In farming, there is a practice called crop rotation, which entails switching the type of plant grown on a specific plot of land over a period of time. Farmers do this because planting the same exact thing in the same exact space over and over again will eventually lead to unsuccessful results. Switching things up allows the soil and the plant to thrive on being introduced to something different.
There is a lot that we can take from this idea of crop rotation and apply to our lives as college students. The first being that if you’re feeling burnt out and stressed from everything academic life entails, you’re not alone. According to reports, one in five college students struggle from anxiety or depression.
Most mental health disorders occur in individuals between adolescence and the age of 24. A study from Harvard medical school stated that “researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital that looked at more than 67,000 college students from across more than 100 institutions found that while racial or ethnic and sexual or gender minorities are especially vulnerable, high rates for stress events, mental health diagnoses and the risk of suicide or suicidal thoughts were reported among all students surveyed.”
Many of us in college have been full-time students all our lives, from the time we are in elementary school to graduating 12th grade and moving on to higher education immediately after.Having the mindset of a student for so long, with the same type of routine, can feel monotonous and defeating, and take the fun out of learning.
There is a famous quote that says that “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” While college can be a great period of personal growth, it can also be a time when you feel stuck in the routine of it all.
If you’re feeling like this applies to you, try rotating your crops.
Start a new positive activity that makes you happy, like art or exercise. Work on building a new friendship with someone that you recently met and felt like you clicked with. Spend time learning a new language or exercising your mind in a way that you haven’t before and seems fun for you. These aren’t new or revolutionary ideas, but doing them while focusing on a new beginning can feel revitalizing in a whole new way.
As we all head into that crunch time before finals, remember that if you feel stuck now, it’s only because you’re working towards a period that will bring change, which can seem scary, but is necessary for us to thrive and grow.
Focus on what you want to become, and remember that switching things up from time to time can be essential in helping you grow to what you want to be.