The illusion of a balanced life

By Golzar Meamar

Managing Editor

AS STUDENTS ON the campus of a small liberal arts college in Granville, Ohio, we are given many choices. We have a say in where we live on campus, where we eat on campus, and who we see on campus (although inevitable awkward run-ins often abound at a school of our size).

We are in control of our own actions and can choose to do homework, watch Netflix, or sleep at any given moment. Class isn’t optional, but then again, there are no parents driving you to school anymore or standing over your bed in the morning, screaming at you to get up. 

We are supposed to be adults. Simply said and simply done, we are on this campus by choice, we are paying for educations, no matter where that money comes from, and these educations are optional. In a world where bachelor’s degrees are no longer an option, we might feel forced, but in all honesty, we chose to be here. 

I have spent many a 3 a.m. in Knapp Hall. I have woken up with burning eyes after writing a paper far into the night. I realize that my own choices led me down that path. 

No sleep, aching bones, and a massive headache, all from a loft decision to go to see a friend in a show instead of study, or go to the gym and work off some of my stress.

No one is to blame for the choices I make but myself. But there are points when we all stop and wonder what it’s all worth. And we are frequently discouraged. 

The Campus Career and Involvement Center has been incredibly helpful with fighting the long searches for internships and, as the summer draws near, students who chose to prepare and apply and put in the work on top of everything else are reaping the benefits. From mock interviews to resume review sessions to simply planning out the next four years, the career center is tremendously helpful… to those who take advantage of it. 

And beyond that, they help us fight the discouraging “students who go to liberal arts colleges don’t get jobs” stereotype with periodic e-mails about the career opportunities available to us through the center.

There is nothing more helpful than an e-mail that many people ignore in favor of their next e-mail about their group project or a meeting with a professor. 

It is nearly impossible to be a well-rounded student anymore. You cannot choose to be a good supportive friend without somehow drowning under your workload. And you cannot drown under your workload and complain about it when you have chosen to be a double major, a leader in two organizations, and be involved in Greek life.

The standards are massive and the pressure to follow through is huge and hard. 

The balance is hard to find in college, but there does seem to be a general feel of apathy. It is hard to find people who are organized, doing well in school, have leadership positions, and are truly happy.

And at Denison, we offer so many opportunities, but it’s like the  chart says; you can pick two of the three: good grades, sleep, or friends. You can’t have all three.

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