Written by Nolan Ryan
Sitting around a table, playing a card game, a group of friends hurl accusations at one another, claiming someone is the culprit. Maybe this doesn’t sound very relaxing. But for some students, it is a favorite way to escape the relentless load of assignments that need to be finished.
Sophomores Kyle Randolph and Samuel Musser enjoy organizing regular game nights among their friends. Any kind of board game or card game is on the table, ranging from strategy-logic games to classic board games. It provides a good means of refreshing yourself after a long day of reading Aristotle or writing a Great Books paper.
“Hillsdale College is not an easy school,” says Kyle. “We are constantly mulling over complex literary arguments and extremely important academic questions and topics. But amidst this barrage of deep thought, everyone needs a little break. Some people like sports or Netflix, but I enjoy a good board game.”
Students wrestle with academic problems all day, but it takes time to reach a satisfying conclusion. Board games present problems to solve, and the games always end in some sort of solution. This allows Kyle, Samuel, and their friends to work on creative problem solving in a relaxing way.
Many game nights that they put together are last-minute but long-lasting. Sam remembers one night when he and three other guys began a game of Power Grid at midnight and ended up playing until 2:00 a.m. Weekends are great for this kind of relaxation after several long days of classes and homework.
Kyle says that stress relief is critical for a student’s health because the brain cannot work through endless challenges. Sometimes you just need a break to recharge for the coming week. “It is vitally important today to recognize how damaging stress can be in your relationships and your academic success. If you are stressed, you cannot do your best work.”
At Hillsdale, working to the best of our abilities is vital to our academic success. But in order to achieve that kind of success, we need to stop, take a deep breath, and spend some time with friends. Even if that means arguing over who actually won the card game.
Nolan Ryan, ‘20, is an English major and journalism minor from the frigid heart of northern Michigan. If you want to have a long conversation about life and theology, just start by mentioning C.S. Lewis or Emily Dickinson. In the midst of his studies, he occasionally finds time to pursue his love of ’50s music and good coffee.
Published in November 2017