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Alex's Top 5 Ways to Beat Stress

February 29, 2012 at 2:21 pm
By Alex Stevens '12


Knowing full well of its reputation for that little thing called "academic rigor", I must confess I was a little nervous about the workload when I arrived here as a freshman. Of course, one of the main reasons I picked CC was to be challenged within an academic context, but at the same time I didn't want to be spending all my spare time tucked away in a corner of the library with insane amounts of work. While I fortunately have been able to have a life here at Carleton these past three years, I have also had to learn how to properly manage both my time and stress here: Of course, if you are a college student and never need to develop these skills, you might need to consider transferring...

Anybody, nobody likes hearing about stress itself, so why not focus on stress relievers instead? Of course, the best stress reliever is actually just sitting down and doing the work itself, but if that IS out of the question (and who are we kidding, sometimes it is), here are my top 5 alternative ways to taking care of stress at Carleton:

1. Pool.
Especially the past two years, I have developed an addiction to playing pool that is borderline unhealthy. Whether it's in the upper level of Sayles, our student center or in the confines of the Cave, the oldest student-run pub in the nation, my friends and I are always using rounds of standard billiards or three-person cut throat as an excuse to close our books and take a break. The more chilled-out atmosphere of the Cave is preferable, but the tables in Sayles definitely are of much higher quality...

2. 4th Libe.
The top floor the Libe is the social floor, aka the not-getting-much-work-done floor. I tend to do most of my work on the second or third floor of the libe where one has to be much quieter, so it's always refreshing to ascend to fourth where people are most certainly doing anything but work. Most ridiculous thing I've seen someone do on fourth libe? One of my friends was actually sitting on a table, "playing" the trumpet (he had been taking lessons for about a week and a half).

3. Chicken Fingers at Sayles Cafe.
Dude. Chicken Fingers.

4. Arb Walks.
Even in the winter, getting some fresh air in the Arb is the perfect way to get you out of the first libe doldrums. Bring a friend or an iPod - this 880-acre nature preserve is the closest thing Carleton has to a resort & spa.

5. The Drums.
Probably my favorite stress relief, I can probably work for eight to ten hours on first libe but just ten minutes on the drums takes care of all that accumulated stress. While we have two practice rooms in the basement of the Concert Hall with working drum sets, my favorite spot is also the Cave, where we have a completely student moderated set. That way, I can set everything up on the stage and connect my iPod to the sound system, playing full blast for as long as three hours one time.

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