Handle stress of high expectations with confidence


On one of the last days of summer during a hangout with old friends, one of them made the comment, "You guys know, in just a few days, our worlds are about to be rocked."
Of course, she was referring to the fact that the easy-going, free summer life was about to end and quickly be replaced with homework, projects, meetings, practices, clubs, events and everything else school related and beyond.
I thought her comment was kind of funny, because I for one never sign up for things that I can't handle. Or at least, that is what I thought.
So there I was, sitting in my dorm room, when that overwhelming feeling that there is no possible way I am going to get everything done hit me like a slap in the face. I didn't know what to do with myself.
I called my dad with tears in my eyes and explained that I couldn't do it all. And to my dismay, it was only the second weekend of the school year. Endless stacks of books and "to-do" lists lay waiting for me and my first move.
As students, especially DePauw students, we have a way of keeping ourselves as busy as possible. We always have something to get done, somewhere to be and someone to meet with. The expectation of DePauw students is extremely high, and not many settle for being average when surrounded by overachievers.
With sports, classes, clubs, organizations, Greek life and more, sometimes there is hardly a second to breathe. So when that wave of "how the heck am I going to get all of this done and remain sane?!" hits, just remember, the best have been there and done that.
It's the minute we let ourselves break down and begin to doubt our abilities that we actually struggle. If you really want to do it, have a passion for it, have a desire to succeed, any type of initial motivation WILL get you through it.
It's the beginning of the school year and there is so much ahead of us. Don't let yourself freak out. Take a minute and breathe, call your parents, do anything, but remember that it's up to YOU to get things done. You are a DePauw student. You CAN and WILL survive this.
I now completely understand what my friend meant when she said our worlds were about to be rocked, because for sure, summer relaxation is over.
But with planning, confidence and drive, we can make things happen and take care of business. And when my mind really doesn't believe I can do it, the song "Float On" by Modest Mouse always tends to help.

- Brinker is a sophomore from Stevensville, Minn., with an undecided major.