Calvin College Chimes

Editorial: Space for rest

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Going into this semester, I knew it would be a particularly busy semester for me, between Chimes and the Festival of Faith & Writing. I decided to take only 13 credits. Instead of cramming 17 credits in each semester, I promised myself to enjoy every class I take while I’m at Calvin.

Last semester, I tried to develop healthy habits, starting with the basics, you know, like breathing, eating and sleeping. Since it’s not natural for me to rest well, my counselor at Broene has been encouraging me to create times and places of rest. When I noticed that my schedule didn’t lend itself to good eating or sleeping rhythms, I sought to change it. I designated Sundays as my Sabbath and committed to not do any homework then, except in absolutely dire circumstances.

I was concerned that the healthy habits I had established wouldn’t continue past the break and interim, so I intentionally built my class and work schedule. Part of my strategy included registering for a 100-level private voice lesson. I’m not a music major, but I wanted to use one of my available elective credits to learn to sing.

I no longer want to hide behind the excuse that I am “bad at singing.” I am an untrained singer, and I want to remedy that. I also want to create a space I can go just to be and not worry about the rest of the work I have to do. For a half hour each Monday, I tune out the rest of the world and focus on singing.

Just a few weeks in, the instructor has been very encouraging and inspiring. As she says, a half hour goes by so quickly. Each morning, the practice rooms in the back hallway of the CFAC have become a sacred space for me, a place to be alone.

Another way I create space is writing. I journal regularly, and I have a penpal. Because of the external accountability, I can sit down and write for three hours that I didn’t know I had in my schedule.

As we continue on the uphill climb to the end of the semester, I encourage you to carve out space to rest. My suggestions may not work for you, so find a place or activity that rejuvenates you. If you need direction or ideas to get started, we have an amazing health and wellness center right here on campus.

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