Dr. Joel Mann

Director of the Honors Program

From the Director

October 3rd, 2019

I write this from a small hotel room in Madrid.

The sudden solitude is startling. After the hustled bustle of the new school year, the meetings, the classes, more meetings, hallway conversations, parties, and more meetings, to find myself in this tiny room in the afternoon, alone, but not at all lonely, is...rejuvenating?

We talk so much about how busy we are, how much we have to do, how stressed out we are. And we are. But even if this frenzy is in an important sense beyond our control, we can control how we respond. And some of the best responses--breathing, meditation, reflection, sleep--are things best done by ourselves. Alone.


We talk a lot about community here at the College and in the Honors Program. Community is important. Vitally so. But true community is not a crutch for those who can't face themselves. Or, worse, for those who don't even love themselves. And you need to love yourself before you can be loved by others, perhaps even before you can love others.


So, this semester, as the stress builds and the siren call of social immersion grows stronger, consider taking a step back. Be yourself by yourself. It takes courage, and courage takes practice. So start practicing.


© SNC Honors Pulse.

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