by Anne Guldin Lucas
It’s that marvelous time of the year—Final Exams—when I will confess that I’m relieved that I’m not a student anymore. Thinking back to my first semester of college (well over 30 years ago!), I remember the stress of my first final exam period. Living in a freshman women’s dorm (and oh yes, it was single sex back then), the panic was palpable. So how did I handle it? My best friend suggested that we stop studying and bake cookies!
Holly and I took a long study break to buy ingredients and headed for the dorm kitchen. We crafted cookie “ornaments,” personalized with the names of the women on our floor and other selected campus friends. We threaded ribbons through the holes we poked through each cookie. Then we raced around the dorm and the campus, delivering our edible ornaments.
Thankfully I managed to do well that term, and Holly has enjoyed a successful legal career. Apparently there were no ill effects from our study break. The fresh air and cookies renewed our energy. What’s the point of my silly story and how in the world does it relate to you? Hopefully you’ll agree that a “life well lived” includes more than a fabulous career. Friendships, family, and the pursuit of other interests are vital ingredients in true success.
So while I applaud and admire the devotion to everything Penn students do so well—academics, extracurriculars, service, and job search—I urge you to seek balance in your life. Recognize when it’s time to catch your breath, hang out with friends or family, and bake! In this spirit, my holiday gift to you is a study break, courtesy of Jimmy Buffett and the Zac Brown Band. Take it away, boys!