Dear West Chester,
I had an interesting conversation with a professor this week that got me thinking about a lot of different things. Mostly about the importance of work-life balance, and why it’s important not only for myself, but important as a model for others.
It’s easy for me, and many other people I know, to over-work. Over-work is praised, glorified, and easily brushed aside. And for college students, its easy for us to over-work ourselves when we have so much going on that may or may not be outside of our control.
The professor I spoke to told me that, as a future teacher, it is important to model a healthy work-life balance for my future students. I think she’s very right. The stress of over-working can lead to health problems, anxiety, and poor interpersonal relationships. And ultimately, what does it lead to? What do we actually get out of working ourselves to the point of exhaustion? In my experience, not very much at all.
Hard work is an excellent character trait to have. Passion, dedication, and drive to achieve your goals is always something to admire. But when it’s at the expense of health and quality of life, I believe it becomes a compulsion. It becomes something to fill a void. Kirsten Magas wrote a very informative piece on student burnout that is too often a universal experience for college students across campus. When work becomes an addiction, it no longer provides the fulfillment it once did in the past.
As editor-in-chief, I encourage my fellow staff and peers of West Chester University to breathe. To direct our passion and work into rewards and joy with the people we meet along the way. My hope is that we become passionate, informed citizens through our journeys in and beyond the school we attend. Be passionate, be excited, be dedicated – but don’t forget to remember what you’re working for at the end of the day.