At the beginning of each school year, like many others do, I get slightly overwhelmed by the amount of events and endless opportunities that our campus offers. There are so many things to do, so many people to meet, so many friends to hang out with, fraternities and sororities to rush for, RSOs on quad day to get involved with… The world seems open and endless. Whenever I get to that point of being so overwhelmed, I think of Oliver Sacks and this quote. Sacks, wrote in one of his books that it is easy to get to a paradoxal point where a person feels “too well”. Similarly sometimes it feels like there are too many opportunities and it is easy to lose yourself in the ocean of activities that are out there with really knowing that you are lost.
So at that point, I usually try to make a decision, whether this year I will do a little bit of a lot or go in depth into a few of these options. Either way, it’s about understanding that all of this requires balance. Again Sacks comes to mind. Sacks was a neurologist and a novelist, a professor and a story teller. He was one of the most popular and recognized scientists in the world, and yet suffered from Face Blindness that wouldn’t allow him to recognize other people. He was raised Orthodox and he was also gay and struggled with the balance of these two experiences throughout his life. Through his balancing acts he achieved more than most people do in their life while truly knowing himself. Similarly, by finding the balance of the things I want to achieve during the year and knowing my physical and time limitations, I aim to fulfill my goals for the year in the best way and without losing “Myself” in the process.
So as the school year started and the Jewish new year is approaching (don’t forget to register for services and/or meals), I wish all of us on and off campus, to find the right balance of things to do, new people to meet and existing relationships to maintain. I wish we could all continue to progress the causes we believe in, expose ourselves to some new things, learn, grow and get to know ourselves a little better. Wishing you all a happy new school year and Jewish year.