Learning to Breathe

Woman hugging a dog

This is me. And my dog.

This is my senior year. SENIOR. Four years ago I came to campus ready to start this new chapter of my life and eager to join every club, go to every event, and work every job. This didn’t happen, but I definitely got close! During my first year at K, I had five jobs, was in four student organizations, and was taking classes, not to mention I was also meeting new people left and right and was trying to hang out with everyone. I was a classic case of a first year taking on too much. I was able to carry on with a jam-packed schedule for a quarter without much hassle, but soon it was apparent I was stretching myself too thin. I wasn’t getting enough sleep, I wasn’t getting homework done, and I felt lonely. Even though I was doing everything and meeting so many new people, I wasn’t spending time to just BE. I spent my entire first year doing things that I felt obligated to do, frantically trying to do everything and not even enjoying myself.

Here are some things I learned from that experience. First, college is supposed to be FUN. Yes, it’s good to try new things and meet new people, but it’s also okay and even necessary to take a break and just be present. It has been in the moments of watching a movie with friends, taking a walk by myself, and being still that I have learned what I want. I have learned that sleep is the BEST THING IN THE WORLD, and eating good food makes me feel good, and that good friends will hold you and let you cry without even needing an explanation. I learned that it takes many mistrials before figuring out what you want, and even then you may later change your mind. I’ve learned that IT’S OKAY to say no and to learn your boundaries.

Group of college students in front of boats

On a K-sponsored trip to Chicago with friends.

I am in my senior year now. I have one job, am involved in a couple of student organizations, and have time to hang out with friends, cook good meals, and sleep eight hours each day. It has been in these moments of stillness that I have learned that doing what makes you happy is the hardest but most fulfilling thing you can do.

-McKenna Bramble ’16