With midterms, colder weather and lots of stress on our plates, it’s no wonder that most of our campus population isn’t feeling well this week.

Every year around this time, I notice that my classmates’ energy is starting to flag as they feel the pressure of upcoming exams and projects coupled with the effects of lack of sleep, and class lectures are punctuated with coughing and sneezing.

A friend asked me a few days ago if I have something that I do “just for fun” to take a break from the stresses of schoolwork, and my initial—and admittedly joking—response was, “Fun? What’s that?”

As I thought about it, though, I realized that she was right. The evenings or afternoons that I can take a little time to myself are what allow me to stay “me” through the academic and social expectations of college.

When we don’t prioritize our health—both physical and emotional—we do ourselves a disservice. As humans, we function better when we are happy and healthy than we do under stress. While stress is sometimes unavoidable, there are things that we can do to take care of ourselves (like check out the Perspectives article about busyness)

It’s ironic that this point of weariness happens at approximately the same time as Homecoming Weekend every year, because for me, Homecoming is a time that I can take a step back from the intensity of college life and realize that there actually will be something else after graduation.

People who graduate from Goshen College have wonderfully full and productive lives, as evidenced by our alumni on campus this week.

Now, all of this isn’t to say that I don’t love school and love the work that I do—I really, really do. But, I also love spontaneous porch time with my roommates and cooking meals for other people, and I bet our alumni would tell you that these are the kind of memories they took away from Goshen.

I am just as guilty as the next person of having tunnel vision—focusing so intently on where I am and what I’m doing right now that I lose perspective, so these thoughts are just as much for me as they are for you.

But this week I’d like to remind you to work hard, do things that give you life, and stay healthy.