A message from one of our PEEPs!
One of the hardest things I have ever had to do at Hopkins is find balance between school, extracurricular commitments and keeping my spirits high. This Spring Break, I did what it took me my entire life to figure out how to do—relax. I went on vacation with one of my best friends, Emily, to Orlando. We spent a week with my family in a resort right outside of Disney World, where we passed the days by swimming, sitting in the hot tub, going to the steam room, enjoying rollercoasters, and not doing work. Yes, I said it, I did not get much work done over Spring Break.
To all my professors- I’m sorry, but a girl needs a real break sometimes. I have spent my semester cracking my head against my books to write a thesis for my French major, learn how to do basic epidemiology, understand sociological theories, and look at health from a million different dimensions, all the while, I have held a part time job and a number of Executive Board positions in clubs on campus. So I took the advice of my mom and some of my closest friends and just closed my books.
I was scared at first, to be honest, that I would feel some kind of void when I didn’t do any work. It sounds stupid, but I didn’t think I would know what to do with myself and my –dare I say it-free time! Surprisingly, when you open up to life, you find that a million new opportunities present themselves. It’s common knowledge that I’m a tad uptight, so going on rollercoasters used to be something that I mostly dreamed about. This break, I said yes to every ride at the theme parks, and found myself loving the rush of adrenaline along with the thrills of drops, twists, turns and high-speed chases. Talk about an insanely therapeutic experience I never saw coming!
So what does any of this have to do with health or PEEPs for that matter? Well, the realization that what matters most is my happiness is something that has taken years and years for me to acknowledge. That being said, I’m not completely realistic about my priorities, I fear that once I get back into the swing of things, I’ll forget about the fun of the two hundred feet drops, the sensation of a free fall, and throw myself back into my work. That’s not healthy. I want to make a promise to all of you to put a more positive spin on my life here at Hopkins, and I hope that you will take this pledge too. Take a risk. Enjoy yourself. Don’t be afraid to take a personal day, whether you want to have an individual spa day where you put on a mask, paint your nails and jam out to your favorite songs or you feel like going to your first concert downtown. Just be safe and it’s all good! There’s no sense in drowning in stress, so make Spring Break last a little bit longer, do what makes you happy, truly absolutely happy.