I don’t really know how the business and humanities programs work here at Stevens, being an engineering major and whatnot, but I imagine it doesn’t always feel like a constant suffocation of your creativity. This is not going to be me complaining about academics, professors, schoolwork, etc. I’ve just been really thinking about my life before all the responsibilities, and it’s almost like I have completely forgotten who I was for the first 18 years of my life. It’s almost as if a lot of what makes me, me, has been systematically wiped out piece by piece after each report, exam, presentation, etc. Is it just me? Is it the curriculum? Maybe a little bit of both? One habit that I wish I could have, is the ability to make time for the things I love or used to love. Along with the normal, human-level course load I had before coming to Stevens, I played percussion passionately, particularly the drums. I was in every type of band possible during high school. Even after school, I would look forward to practicing covers on my set at home or playing around with my family’s traditional instruments from back home. If I remember one thing from high school, it’s that I never left my sticks at home.
For some reason, that all seems like a dream to me. I only recently picked up a pair of sticks and it didn’t feel natural to me anymore. I would annoy the hell out of my friends with my constant tapping and rolling on every surface I could get my hands (or sticks) on. No one likes to hear a percussionist playing by themselves. Is it the severe lack of time I have now? I can say for certain that I do not have the same amount of free time as I did years ago. Even now, if I try to partake in anything creative that I enjoy, I always have a small guilty voice in the back of my head telling me I should be studying for that class I’ll never need or writing that whole report in one sitting. That’s not who I wanted to be in high school, and that most certainly isn’t who I want to be in college and the years to come. To younger students, I want you to never forget your passions outside of academia. Always make some time for yourself, you’re about as ready for that test as you’ll ever be. Go ahead and paint, draw, write a song. Anything. That report will get finished—you have two other members on your team. Don’t let school and work make you lose your creativity because, eventually, it may be too hard to find it again.