by Zach Danssaert
We hear it everyday in the dining hall, the café, and the dorm rooms. Someone has a TON of work and they don’t know if they will be able to get it all done. They reach out to their friends, and in return their claim is either validated with a “me too,” or is shut down by someone who might have a “light week.” We all do it, myself included. In times of stress we seek sympathy from friends who are in a similar situation. There is no denying that this interaction can provide a positive feeling for the person complaining. However, for Bowdoin College as a whole I think that we are actually increasing the stress of our entire student body.
Bowdoin College is one of the most rigorous schools in the country. There are times where we are pushed to our limit, and we don’t know if we will be able to overcome. For this reason, it becomes even more important for our student body to create a mental space away from the stresses associated with our schoolwork. This is where complaining becomes a problem. Our ability to get away and take mental breaks is limited when stressful conversations are constantly entering this “stress-free arena.”
In my opinion, our mental health at Bowdoin would be improved if we could create areas on campus where schoolwork is not discussed. Our college is known for having well-rounded happy students. If we could take our minds off of our academic obligations whenever we can, and focus on getting to know the amazing people around us, our mental states would be dramatically improved.