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  • Marissa Burr

Cultivating Cura Personalis Across Campus Can Help Ease back-to-school Anxieties

By Marissa Burr

As summer turns to fall, sweatpants replace shorts, and vacation becomes routine again, a new school year begins.

To me, this has always meant supply shopping at Amazon: highlighters, notebooks, and planners get delivered by the day. For others, it means resetting their body-clock so it doesn’t keep them up until 2:00 a.m. and lets them sleep until noon.

But for a lot of us, I think the school year fills you with a little anxiety. And that’s ok.

Even my parents, who have both been teachers for almost thirty years, have admitted that they can never sleep the night before school starts. There’s too much to think about, so often the butterflies in our stomach end up swarming our mind.

A new semester brings new professors, different classrooms, and a schedule shift that is probably different from the year before, and definitely different from the one we’d been operating under for the past three months.

I had the opportunity this summer to take two six-week courses through Canisius, and even this didn’t help with the transition into Fall 2022. When August 29 came, I still was nervous about if I’d connect with my professors, be able to make it to my next class on time, and find a desk that I'd be comfortable sitting at for the rest of the year.

To no surprise to the logical part of my brain, I was fine. I was always ok, and my fears were once again unfounded.

So why, year after year, did so many of us still get those first-day jitters?

Maybe because our bodies hate change. Even during the summer months, when a lot of us don’t have a routine in place, we still follow a pattern with our days. Some hold down jobs, others take online courses, spend time in their hometowns, or travel. If anything, when we return to the normalcy of classes we are in more of a regimented schedule than previous weeks.

Yet the shift from one type of day to another panics our minds sometimes and it tries to send us distress signals to warn us.

Like I said though, for the most part those warnings are unneeded. Sure you can trip and fall on your way to class, walk into a room you thought was empty but actually wasn’t, buy the wrong textbook from the bookstore, or forget your water bottle in your dorm, but this isn’t the end of the world.

If I’ve learned anything from being at Canisius, it’s that the people here are not only nice, but understanding. When a student walks in late or accidentally barges in mid-lecture, the professors just laugh it off and continue on. Peers have no problem giving directions to buildings or ensuring you that you’re in the right room. Everyone understands that you can be nervous, or lost, or confused. But we’ve all been there.

That’s something that we should work hard to never forget. We’ve all been filled with butterflies or sat in the wrong seat after joining a class late. So this year, embrace cura personalis and care for the person that’s walking next to you in the halls. It will make everyone’s day just a little bit easier.

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