1985 – Fall ’20 Class Letter
HEATHER MCFADDEN BARRIE ’85
(262) 628-1377 / [email protected]
Reflecting on everything that has transpired in the first eight months of 2020, I am reminded of a class I took when I was working on my MBA – Finance Analysis – not one of my stronger subjects – nonetheless a course required to obtain my master’s degree. Two words the professor told the class at the beginning of the semester – “Don’t Panic!”
I “struggled” with the class – I “struggled” with the professor – I “struggled” with everything about the class every time I entered the classroom. I eventually came to realize that my internal “struggles” with this class – the “struggles” I had control over would never help me prevail until I took control of the situation! In other words, “Don’t Panic!” became my mantra to get through this class.
Here I am 30 years later hearing that professor’s words ring loud and clear in my head – “Don’t Panic!” – as the world endures a pandemic. Easier said than done! As the fall semester begins, Ripon College students, faculty and staff – “Don’t Panic!”
Let’s remind ourselves what happens when we panic – we get stuck focusing on fearful thoughts!
When we become anxious, stressed and start to panic, we should remind ourselves to pause and focus on what we can and can’t control that is causing us to feel this way. Control becomes the operative word. For me during this Pandemic, it took me a while to truly embrace the things I could and couldn’t control that caused me to panic, become anxious and more stressed out. I realized that watching too much TV, participating in too much social media, and engaging with people who had negative energy increased my stress levels, making me more anxious and causing me to panic. The solution became quite simple – turn off the TV, put my phone down and ensure I hung around people with positive energy.
As a new school year begins at Ripon College and on other campuses around the world, there’s no doubt this Pandemic will continue to generate panic, anxiety and stress in some shape or form among the student population. Let the words of a wise Professor prevail – “Don’t Panic!” Focus on what you can control within your environment to help alleviate these feelings.
Stick to the basics: Get plenty of rest — Eat well — Stay active
Beyond the basics: Identify what triggers your negative energy and what triggers your positive energy.
And most important: “Don’t panic!”
Advice from a fellow 1985 classmate, MARK JONAS ’85: “…enjoy the process. It is memorable, historic, unprecedented, etc… and it is your history. Have fun with it!”
As always, I look forward to hearing your updates and news so that I can share them with classmates in our upcoming class letters. Thank you to everyone who supported the College this past fiscal year. Our class had nine individuals who made a gift on #OneDayRally and we had 12 individuals who stepped up to support the Emergency Assistance Fund.
I look forward to hearing from you in the future!
A Note from the Office of Constituent Engagement: Stay up-to-date with our latest news and information. Make sure that we have your most updated contact information including email and phone number by visiting ripon.edu/update-contact-info or emailing [email protected].