CHATTER squareAs the university’s THRIVE 2014 week comes to an end, we as a campus have the opportunity to reflect on the lessons that Health Education Services wants to share with us, all of which tie back to the message of “being well.”

In a fast-paced culture where students are involved in all sorts of things, balancing academics and extracurricular activities in an Herculean manner, it seems almost impossible not to get caught up in this mentality: sacrificing sleep and, often, mental health to do so. That’s why Thrive plays such an important role for undergraduates.

I took the time to attend a few of THRIVE’s events, and what particularly resonated with me was an acronym that attendees received regarding self-care. CARE: cultivate your calm, access spaces of support and involvement, rest your body, exercise. The last three speak for themselves, but cultivate your calm can be interpreted in many ways. What is suggested by Health Education Services is to practice a “mindfulness meditation practice.” However, many Hoyas unfortunately don’t have the time or the energy to make room in their busy schedules for this mental rest.

Despite the lack of time, there is something to be said in using your extracurricular activities to achieve this mental rest. Whether you’re dancing, singing, discussing public policy, creating the perfect social media post or planning an event, we as individuals can cultivate calm by using the action to take our minds away from the stress caused by campus culture and academics. If the activity is something we’re pursuing out of true passion or enjoyment, then finding a calming theme within the extracurricular should be fairly simple.

Personally, coming up to The Hoya’s office for late-night production contributes to my personal cultivation of calm. Being in an environment that is away from the hustle and bustle of campus really helps put events and campus life in perspective.

The community that The Hoya’s staff fosters is fun, welcoming, and, ultimately, one of true friendship – a second family on campus. Even the work that we do creates a sense of calming purpose in the back of my mind. As a copy editor, going through each of the articles, methodically checking for errors and reading other people’s thoughts about Georgetown helps me look at things from an objective viewpoint. For me, this creates a calming lens that reflects what Georgetown means to me: finding a niche on campus, and consequently, shaping individual personalities and ambitions.

Though working at The Hoya is viewed as a perpetuation of the busy and stressed college lifestyle (read: my roommates give me sympathetic looks when I say I’ll be working at The Hoya really late), I always challenge myself to find the calm within the storm of production night. It’s often there in the simplest of conversations with fellow staffers, or in the ingenuity of an article. In the end, it is this culture that makes Georgetown what it is, and we need to work together to cultivate potential stress into our own personal calm.

Sharanya Sriram is a sophomore in the School of Foreign Service and a deputy copy editor for The Hoya.

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