. Although I finally got a chance to sing along to Taylor Swift in a car ride with my friends, so that's always a plus. We played "Top Golf" one day, and by some miracle, I actually won the second game by a fair amount after much humiliation in the first one. We visited some of Elizabeth's family, and I finally got to meet her giant dog Apollo (I call him 'Wolf Dog'). Everyday was another chance to ask with enthusiasm: "So what are we doing today?"

Our trip wasn't like the movies where we all cried or confessed our deepest darkest secrets. Everything the four of us shared was laughter and this calm feeling of being at home, in the chaotic peace of each other's company. We understand each other a little better due to finally seeing what we're like outside of Longwood University. After this, all I can say is that we're most definitely planning the next one!

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