Strength in Numbers

by Natalie Yuhas

 

“We need others physically, emotionally, intellectually; we need them if we are to know anything, even ourselves.” CS Lewis

 

The time had finally come: a Friday afternoon after an incredibly long and stressful week. Actually, it was a Friday afternoon after a string of incredibly long and stressful weeks.  Everyone told me that junior year would be tough, but I didn’t think that I would constantly be feeling like I’m drowning.  So when I finally had the opportunity to

breathe this Friday afternoon, I took it.  I had felt out of sorts for weeks, and I couldn’t figure out exactly what it was. Maybe I just needed to get a change of scenery. Maybe it was just being homesick and I needed to be reminded of how lucky I am to be going to school in such a great city.  I hopped on the T after my last class and planned on walking around my favorite spots in Boston just to clear my head.  However, for whatever reason, the bustling Common, scenic Newbury Street, and not even the familiar shelves of my favorite bookstores could cure my blues.  I came back that afternoon feeling almost worse than when I had left. 

 

I couldn’t figure out why I felt so crummy. I had done everything I wanted to do, and usually taking time to do things by myself is exactly what I need after a long week.  I’m an independent person, and I like being alone; it’s my version of hitting the recharge button. I wrote it off as being in a rut and continued chugging through my work. It took me until a few weeks later when I decided to eat with some friends I hadn’t seen much of that semester, instead of sticking to my usual routine of quickly grabbing dinner to go before homework, that I realized what I was missing. Although dinner was nothing special, the laughs and stories we shared were exactly what I needed and I walked away finally feeling recharged and like the uneasiness had lifted.   I realized that because I have been so focused on school and other extra curricular obligations this semester, all I was ever doing anymore was spending time alone.  I was blocking everyone else out in order to feel like I was staying afloat, and it was making me miserable.

 

Because I like being independent, I tend to push people away whenever I start feeling stressed or something starts going wrong in my life. I can deal with it on my own. I don’t want to drag someone else into my problems. However, CS Lewis said that, “We need others physically, emotionally, intellectually; we need them if we are to know anything, even ourselves.” We were created to be social beings and rely on one another.  After all, where would Jesus be without his apostles? We can draw incredible strength from being around people who love us; it brings out the best in us. “As iron shapes iron, so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).  I am so grateful to have the friends that I have, both at home and at Boston College and for the numerous ways they continue to help me grow.   

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