Opinions, Column

Chill Out and Be a Kid

It’s that time of year at Chestnut Hill. The once verdant giant oaks on Campanella Way are speckled with orange and red hues. Cool air begins to cut through the dense New England humidity. The reservoir geese begin their migratory flights. New Eagles abound. Why, it’s recruiting season, of course.

The undertaking all CSOMers and MCAS corporate-hopefuls feared is really here. Yup, recruiting is ramping up nine months before these jobs and internships even start. You can thank the Wall Street investment banks for this new wrinkle after they decided to poach talent early, leaving a wake so wide any firm with a slight overlap in potential talent either followed suit or was at risk of being pushed aside.

Alas, there’s no more “occupying” we can do, and our country’s new administration is making these powerful bulge bracket banks somehow more autocratic through deregulation—so why fight them now? All you can do is cry on your keyboard as you scroll through EagleLink and reach for any familial connection to some sort of reputable business down to your fifth cousin.

But do not fret, you anxious young upstarts, for I am with you, and can provide much-needed advice. No, I didn’t land a big internship with a Big Three or Big Four, nor am I Tom Hanks from Big. But there is something you can learn from the latter: Chill out and be a kid.

I don’t mean this in the literal sense of reverting back to the mindset of a child, but the idea is actually more constructive than one may think on the surface.

In my prepubescent wonderment, I loved to go outside and explore vast green spaces. Running through Stokes Lawn late to class double-fisting Starbucks probably doesn’t count, so I’d recommend a stroll down the Emerald Necklace or a trip to Boston Common. This doesn’t just provide perceived relaxation, either. Time outside has scientifically proven restorative benefits that can help reduce fatigue. You may claim that, between homework and applications, you lack the time. But at a certain point, fatigue outweighs the plateauing positive benefit of grinding in O’Neill, so hop on the D-line and take in some nature, man.

Running the Res and repping curls can help reduce stress and increase energy, but nothing beats T-ball or some rec soccer games. No, really, all those times you whiffed at a stationary ball or scored on the wrong goal probably improved your mental and physical vitality more than hitting the Plex. In a study published just last month, researchers found that respondents who play team sports report 22.3 percent fewer poor mental-health days than those who don’t exercise, the highest rate of any exercise category surveyed. Researchers posited that the additional social component helped reduce isolation, a driver of many mental-health issues. So, go get a pick-up game going to prevent that nagging depression, even if your coordination mimics a giraffe on skates like mine does.

I wasn’t the most intellectually curious child and cringed at the thought of a summer reading log. Most of the time I’d read one of the perpetually regurgitated Diary of Wimpy Kid books or a graphic novel, but occasionally I stumbled upon an enjoyable yet demanding book. I challenge all you stressed-out corporate-cog candidates to do the same. Get off the Bloomberg Terminal for a second and read some Hemingway or Capote. If you couldn’t already guess by now, reading also has numerous health benefits. Deep reading, not just skimming articles and headlines, increases neural connections, bettering mental speed and memory while simultaneously reducing stress. It’ll also give you more interesting talking points at parties than your typical digression into a skimmed Wall Street Journal article or the implications of an inverted yield curve (yawn).

All this time you thought you needed to fake the appearance of maturity and discernible skill is virtually impossible to obtain in two years of college. In actuality, all you needed were some Caulfieldian tips to manage the growing existential crisis slowly taking hold of your futile life.

For any legitimate vocational help, please see your CSOM career advisor. Unless, of course, you’re in MCAS. If so, may Ignatius have mercy on your soul.  

Featured Graphic by Anna Tierney / Graphics Editor

September 16, 2018