Just more than 50 days stand between the first day of classes and the return from pacing break. Some students stayed on campus, some went home and some went on weekend getaways, but one thing remains the same: A change in scenery and pace is critical for success.
Many students spent the weeks before pacing break enduring the hurricane of exams and papers, keeping their heads down and getting through what is often an overwhelming time.
As students enjoyed a much-needed break, it is important to remember that rest is critical to success, and it should not be reserved for a long weekend. Instead, balance and self-care should be a daily objective.
While the middle of the semester can be full of stress, it appears as though the hustle generation has come to crave busy schedules and late nights over time to rest and adequate sleep.
The New York Times defines hustle culture as follows: “It is (the obsession) with the striving, relentlessly positive, devoid of humor and — once you notice it — impossible to escape.” As students, not only are we subject to the demand of our coursework, but we are also surrounded by a glorified hustle culture.
With color-coded agendas and double-shot espressos flooding our social media feeds, the eye of the hurricane can almost feel desirable.
“I just have to get through this week,” students mumble as they camp out in E.W. Fairchild-Martindale Library for an all-nighter.
Luckily, we did it. We finally “got through” the first half of the semester. And whether it was a successful start or a constant fight to keep up, we have the opportunity to return to campus with a refreshed attitude and a method to the madness.
Aytekin Tank, a contributor to the Entrepreneur finds that, “even in a conversation about rest, we still tend to look through the lens of productivity. We’ve become obsessed with maximizing every minute, and that’s fine, as long as we reclaim that time for our lives, not necessarily our work.”
For some of us, the following 50 days of the semester will include additional stress and pressure as the semester comes to a close. As a student body, it is important that we celebrate rest, instead of seeing it solely a distraction from productivity. We should work to make sure our peers view rest as an ingredient for success.
Sleep, relationships and our favorite TV shows deserve to be appreciated daily. While pacing break is a timely reminder that there is a world beyond our syllabi, we can bring that mindset back with us, approaching the second half of the semester with a clearer mind and a positive outlook.
As we work to complete the semester and prepare for possible future career steps, we must remind ourselves and each other of our value beyond how much coffee we can drink or how many all-nighters we can pull.
The good news is that we should not have to overwork ourselves or exceed expectations to hold value. Instead, we must identify the value that we bring to the table and give ourselves time to rest and maintain what makes each of us a valuable addition to the Lehigh community.
Our community is made up of a dynamic group of students who define success differently. As we chase our unique goals this semester, it is refreshing to remember that we are each in pursuit of a different finish line. While some productive days require late nights in the library, other days may require a face mask and a good movie. Rest is not just equally as valid as productivity, but it is also equally as necessary.
So, as we round the bend of the semester and begin to see the finish line, let’s remember that the key to getting there is to pace ourselves and stop to enjoy the parts in between.