Don’t quit. Adjust.


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Sarah Ladd

I thought my jaw was going to hit the floor when one of my teachers joked to my class recently that we are only weeks away from spring break, which of course means it’s almost time for midterms.

I, alongside many other students I’m sure, feel like this semester has been a whirlwind that came and has spun me around a bit. Now we’re almost to the halfway point.

That’s particularly sad for me, since it’s my very last semester as an undergraduate student. I’m panicking as I try to learn last-minute polishing skills while still trying to enjoy every bit of the semester, apply for jobs, look at new living situations and check off the last few items on my undergrad bucket list. Despite the endorphins that come from knowing I’ll be graduating soon, I still face the temptation to let myself become overwhelmed by all that is required of me in my last few classes and projects.

The people who know me closely know that I love to work out. (Well, that’s not entirely true. I like how I feel after working out. I actually hate working out). One of the best tidbits of advice I ever heard from a coach was this: “Don’t quit. Adjust.” For me in my workouts, that may have meant slowing a running pace to a jog or dropping my knees while doing push-ups. But I have found that advice applies to almost everything in life, and I want to encourage you to apply it to all the responsibilities you face, whether it be school, work, family or other things.

When we become particularly overwhelmed in school, it’s easy to draw up into a shell and drop a lot of things at once, but I think it’s a rash decision that we come to regret. While I advocate for cutting out things that cause undue stress, I also encourage you to examine what things you can remain a part of while cutting out the time you devote to them and learning to say “no” sometimes. I learned the hard way that it’s OK to say no, and it in fact can be quite therapeutic. You don’t necessarily have to cut out a club or a job that you need or enjoy. Cut some time out. Adjust your schedule rather than clearing it out. It’ll make the rest of the semester more restful.