Gettin’ Busy

A friend just posted this article about the pervasive “I’m so busy” complaint/excuse/assertion that on this campus, is a generally accepted response to the question “how are you?” The article aims to promote mindfulness in considering how we actually spend our time, and maybe even more importantly, how we choose to talk about it. Of course, there are times when I am actually overwhelmed and feel like I can’t think straight because of the length of my to-do list; but being more deliberate about when I choose to employ that excuse is something I can commit to.

Yes, midterms are happening, and this may feel like a particularly crazed moment to post an article about mindfulness in how we talk about our schedules, but maybe this is a better time than any other to reconsider this “too busy” narrative we’ve gotten so comfortable with. Check it out and see if any of the methods help you feel more in control of your time!

http://online.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052970203358704577237603853394654

xx,

– Gabrielle.

And that kids is the story of how I met…

I student-teach first grade and one of the biggest things we tried to drive home to the kids the first week of school is that they should try to be friends with everyone in the school. When you see someone sitting alone at recess, you should invite them to play. Of course this led one little boy to ask “But what if it’s a girl?”

Here at Barnard we don’t have any teachers to help us make friends. Yet somehow there is this pervasive idea that during your first week of college you are supposed to meet your best friend forever that will become your future suit mate and eventual god-parent to the children you didn’t even know you were planning on having. This idea often leads to friendships based on artificial commonalties. During NSOP I was briefly friends with a girl whose sole commonality with me was that we both came from states where it was illegal to pump your own gas (Shout out to NJ and Oregon!). While some people may be lucky enough to make their friends that quickly for many other people it could take weeks, months, even a few semesters before they find their friends. Eventually though you WILL find friends who share your interests, your values, your guilty pleasures, and eventually some future life experiences. Below a few peer-eds share how they met some of their closest college friends.

“I met all of my best friends at an academic summer camp that we all went to from 6/7th grade up to 12th grade. So we’ve literally known each other since we were 11 and 12. I met two of them in class and one of them while playing flag football.” -Kyara

“I didn’t really get settled in my friend group until my sophomore year. I’d met one of them in our FemSex section the spring of our first year, and we liked each other so much that we started cooking brunch in the Barnard Quad kitchens every Sunday morning before FemSex (and then would often debrief after FemSex). During our sophomore year, she introduced me to my other two best friends, one of whom had been in my First-Year English class and one of whom I’d never encountered. It all just fell together slowly, without our realizing it was happening, but by the end of sophomore year, we were a group — and now we live in the same suite.”- Caroline

“I met a few of my closest friends on my freshman hall (although we didn’t bond til second semester), and some others through well woman (not even peer eds, just sitting in the office and hanging out!). Maybe I’m not particularly outgoing… That’s mostly how it happened!”- Lily

“I met my best friend on the Dems campaign trip! Lots of bonding time” – Michaela

“I met mine in Reacting to the Past and it turned out she lived on my floor. It led to many nights in character as French citizens during the Revolution.” – Rachel Katz

As you can tell, very few people met their best friends the first week of school. People made friends in classes, in clubs, and even by just seeing someone in the same place. Go to places that you like to be- that’s where you will find people like you. How did you meet your friends in college? Comment below!

Event Tonight!!!!

Come to an event we are doing with the FYF RAs tonight called “Build Your Cunt-fidence!” from 7-8:30 in Sulz Parlor (3rd Floor Barnard Hall). Get ready for snacks, prizes, and everything you want to know about vaginas whether you have one, were born from one, or are just a fan of them!

Shoulding All Over Myself

It’s September – the time of year when everything is in flux and there is inevitably so much going on. It’s exciting and stimulating but can also be seriously overwhelming. I often find that when I’m going through periods of busy change in my life, my internal dialogue changes from a usually even-keeled calm voice of pretty reasonable reason to a one sided conversation of SHOULD. Instead of doing what I want to be doing, I find myself fixating on what I should be doing. For example: while I might prefer to take a night in to myself to recharge, relax with roommates and cook myself a delicious dinner, I instead should myself into going out to a social engagement that I’m not that excited to be at. Instead of trusting my gut and only taking on four courses and one or two extracurricular commitments, I should myself into taking on a fifth class plus a dance class and a lab and a third, fourth, fifth out of school commitment. I may not want to be living the day-to-day realities of these choices but I tell myself that it’s what I should be doing.

I end up shoulding alllll over myself.

The truth is, it’s so easy to only do what you think you SHOULD be doing. Whether it’s what our peers, parents, partners, or professors are telling us, everyone has an opinion about what we should be doing and sometimes it feels easier to just do what others say we should do – it presents a path of less resistance. Although there may be occasional ease in following the currents of should, I challenge myself during this time of new beginnings and seasonal change to instead reorient to the want. I’m trying to ask myself what do I want to be doing rather than giving in to the chorus of what I should be doing. Sometimes this results in a rather confusing internal dialogue but that’s ok. Other times, I may not be able to just do what I want – I have to do what it is I should be doing and that is ok too. Just the exercise of acknowledging the difference between should and want is a simple change that has shifted my perspective greatly. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Fitness and Menstrual Health

I read this really interesting article the other day about the relationship between physical activity and menstruation. It does a really good job of explaining a lot of complicated science in a very digestible way. Just to preface the article, however, it is important to know that many people have irregular periods, and that does not necessarily mean that anything is wrong! As the article mentions, periods can change based on a lot of different factors. I think it’s good to be aware of when changes in patterns are not concerning and when they can become a problem.

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/fitness-menstrual-health

Please leave any questions or comments you’d like to share!

Rosie