Finding peace through the 'end of semester stretch'
This part of the semester is the point where everything starts snowballing. Freshly back from Spring Break, and all your teachers are hitting you with papers with page requirements longer than the Great Exodus. Tests to study for, and friends having emotional breakdowns left and right. Maybe you’re picking up extra hours at work. Laundry hasn’t gotten done in at least two and a half weeks.
And there you are, right at the center of this chaotic world that is weighing you down with stress.
It’s so easy to let ourselves be overwhelmed by these aspects of our life. Sometimes Mass on Sundays feels like a chore, and you’re searching for a Mass that fits your crazy hectic schedule. Or maybe you find yourself falling into a slump of procrastination and self pity.
When someone asks me how I’m doing, the first thing out of my mouth is usually, “Stressed,” and then I quickly add, “... but good!”
Whenever I do this, I get annoyed with myself almost immediately afterwards. Why would I say that I’m so stressed when I really am just good? Does it make me somehow less stressed to acknowledge that I am stressed? No! If anything it adds more stress because then start thinking about all my obligations that I have yet to fulfill.
Why am I not at peace when I have the Prince of Peace to rely on for support?
Taking ownership of our actions and our beliefs is an important part of growing up, and of growing as a person. So many people are unable to admit when they’re wrong, and to genuinely be sorry for mistakes. Living in our society as a genuine person of morals and faith is such a rarity that when people encounter you, they might say, “I don’t know many Catholics that are so normal!”
Changing this perception of our Faith is important. While sometimes I might not voice all of my convictions and debate with people about theological topics and exercise my apologetics skills, I hope that they know something is different about me because of the way I approach situations.
When you develop friendships with people and they respect you as a person, they will also in turn respect your Faith and your views. They will see your passion for life and ask genuine questions because they know you have a genuine heart. A heart that is at peace.
And from now on, I’m going to challenge myself to be more at peace and trust that I am being who I am called to be, and living faithfully in my state of life as a college student. I am going to challenge myself to know and be proud of my faith.
The people who we surround ourselves with play a huge part in how our integrity as a person remains intact through not only college, but as we continue into our adult lives. When people say, “you are who your friends are,” there is definitely some truth to that statement.
True friends hold us accountable for our actions, and work to make us better people. My friends have carried me through some really difficult times, and I hope that I helped to carry them through their trials as well.
The Dalai Lama once said, “We can never make peace with the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.”
Over the course of the next month, I’m going to take ownership of my actions and tell people, “I’m so blessed,” or, “I’m good, how are you?” I’m going to accept that I have homework, and I need to do it. I’m going to accept that I need to work to make money and try to enjoy being at work, and serving my customers.
Most importantly, I’m going to live my life as a peaceful witness and an example of what living, breathing, walking Catholicism looks like.
I’m not sure how this will change me, but I think that these changes will improve my emotional and spiritual health and hopefully let me trust and be at peace with myself and my life. Amen.
Peace out fam.
Amelia is in her sophomore year at Buff State. She loves making goof ball comments, art, good food, and no one could debate that her style is on fleek. Amelia is currently serving on the St. Greg's Core Team, dishing out the faith to the teens with a healthy helping of hipster. All she really needs is an epic beard, beanie, and a sleeve of tats.