At our Collegian meeting last week, we went around and shared our goals for the remainder of the semester. While I envisioned we would strive for things like making A’s on projects or finally updating resumes, many of the staff shared that they want to sleep. That they want to cut back. That they want to prioritize better and say no to more things. When I concluded the conversation, I found that I also valued a healthy lifestyle over the achievement of academic or extracurricular goals. That lifestyle is harder for me to achieve than any grade or project.
Lately the constant reminder I hear from my roommates and close friends is to go to bed and sleep. They are right. I cannot live life to the full if I don’t rest, sleep and take quiet time to be alone. Yet when I am already committed and can’t keep up with everything, sleep moves to the bottom of my to-do list. How much better would I be able to keep up with life if I faced it well-rested?
In John 10:10, Jesus says, “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” In the community agreement students had the option to sign at the beginning of the semester, I cringed at the self-care section. Could I guarantee that I would make healthy choices and rest? Clearly not. However, this verse and Asbury’s commitment to a healthy lifestyle reminds me of the life that is offered to us. If I answer the question ‘how are you?’ with ‘I am dead, I am tired or I am weary,’ I am not living life abundantly.
Let me be the first to say these things and not let them change me. I strive for busyness, and equate the feeling of running from one task to another with success and accomplishment. Surely having a life full of deadlines and tasks and meetings and assignments means I’m doing it right. Since when did I sacrifice sleep for ‘success?’ When did I sacrifice peace for pride? Victory in Christ for achievement of personal goals and desires?
Perhaps my reminder to myself can also serve as a reminder to you. Nothing good comes from a life of exhaustion. This task that matters right now, whether it’s getting an A on a 25 page paper or catching every mistake in a layout, will likely be forgotten within a year. While a high GPA, a full resume and a great internship are extremely important, what I also want to remember about college is the time I spent with my roommates and friends and the experiences I was able to enjoy. I can stay up until 3 am writing a paper, but then I cannot be fully present for the moments that perhaps matter even more. So my goal for the rest of the semester? Sleep. Rest. Breathe. Say no and prioritize well.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
Photo by Tarn Cipkowski