College is a Battle

blog1 (1) By: Xylia Lydgate

When was the last time you actually did something fun at school? This week the Rec Center brought a life-size game of Battleship to the swimming pool, and it was one of the most thrilling activities I have done all year. Our rendition of pool Battleship stems from a classic board game that involves strategy and guessing. The object of the game is to “sink” your opponent’s ships that they have strategically placed on a 10×10 square grid. With each correct guess, your opponent’s ship takes a “hit” and slowly begins to sink until each part of their ship has been hit.

The life-size version of Battleship that we play mimics a similar concept to the board game. We have players team up into large, canoe-like boats where we’re given paddle boards and buckets as “weapons.” On the blow of the whistle, we paddle hastily towards other teams and fling buckets of water into their boat to sink their “ship.” As fun as it sounds, it’s certainly an upper body workout in disguise and a team effort.

Believe it or not, after nearly three years of working at the Rec Center, this was my first time stepping foot into our swimming pool. The game not only gave me a reason to try something new, but it reminded me that it’s moments like this that contribute to the overall value and experience we attribute to our time spent at a university. I think everyone deserves to have some enjoyable memories of their college experience, whether it be social outings with classmates or participating in a crazy, untraditional event like Battleship. We shouldn’t be leaving school with nightmares of the rough nights studying until 2 a.m. or that one test we scored terribly on.

Sometimes, we take school a little too seriously. While grades are important, they are not the only defining factors of success. I challenge you to purposely find ways to enrich your university experience not just through classroom learning but experiential learning. College is a constant battle of finding balance. How do you plan to enrich your experience?

A Note to Mr. To-Do

To my dearest Mr. To-Do,

I realize the importance of our relationship at the moment–and often times, you’ve saved me from some pretty unfortunate situations. What would I have done without you if you hadn’t have been there to remind me that I had that French literature worksheet to analyze or that I needed to go to my professor’s office hours or to pick up toilet paper?

To-Do

You’ve had my back the past five weeks, and I do appreciate it.

But I guess what I’m trying to say is that maybe you’ve been perhaps a little too helpful as of late. I’ve begun to feel guilty: you seem to grow a little larger every passing week, and yet there is nothing I can do to slow your pace. Monday morning approaches, and I realize that I haven’t done nearly enough to satisfy your needs. It’s just been a little hard with all of these midterms and everything. Can we just have a moment and slow down? Would you mind taking a few things off? Can’t we deal with some of these issues a few weeks later?

…no? Okay. I understand. At least it’s nice to know that I can always look to you to keep me on track (kind of). I guess I’ll try harder.

Best,

Katie

AKA Stressed-Senior-With-Too-Much-To-Handle

Balance, young grasshopper

So I’m sitting in class, and I have to admit that I’m a little tired. I had a late night last night, as I went out with some girlfriends for a couple of happy hour drinks and to catch up after classes and meetings and work. This doesn’t sound like the worst thing, at least to me, but I will sometimes find myself wondering how other people manage to come to class every day with the air of being so overly prepared. I know that I’m not able to dedicate that kind of time—life is a little busy at the moment.brain-balance-06

Most of us are juggling school and homework, jobs, clubs/societies/Greek life/sports/insert-what-you-please-here. Not to mention a social life. Personally, maintaining the social relationships in my life—everyone from my mom to the residents in my hall—takes up just as much, if not more time than needed to feel caught up on school work.

I sometimes wonder how this all manages to get done. But then again, I remember being told that 90% if learning in college occurs outside of the classroom. Perhaps balance is just one of those things. If you’re too focused in one area, you’ll burn out and go crazy. No exaggeration. It’s important to take moments to recuperate from the madness of everything happening during the week, but it’s also important not to lose your motivation and drive to keep going. All I know is that if my life was a table, and any of the legs were removed, I would certainly crash. Balance, my friend, balance.