ChiArts Students Need Self-Care Too

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by Kathryn Malate 

Let’s be real, students of ChiArts: This school is stressful.

Even if we say that we can handle it, I can’t even remember the last time I had a good night’s sleep with the conservatory and academics I have had to maintain. But let’s be REAL real:  What’s even more stressful is the burnout we all feel when we’ve put a little too much effort into our activities. But as students in a rigorous program, we often forget how taxing this can all be. When I sat down with musical Theatre majors Aviwe DuBois, Taylee Heldt, and Olive Manning; they tended to agree.

“Burnout is real, I always cry at first.  Then I give myself a goal, and it’s probably not healthy, but I compare myself to others,” said Taylee Heldt, a musical theater major.

It’s not unusual to compare oneself to others, or to cry when one’s expectations aren’t met. Other students, however, talked about finding healthy outlets for their their stress.

“I use my art as an outlet for my frustration, but when I feel too overwhelmed I talk to a counselor,” said creative writing senior Maria-Isabel Cardona-Migudad.

Self-care when it comes to our art has been a hot topic lately. ChiArts French teacher Leonard Hinds, said he’s noticed this tension.

“In my advisory, I give my students a lot of downtime,” Hinds said. “To sleep, do homework, not do homework … It’s a long school day and students need that break.”

Teachers aren’t alone in believing in the need for a break.

“I give myself a break, an actual break. I step away from whatever I’m doing and then come back,” said musical theater major Aviwe DuBois. “Between academics and conservatory [students] using your breaks to full advantage to just mentally breathe.”

But now that we know self-care on an individual level, it’s up to us as a community to help each other recognize burnout.

“ChiArts students need to communicate with teacher’s and peers because they understand when you’re struggling and need help,” said musical theater major Olive Manning.

With this knowledge, we can only hope that as artists we can grow and help each other by not only knowing when to give it our all but give it a rest when needed.

 

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