This paper reflects the research and thoughts of a student at the time the paper was written for a course at Bryn Mawr College. Like other materials on Serendip, it is not intended to be "authoritative" but rather to help others further develop their own explorations. Web links were active as of the time the paper was posted but are not updated.

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Women Living Well: Mind/Body Connection - 2002
Student Papers
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I Am My Own Co-Pilot

Alice Goff

There seems to an abundance of people these days who are of the mentality that they have little to no responsibility for what they do in their lives. At college this is a common and often comforting way of thinking. When one receives a paper back on which one has gotten a less than desirable grade, one's first thoughts sometimes tend towards, "that must be because the professor doesn't like me". The poor attendance at Plenary this year was a perfect example of the sort of apathy and irresponsibility which is wont to manifest itself on this campus. It is not without reason—the act of receiving an education is a highly evaluatory process, students are constantly being critiqued and graded on their accomplishments. At a rigorous school such as Bryn Mawr, this lack of responsibility-taking serves as a sort of defense mechanism against feeling inadequate, or like a failure as a student.

This attitude extends beyond our academic lives, into our mental and physical lives. As college students, we are notorious for staying up until the wee hours, drinking coffee by the tankard and then in the morning complain of feeling like we have the flu and popping pills to alleviate the symptoms. This course has done a great deal to expose the possible negative consequences of this type of "mind-body separation". As long as we can identify that our actions and choices have physical ramifications, which are indeed, our responsibility. Each of the lectures of the course seemed to be geared towards equipping us with an awareness of this fact, and a basis of knowledge on which we can begin to make the mind-body connection—make decisions that positively affect our physical well being, and take responsibility for these decisions. I thank you very much for providing this resource, which will, for me, serve as a reminder that I have control over not only my achievements as a student, but my achievements as a person.

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