Putting Stress into Perspective
By: Marissa Le Coz ’17
As any Dartmouth student can tell you, the atmosphere at the College is a very busy and frantic
one. Due to the accelerated ten-week term, we’re constantly being bombarded with papers,
midterms, and problem sets. I know that the past week has been academically stressful for a lot of
people, myself included, as we were in the thick of midterms.
While I don’t find academically stressful times particularly pleasant, I find them quite beneficial
for my faith life. I think that stress, while it is a hassle, brings a lot of important faith-related
matters to the fore, matters that I probably wouldn’t ponder if I were completely complacent with
I think that one natural question that comes up for people under academic stress is, “Why am I
doing this?” When I’m not too stressed, assignments just become a sequence of due dates to
check off the list, and I don’t put much direct thought into what greater purpose my studies could
serve. Stressful academic times are a great opportunity to remember that you are studying to serve
God. You’re studying to develop your God-given gifts that will give you the tools you’ll need to
fulfill His plan for your life.
Times like midterm week can also bring up the question, “Why am I stressed?” At face value, the
answer seems obvious. But it’s a very interesting moment to assess how much you let grades and
academics define you. It’s also a convenient time to put things back into perspective and
remember that eternal life is of far more importance than grades. Sure, you should work hard in
school, but it’s beneficial to remember that grades aren’t everything.