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Post Column: Dad's advice: Set your priorities, stick with them

Feelings of hopelessness have become a common trend throughout campus this past winter season, at least for me. Luckily, I’ve had an excuse for it: Seasonal Affective Disorder.

As the winter months approached, I expected warm beds, Godiva hot chocolate and a series of movie nights. Instead, I received a course load that would make my aunt, a previous assistant dean of Boston College and an Ohio University alumna, gasp.

Yet as SAD slowly looms over my depressed little head, I know I am not alone. Though I believe most of the campus shares my views (How many days until fest season starts?), an actual study conducted by reported that the disorder has been commonly found in the north as the days decrease in length. Younger generations and women are also more likely to suffer from the disorder. Sound familiar?

So what does that mean for me? Loads of homework, helplessness and crazy professors.

Though SAD is a real thing, what if it’s not the culprit? What if this feeling of stress, hopelessness and utter failure has nothing to do with this disorder at all? What if doing your best can never be enough?

People are forever competing against one another; there will always be someone more qualified, more strategic, more experienced than you. So when is it time to say enough is actually enough? This is where my feelings of inability come into play as questions and insecurities zoom through my constantly working brain.

What if I didn’t study enough? What if I don’t pass the class? What if my writing isn’t up to par? What if there is someone better than me? What if my career becomes a speck in a large world?

As publications continue to report a deflating job market, my worries only intensify. I try and squeeze another meeting in my schedule, just one more story, just one more test until I crack.

Just last Thursday, I was on the verge of a slight meltdown as I wallowed in a sea of self-pity. As a result, I did what any true daddy’s girl would do: I called my father.

Instead of delivering the speech I have become so accustomed to, the “everything will be fine,” speech, what I heard from the other end of the phone line surprised me, instantly boosting my morale. Taking a breath, my father gave me the best advice any college student could receive in my position: Pick what you want to do and where you want to be, stick with it and kick butt.

Though it sounded like a great idea, it has been a bit harder to complete that task than it was to hear it. But, I think for most of us, including myself, it’s time to put our priorities in order, pick what we want and stick with it.

Lindsay Friedman is a freshman studying journalism and a columnist for The Post. Email her at

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