Swarthmore is academically intense and can often be really stressful. Here are some of the rules I live by to make sure that I’m still enjoying myself and living as stress-free as possible while a Swattie.
1. Take one “fun” or “weird” class every semester.
Swat is definitely academically intense, but Swat is also about learning for the sake of learning. That is the liberal arts mission after all. My first semester, I took a course called “Drugs, Gangs, and US Imperialism” in the Latin American and Latino Studies department. It was one of my favorite classes that semester. The next semester, I took a course called “Visions of the End: Hope and Despair in the Last Days,” which was cross-listed between Religion and Environmental Studies. This semester, I’m taking a course called “Conspiracy,” in the Film and Media Studies department. I honestly may not have taken any classes in these departments if I didn’t give myself room to take a fun class each semester. Not only am I taking fun and interesting classes but I’m also meeting new professors and exploring different fields of study.
2. Join clubs!
Finding a community can be tough if all you’re doing is school work. Give yourself room to join a club or two, get involved with something you care about, and meet new people. I’ve found a lot of my friends through getting involved with the different groups that I’m now part of.
3. Schedule time to relax
I put time into my schedule to take walks through the Crum, watch an episode of TV, take naps, and hang out with my friends. These are just as important to me as getting my homework done, studying, going to class, or going to meetings. I put my wellbeing and mental health on the same playing field as the rest of my commitments, and it really helps me out.