You’ve learned about Baylor traditions and adjusting to life on a new campus, but have you turned into a circus performer yet? Yes, you read that correctly- have you turned into a circus performer yet? You know, a person who juggles multiple things at one time, or who keeps all of the plates spinning on tiny sticks, or who walks the tight rope without a care in the world. Chances are, you haven’t done that literally, but you may be considering it figuratively. Perhaps you are considering an internship or the addition (or change) of a major or minor to more fully satisfy your personal goals. Perhaps you have already joined, or considered joining, some student organizations, or you might still be sitting on the side of the circus ring, waiting to join the action. Let me give you a few tips and tricks for making your transition to circus performer, that is, to a well-rounded student, a little bit easier.
One of the most effective methods for dealing with pressure and stress is exercise. You can even prevent some of the ill-effects of stress with a regular program of physical activity. Find something you enjoy through Campus Recreation, intramurals, Bearobics, club sports, etc., and let off some steam!
Ideas: The Campus Recreation program operated from the Student Life Center (SLC) has every conceivable avenue for you to work out your restless energy or whatever frustrations you may experience when things seem to pile up. Walk or run the Bear Trail, go canoeing at the Baylor Marina, or climb the wall in the SLC. Find something you enjoy to let off some steam.
Your time as an undergraduate will not be complete without developing a positive, uplifting social experience to accompany your academic one. The harder you study, the harder you need to “play” to keep balance in your life. It will be important for you to find something engaging and entertaining to do with your down time. Your definition of “play” may be a cultural activity or something purely recreational.
Ideas: Play can consist of a game of campus golf or disk golf in Cameron Park. Play may constitute a visit to a local museum or the zoo. It might be spending time at the local animal shelter giving much needed attention to abandoned animals. Intramural sports may be the ticket for you. Or perhaps you enjoy a fine ride (check out the Baylor Car Club). Are you interested in purely social groups, or would you rather join a service organization? You will find it all at Baylor! The webpage for Student Activities lists over 250 organizations on campus. You will find groups for every academic area as well as most any hobby you can imagine. Plan to attend Late Night at the SLC (usually held on one of the first few evenings of the fall semester) and explore the host of organizations. And don’t fail to stop by the Visitor’s Center at Fort Fisher and pick up information on all the recreational and cultural offerings in the Waco community.
Whatever your definition of “play,” do it with a group of friends. Finding friends and building new relationships is an active process. It is like playing “Tag”…and you’re it!
Attitude is everything. Academic confidence and social engagement are closely tied to psychological wellness so that when our psyche is in good shape, we function better on all levels. Stress and over-commitment are major contributors to lowered emotional effectiveness and well-being. Developing good time-management skills and a balance between academic, recreational, and self-care time is critical to keeping an even keel, mentally.
Ideas: You will find resources for tending to this important aspect of your being through the University Counseling Center and with helpful documents from Academic Support programs. Should you find yourself having difficulty coping, do not hesitate to contact the counseling center in the SLC for a bit of coaching in this area. Our counselors are specialists in dealing with the pressures of college life.
This series was written by:
Ms. Marshall is an Academic Advisor in the Paul L. Foster Success Center. She is in the middle of a multi-generational Baylor family as her mother, father-in-law, husband, and two of their three children are all Baylor Bears. Paula earned her BA in Biology from Baylor in 1979 and then followed it with a MAST in Physics and Chemistry from the University of New Orleans in 1984. Paula taught AP Chemistry and Advanced Level Physics in private high schools from 1979 until she “retired” in 2008. After overcoming her own challenges to learning, she has devoted her career to teaching her students how to succeed academically.