Students take college really seriously. Professors take college really seriously. The administration takes college really seriously. Essentially, everyone takes college really seriously.
We are often taught to value our college education over everything else in our life. You’re not sleeping? That's fine because you got an A on your bio test. You missed your friends birthday party? Well, you aced your English paper so get over it.
But that isn’t how life should work. We should not be sacrificing everything for our 3 hour a week History class.
It is important to remember that we are people. We were someone before our first day of classes freshman year, and we have to be someone after we throw our hat up in the air on graduation day. We cannot expect to put our humanhood on pause for those four or so years, only to attempt to pick it back up again after graduation. Life doesn't work like that.
On Monday, I was having one of those days where I felt I was losing my humanhood among the craziness of class and extracurricular commitments. I woke up and felt a little downtrodden, but I didn’t realize how truly beaten down I was feeling until my good friend sat me down in the caf to ask me what was up. I started pouring out statements about how I was being taken advantage of and my classes were boring and I was doing too much work and no one respects my time. when I finally finished I took a breath and said “Wow. I didn’t realize how bad of a mood I was in.”
If I could have, I would have gone to take a nap to sleep off the pure negativity that was emanating off of my body, but I had class in 15 minutes, a class I was going to be missing the next Wednesday because again, I do too much without being respected, so I couldn’t miss it today too.
My friend and I decided I needed to do something for myself to regain control of my day-- to take back my humanhood that had been stolen by a 24 credit semester and too many commitments.
I left the school building and skipped (yes, skipped) to Trader Joes. I stood over the Succulent plants for 16 minutes before I picked the perfect one and switched it into the perfect colored pot. On my way to the cashier, I grabbed a peach so beautiful, that if it didn’t say organic on the sticker, I would have assumed it was genetically modified to look like plastic.
After talking briefly with the cool cashier, I grabbed my plant-- holding it close to my chest, my peach, and started back to class. My friend stopped me in the hallway and I explained to her why I was walking into the building with a plant. “Good for you,” she said. We all need to remind ourselves that we are people and sometimes people need a plant to brighten up their day.
I walked into class 20 minutes late holding a potted plant. My teacher looked at me, questioning. I shrugged with my plant, sat down in my seat, and was able to continue my day knowing that I had been true to myself, not my college-crazed brain.
I get it, college is expensive and if you want to be a working person one day you at least have to take it seriously to some extent. But college is not the be all end all. You are. Remember that past the doors of your university, you will still exist for the rest of your life as a person. There might be some days you have to skip to Trader Joe's and get a plant, and that is fine. Make sure you are making decisions for your health and your humanhood, because college will end, but at least for a while, you won’t.