On Finding Balance (and contentment)

It’s incredibly hard to find balance at Swat.

Students often joke that there’s a “trilemma” at Swat — between good grades, a good social life, and sleep, you can only have two of the three. I wish I could say that as a senior I’ve proved this to be wrong, but sadly, in my experience at least, it’s been the truth. I have always sacrificed sleep to grades and friends, as well as to extracurriculars and pursuing a relationship with God. And I’m tired. Really, really tired.

Lately, the pressure has been even greater because I’m a second semester senior. I feel like this is my last chance to see certain people, do certain things, and have certain conversations. So I find myself again sacrificing sleep, and in some sense my sanity, to other things. Something I really wanted to focus on this year is being more self-reflective. Plato’s statement that “the unexamined life is not worth living” really resonates with me. And I’ve definitely seen how unhealthy my own life is when I’m constantly going, going, going and not spending any time just relaxing alone or thinking. So I told myself that this semester I was going to take time to myself, going to reflect on life, and going to write it down. I’ve largely failed.

So I’m again at the point in the semester that I always reach where I feel unreasonably angsty and over-worked and just generally not satisfied with my college experience, but not really knowing what to do about it. Except this time I do know what to do about it. It starts with getting some sleep. And taking some time to myself. And thinking a lot more about what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. And making the choice to just ignore all the different voices around me and feel comfortable about where I am in life. And finally, I simply need to stop feeling so angsty. It really is unreasonable. I have great family, friends, education, a comfortable life, and a million and one possibilities and opportunities for the future. And most importantly I have a God that loves me. Could I ask for anything better?

When my life gets really out of balance (which is true for most of the semester) I often find it very hard to be content at Swat. It’s good to remember that while Swat is far from perfect and while I’m not completely satisfied with my life here, I should not allow that to consume my happiness. And I should not map that frustration onto the school.

I’d like to end with this thought from Paul: “For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances…I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry,whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11-13)



3 thoughts on “On Finding Balance (and contentment)

  1. Chris O'Dell says:

    Good word on rest! Amazing how we can be even more predictive and capable at connecting with friends after rest and true rest is found in Him (Heb 4ff).

  2. campdavid4kids@gmail.com says:


  3. Andrew says:

    Preach! And take it from a guy who stressed about the same things Senior year: especially with regard to those “certain” people/events/conversations, don’t sweat it. Don’t try to cram it all in. The most important things that need to happen? They’ll happen. You don’t need to write them into your planner. Friendships should be organic, anyway. So get your rest and learn to enjoy the moment, instead of worrying about the closing gap between now and your last day. That way, the time you are passing right now will be more memorable in retrospect!

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