Just say 'no' to stress

Campus Times
November 8, 1996

by Scott Mac Kay
News Editor

Getting out of bed at 6:45 a.m., teasing your body that you might actually get six hours of sleep for the night. Climbing out of a warm bed and into a needed cold shower to force your body out of its state of slumber and into a state of readiness.

Arriving at 7:30 a.m. for class filled with endless lecturing punctuated by neolithic chalk drawing that passes for what is going to be on your midterm.

Three hours and three classes later you finally wake up to discover that you are at work running around the University as a work-study student, although you do more of the former than the latter.

Lunchtime sends you to forge for food in the jungles of Davenport hoping to find a warmed-over entree, but settling for a sandwich washed down with some Lucky Charms.

By 12:30 p.m. you brave the streets to travel to your second job, the one that actually lets you keep the money you earn instead of offering it to the tuition god. A job that someone in college is overqualified to hold, but has to take because they cannot offer a complete employment commitment.

Finishing your work day by 4 p.m. lets you get to campus in time for another meal safari that promises all the calories a hardworking student needs to stay warm in an arctic winter.

Perhaps after dinner one day a week you may go to class for another four hours, or if you are lucky, settle down to begin the mountains of homework and papers.

Toss in a feeble attempt at a social life and you have what makes the average day of any college age student at the University of La Verne.
In the movie "The Dead Poets Society," we are reminded of the writings of Henry David Thoreau, "suck the marrow out of life." But as Robin Williams character Charles Keating points out, "don't choke on the bone."

In La Verne, and it seems in southern California we always strive to "suck the marrow" never bothering to realizing that our attempts to, "seize the day," could result in seizures.

Unlike our comrades on the East Coast, Californians do not have seasonal changes to remind us its time to slow down and stay home. When fall and winter come to the east they also bring a relaxed mindset and a physical slowdown to the speed of everyday life.

In California, where winter is a balmy 60 degrees, individuals can go non-stop 365 days a year at full speed until they burn out and are discharged like a rocket reaching for outer space.

Stress management could be listed as one of the most important traits to have if you are going to be successful in a society where technology advances one complete year in the period of three months.

Workshops are given, and classes are taught on how to manage stress, yet students and faculty, seem intent on adding more and more burdens to their lives contrary to their ability to keep with the pace.

Yet the simplest method for staying upright is within the grasp of everyone, the word "no." Understanding your limits and saying no when faced with the option to take on the weight of the world.

The word "no" does not admit some fallacy on you as an individual. It means that you cannot do everything at once; it means you are not responsible for all the problems of the world; it means you must trust someone else, who is not pulling their share of the weight, to step forward and act.

The word "no" allows you freedom to act when and where you want.
Remember the immortal words of Ferris Bueller, "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."

Scott Mac Kay, a senior communications major, is news editor of the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at mackays@ulvacs.ulaverne.edu.