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Tuesday, 5 September 2006

Finding Balance in School and Life

Finding Balance
How to succeed at school and life.

Want to avoid the frosh 15, that legendary habit that first year students have of loosing 15% on their average and gaining 15lbs of weight? By learning how to be more balanced and deliberate in how you live, you might be able to avoid that curse of the 15.

Find your balance, between body, mind and spirit. University can be the time to learn how to do that. Don’t just spend all your time with your books. Learn to have a life, learn to live well. University should teach you how to be, and how to become good at being.

I once heard a talk where they said life was like a three-legged stool. A three-legged stool is actually the most stable of seating. In life the three legs are mind, body and spirit.

If you are on uneven ground, or rough terrain then this chair will hold you steady. A four-legged chair will often wobble on an uneven floor, yet this will provide stability. So as such you need to work to develop balance in the three realms of your life, the physical, spiritual and intellectual. For if one of these is suffering that leg is too sort or too long and topples the chair.

There are many ways to develop each are of your life while at UW. There are clubs galore that offer everything from the Aboriginal Students Association to the Waterloo Wargaming Society, and everything in between. http://www.feds.uwaterloo.ca/clubs/fullclubslisting.html Has nearly 120 clubs at UW listed. Clubs that will challenge you in any of the three area’s of your life. Also Campus recreation has a large group of associated clubs. http://www.athletics.uwaterloo.ca/CampusRec/Clubs/ClubsHome.aspx

Pick up a sport that you have always been interested in and give it a try fencing, curling or karate are but a few of the options offered there. Most of the campus rec. clubs have an additional cost, but usually much less than if you were to take up the same activity at a non-UW venue. Check out the events of clubs that are of a different religious or spiritual tradition the Jewish Students' Association, Hindu Students Association or Muslim Students' Association or one of the many different Christian clubs. Each of these clubs usually have events open to the public and people that want to understand their neighbor better.

Plan you week with breaks from the school for physical or spiritual or non-academic mental activity. The fencing club has classes for beginners Monday and Thursdays for 730pm-9pm. Most clubs have set times that they meet and options for beginners or someone just looking to check it out.

Take these years here at UW and expand your horizons. Learn a new skill or craft, archery or what ever piques your interest. Make the most of the opportunities presented to you at a much reduced or no cost to try something you might end up picking up for life. Or continue a tradition if you were euchre king or queen in high-school. Join the club and put your reign to the test.

By exploring the options and developing different area’s of your life, you will grow as a person and the effort will be worth it. Try it you may like it. As you experience new things and develop new habits you will help yourself to become a more balanced person.

A wise man once quipped “The one thing you can be absolutely sure of in your life is change. It's the only thing that never changes. The law of nature is that you either grow or you die; there's no in-between. So, what have you chosen so far? Are you growing in every area of your life? Hey, it’s not enough to be growing and looking great just because you work out. That’s only a small part of your life. What about your emotions, spiritual life, family, friends, career, hobbies? Are they growing as your body does? Become a complete person and not an in-shape and great-looking version of an incomplete person. There’s way more to life than just working out. Go with the flow and embrace changes in all areas of your life. The change will do you good.” When Robert Wolff wrote those words he was speaking of bodybuilding, yet here we can speak them of school and your academics. Make the most of your time at UW learn to grow in all area’s of your life.

There fore try something new, check out a club or too or a group at the recreation complex. Use them as tools to try and you stave off that notorious frosh-15 work on developing your whole person. And learn how to balance the tripod of your life.

(First Published in Imprint as ‘The three legs of the tripod’ 2006-09-01.)

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