Take care of yourself before all else

Trinity University wasn’t my first choice for college. I wanted to keep living in Denver, Colorado with my family, my dog and my endlessly patient boyfriend. So when I came to visit Trinity two years ago, I wanted so badly to hate this place and everyone around it. But the people were irritatingly nice, the campus was beautiful and the opportunities designed to enrich a student’s education were unique. Also, the chocolate chip cookies were delicious. So I started attending Trinity.

Even after I started going to school here, I didn’t want to do much. Most of the time, I played video games all night and slept all day. Back in Colorado, I shared a room with my younger brother and sister. Looking back, I think that maybe one of the reasons why I was so determined to stay up was because sleeping in a bed without two pairs of tiny feet kicking my sides while I slept felt strange. I definitely irritated the hell out of my poor roommate during the year that we lived together.

My boyfriend had to gently but firmly suggest that I stop playing video games, eat something other than chips and go talk to people. Begrudgingly, I did. Mostly because he was right — though he usually is right anyway — but also because I was worried that if I made him upset, he would stop sending me care packages with love letters, and more importantly, bags of chips.

Eventually, I did make friends. They have cutting humor, but they’re subtly caring, and they share the same manic high I have that comes from being a workaholic. And as a sophomore, I feel better emotionally adjusted. At the very least, I go to all my classes now. And I love Trinity and appreciate the things I have learned as well as the things I will learn in the future here.

One of the things that I love about Trinity is that many students here aren’t afraid to voice their opinions, even when those opinions might not be popular. Especially in the last couple of months, it seems like many students are very concerned about our national and international politics. With every new political event, it makes sense that students take the time to either evaluate or re-affirm their beliefs. After all, college is about discovering who you are and deciding what you believe in.

But while politics are important, at this point in the fall semester, I think that there are just as important subjects to talk about that are smaller and more personal than politics. Though, let’s be honest, politics can get personal very quickly.

I think that it’s around this time, the point in which most midterms are over but not quite, that many students are under a lot of stress. A lot of students, including me, want to do very well here at Trinity. Sometimes, we take it really badly when grades don’t go the way we want them to. On top of that, it can be difficult to communicate with friends, family and roommates when there are issues with them or when we ourselves need someone to talk to. Not to mention the difficulties in maintaining romantic relationships on top of everything else.

Though many Trinity students show amazing courage to voice to their political beliefs, it seems that we are all, in some way or another, shaky when it comes to emotional issues. Today, we live in a highly charged political climate, but while it’s important for students to be citizens that are active in the community and aware of global events, it is just as important for students to take care of themselves mentally and emotionally. If we can speak up and passionately argue about whether our president is a good one or not, it seems only fair that we should be able to get help from professors, to set boundaries with a needy friend, or to speak up when a roommate isn’t going to class.

We need to approach taking care of ourselves and being kind to others with the same fervor we put into expressing our political beliefs and doing our homework. But most importantly, I wanted to remind you all that you can do well here, and you will. Also, the cookies in Mabee are amazing — especially if they’re fresh.