A Happy, Healthy Furman Student

By Sidney Dills, Diversions Editor

Why do you go here?

A quarter of a million dollars should provide me with more than ink in Gothic font on a piece of cardstock, right?

Please say yes. I understand – it’s easy to be deceived – everyone has had a run in with that psychotic kid who doesn’t think that a test is an invisible dot on the timeline of his life. Let’s be real. At some point, I’ve been that kid, too.

Why do you go here? This question is often employed – in nicer terms of course – to get to know freshmen. And sometimes you’re just dying to know how someone from Washington State found Furman. When we answer this question, we habitually mention class size, location or a major.

I’m not saying your desire to get a degree in chemistry is an invalid reason to be here. I’m saying we should talk about what else college does for us.

I believe it is an academic institution’s job to produce people that function happily and healthily, which will in turn make our world happy and healthy. You don’t have to agree that is the primary role of Furman, but can I get some head nods?

We all go to college with the expectation to learn and expand what we know. I think it’s also safe to say that we sometimes do this at the expense of our health and happiness. Should we?

There are days when I’m horribly mean to my body and my mind. Case in point from last week: too little sleep, insufficient breakfast, made it through classes and meetings keeping my eye on the prize, which was a one hour break in which I passed out on the couch in the 24 Hour Room before heading off to more classes and meetings.

I’m fascinated by the line that separates our healthy persistence in reaching a future goal from an unhealthy focus on what is to come. As college students we are constantly evolving, learning and improving ourselves, and what we do now for our futures is important. I’m going to bet that’s what we’re saying when we fork over the money to go here.

But we also have to know that what we do now for now is equally significant. My happiness and health directly impact how my future plays out.

Skipping a day at the gym every week is necessary, and choosing to go out dancing the night before a test will do me more good than harm. Let’s strive to find moderation. Choosing moderation feels deviant sometimes – we’re departing from the pattern of habit we’ve constructed for ourselves.

In the spirit of now, let’s celebrate the spectrum of reasons we go here.

Categories: Diversions

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