Nate Long

Beneath the Crown

How do you deal with stress?

Music, for me, is a good escape from stress. I play drumset in the jazz band, so I find that if I’m stressed and have access, I’ll go practice. Just sit down, put on some headphones, play along to some jazz music. Or if I find that I can’t go practice I’ll just listen to some jazz music from the 50’s, 60’s…big band, swing, trios, anything really. It helps me focus, de-stress, let go a little bit. Music is my biggest outlet for stress. It’s where I feel like I can express myself.

Do you think stress is something that’s necessary, or that it should be avoided?

You know, I think some stress is good, because it pushes you. It pushes you to do things that you didn’t think you could do or didn’t realize was in your power to do. It can definitely get to a level where it can overwhelm you, and that’s when it becomes unhealthy. But I think that a certain level of it, if it’s not constant and crushing or overwhelming you, can actually be really healthy.

In reference to school and homework, how do you manage time to keep your stress levels low?

Hmmm…that’s tough. It kind of depends on what I’m doing. Like if it’s a big reading or a big book that I just have to get out or get done by a certain date, I try to break it up. I try not to think of, like “I have to read this book by next Wednesday.” I’ll start and think “I’m going to read these two chapters tonight.” Because, for me, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by thoughts like “I have to do this whole book in a week!” If I thought like that, I would put it off. So if I just start by breaking it up immediately, it just makes it so much easier, at least for me to tackle it.

In terms of other homework, I just keep a planner. I write in it all the time. As soon as I get a homework assignment, I’ll write in it. I also like to write the homework assignments up so that way I can just check things off. If it’s manageable things, that keeps me motivated.

Rather than, you know, if I just write down “write this paper” or “finish this paper,” I’ll never get to check it off, so it’s not keeping me motivated to do it.

– Nate Long

Beneath The Crown is a project created by Nick Theisen (‘15). It is inspired by Humans of New York (HONY) and aims to bring the community of Gustavus Adolphus College closer together by providing the perspectives of the many different people who live and work at the school.