God organized us into families to give us a way to help and support each other. I was thinking about this as I read 1st Nephi chapter 8 in the Book of Mormon. This chapter is about Lehi, who was a prophet of God around…
“Are you registered to vote?” “Do you know who you’re going to vote for?” “You’re going to vote, right?” “You’d better do your public duty and vote!” “Have you voted yet?” There’s a theme here: “You’d best go and vote, or you’ve failed in your duties…
We’re all a little bit obsessed with things we can relate to, whether it’s a painfully true meme about college students or a t-shirt we just have to buy because the words on it seem to come straight from our soul. One of the latest displays of this enthusiasm has shown up with the highly successful NBC show, “This Is Us.” With over 11 million viewers in its 2017/2018 season, this beautiful television series enthralled us all with its presentation of relevant issues, joys and pains of the human experience, and characters that quickly become our “friends.”
With a title that implies a certain level of candor about the character’s lives, it almost feels like we’re watching an adaptation of our own. The Pearson triplets say to the viewers, “This is who we are and we’re doing the best we can,” and their audience responds with a resounding “SAME.” How does this show accomplish such a feat? How is it so applicable to so many unique lives? The plot line contains numerous trials and misfortunes: death, miscarriage, loss of property, racism, mental illness, eating disorders, and general stress and anxiety. Aside from these trials, the plot also introduces many triumphs for the triplets, including celebration over happy relationships, success in careers, growing of families, and everyday moments of love and gratitude. These are not necessarily things we have all been through, but the emotions are all the same. Which one of us at one point has not felt grief, pain, joy, love, loss, disappointment, or pride?
What does it mean for us that this show is so #relatable? Maybe it means “This Is Us” will be your new favorite show and that you will obsessively clear your Tuesday nights of any other commitments so you can watch it live. It might mean that you will feel like you are friends with these made up people and you would do anything for them. There is, however, an arguably more important take away. Do you commonly cry and laugh with the people around you like you do with these characters? If the answer is yes, YOU ROCK! But maybe you’re like me and you would defend Kevin more readily than your best friend, because you know his story and you feel his pain. Well, we all have stories and we all have pain. You will not go through everything that your best friend has gone through but you didn’t experience Kevin’s life either. Love each other! Assume the best, excuse the misunderstandings, offer support through pain and celebrate together through joys! As different as we each are, our human experiences are not as isolated and individualized as we sometimes think. Try to understand the people around you a little better.
This is us. We cry, we struggle, we smile, and we laugh and we are human. In the words of our dear friend Kevin Pearson, “There’s no ‘You’ or ‘Me’ or ‘Them.’ It’s just ‘Us.’ And this sloppy, wild, colorful, magical thing that has no beginning, has no end, it’s right here. I think it’s us.”
 TV Series Finale. (n.d.). Number of viewers of selected NBC scripted shows in the United States in the 2017/2018 season (in millions). In Statista – The Statistics Portal. Retrieved October 23, 2018, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/882556/nbc-scripted-shows-viewers/.
 Lawson, J. (Writer), & Tillman, G. (Director). (2016, October 25). The game plan. [Television series episode], This Is Us. NBC.
When I worked as the front desk medical assistant a few years ago at a primary care physicians office, I was able to observe many different questions, concerns, and discussions between the physician (Dr. F) and her patients. One afternoon Dr. F came out of…
As a busy student, one of the most common feelings in my life is stress and I’m sure I’m not the only student who feels this way. Each semester, I wonder how I can relieve this stress. I try to prepare myself with some steps I can take so that I don’t feel so stressed. Of course, I could take the advice my care-free sister has given me on multiple occasions: “Don’t be a head-case. You make things way harder than they have to be. Just chill.” Right. That’s so easy. However, as far as that gets me I know it won’t last long and it certainly won’t help my case.
This semester however, I’ve found a few things that have truly helped me. While I can’t promise they will erase all stress from your life, I can tell you they will help relieve some of the pressure that inevitably builds up throughout the semester.
As cheesy as it sounds, the most important thing I can do each day for myself is just to breathe. Close your eyes for a few moments and take a few deep breaths: in and out. Focus on that breathing and let that be the only thing on your mind. Don’t allow your big test, or your extensive essay get in the way. Make this a habit, and really give yourself a little time just to breathe.
Besides breathing, I love getting a good schedule written out. Sundays, one of my favorite things to do (besides taking a really great nap) is to sit down and write out my schedule for the week. This organization step may sound a bit obvious, but it is important. I never really thought to be too specific with certain things in my schedule, such as planning out time for homework, but this semester being specific in every detail has truly helped me. When I say be specific with everything, I’m really saying instead of writing down on Monday, for example, “5:00 pm – two hours of study time” write “5:00 – spend one hour on assigned reading for “x” class, and one hour completing the corresponding assignment.” Be as specific as possible and I promise this will help. This is because it ends up being more of a commitment. By narrowing your plans down, it helps you to stay focused on getting done what is most important, first.
Along with this, I have lately come to appreciate writing out a few of my personal goals for the week and making sure they can fit into my schedule. It can be so easy to forget to plan out little things that, at the end of the week, will leave us feeling much more accomplished when we complete them. In my personal goals portion of my schedule recently, I have been committing myself to reading something new each week, such as a Shakespeare play I’ve never read. This isn’t something assigned in any of my classes, but it’s important to me. I admire Shakespeare, and I feel great once I get to know him a little better through his writings. I feel a little more accomplished at the end of the week that I can follow through with my scheduled goals. I’m following through in something that I’ve chosen to do purely for my own benefit.
These things may not work for everyone, and I understand that, but these suggestions certainly won’t hurt. As a master-procrastinator, this has absolutely helped me to stay on top of most everything in my life that I can control. I have found that by scheduling out things very specifically and getting these things done according to my written schedule, I actually have the time to accomplish the things I actually want to do. There are many different examples of ways to organize your schedule each week, and I encourage you to look up a few options and find the one that works best for you.