A Fresh View: The End Is In Sight…

Hi everyone! My name is Jee Won Diane Kang and I’ll be your correspondent for A Fresh View this year. This column will chronicle some of my experiences as a freshman at Brown, and will include the highs and lows of that incredible journey.

Greetings, friends!

We are back from spring break and in the final stretch now… Most of us still have midterms to deal with (because midterms don’t actually ever end), and we’re all buckling down in preparation for the end, which is just around the corner. Most are fortunate enough to not have final exams all up until the very end of finals season, but I am notoriously unlucky so I definitely got the short end of the stick there.

With my first year coming to close so soon, it’s been a constant struggle for achieving equanimity. There’s a lot of anxiety concerning what sort of things I should be thinking about – finishing off the year strongly, ensuring that I am productive during the summer, preparing myself for next year, etc. And none of these things have easy definitions, and so there’s also conflict there in how to articulate those goals into tangible results. It can feel suffocating and overwhelming, so it’s important in this turbulent time to exercise self-care.

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Channeling my inner Gimli

On that point, however, I come to you with some advice that is currently helping me with dealing with the situation at hand. I hope it’s useful!

  1. Organization is key. Get a planner, a planning app, whatever works. Also, investing in making a BAMF Google Calendar to keep track of all of your events is a really good idea. Making sure that you know what you need to get done and when it needs to happen is so vital towards ensuring that you don’t become a wreck as important events and deadlines start coming at you.
  2. Talk to your advisers, Meiks, RPLs, etc. tenorCommunication about your struggles is so, so important! You should definitely be honest about if you’re confused about something – Brown gives you these resources to utilize, so you should definitely make full use of them.
  3. Other resources are available! Brown provides you with a tone of avenues for support, but if that’s not your cup of tea, you can talk to a lot of upperclassmen about their experiences, and see what helped them and what didn’t.
  4. Take care of yourself. For me, whenever things get stressful, I immediately deal with the situation by putting my personal mental health on the line, because for whatever reason, that has developed into being the most expendable thing for me. But it is not, and never should be. I can tell you firsthand how terrible it feels when you’re being mean to yourself by being unforgiving, uncompromising, and cruel to your body. So don’t do it. If you need an ear to listen, there are a lot of different places that you can go, CAPs being one of them.
  5. Take time to breathe and relax. Okay, so this is kind of similar to number 4, but give yourself time to de-stress and de-compartmentalize. It’s really easy to get super focused on something, but don’t ever let that focus come at the cost of tunnel vision. Always keep the bigger picture in mind.

While those tips are particularly pertinent in the current moment, these are things that definitely apply to your entire first year here – there are so many amazing things happening at Brown, but it’s very easy to get caught up in the swell of things and feel as if you’re suffocating under the weight of all the things that you want to do but physically cannot. So please, be kind to yourself and understand where your limits are and accept that those are there to ensure that you’re safe and sane. Never compromise your physical and mental well-being!

College is, ultimately, just four years, and more so than any of the numerous tangible accomplishments that you will bring to fruition during your time as an undergraduate, your life really is just beginning, and there are so many different opportunities that will come your way. So breathe, relax, and look at picture of adorable cats. For self-care. Obviously.

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This week in listening: “Sword & Sworcery LP” by Jim Guthrie. If you liked the music vibe from “Stranger Things” you’ll definitely dig this. 🙂

That’s all from me this week. I’ll see you next time!

Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments! You can reach me at jee_won_kang@brown.edu.

 

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