Dictionary.com (every college student’s best friend) defines “stress” as follows: “the physical pressure, pull, or other force exerted on one thing by another.” This is a pretty generic definition of the word, though we often think of stress as mental pressure as well. But there is another interesting definition of stress: “importance attached to a thing.” I’d never really thought about stress that way before. It turns out, that at Wabash, you can experience all three types of stress within an overwhelmingly short amount of time, as I have in the past couple of weeks.
Mental stress is no strange phenomenon to the average college student. Minimal hours of sleep and maximum amounts of homework (and coffee) are the very foundations of the secondary educational system. Between homework, responsibilities at Phi Delta Theta, a smorgasbord of other commitments, and a K2-sized pile of laundry, I’ve been in a slightly stressed state since classes started. But that’s okay! By writing down literally everything that I have to do, day-by-day, and checking items off as I go, I’ve managed to remain relatively sane.
The “physical pressure” stress struck with a vengeance this week in particular, as I am now doing aquatic-themed workouts for track. After experiencing an increasingly sharp pain in my left leg, I finally talked to the athletic trainers to see what the deal was. My pledge brother Joe drove me to get an x-ray on Monday, and after analyzing the results, the trainer suggested that I might have developed a stress fracture in my tibia. Appropriate name, right? However after more inspection, it seems that I have a classic case of shin splints, so hopefully my track season isn’t completely screwed. Until it heals, I’ll be spending a lot of time aqua-jogging in the pool.
The final definition of stress jumped out to me as the most significant in relation to Wabash. “The importance of a thing.” There are a lot of things to stress here at the Bash. We stress hard work, for sure. We stress competiveness, perseverance (WAF), and excellence. Commitment, dedication, and an open-mind. Most importantly, at least for this Wallie, is the stress Wabash puts on brotherhood. The longer I live at Wabash, the more I see how closely-connected everyone here is, and I love it. A friend and I discussed the other day that Wabash isn’t so much a typical “college” as much as “a group of young men and adults who all want to help each other learn stuff.” Coming to Wabash is like joining a 1000-person family, and that’s not a stressful idea at all.
Stay chill, Wabash