It’s been a while since we featured one of our students, and to break the silence is Megs Eichorn. Megs is a Master of Environmental Studies candidate. Her post reminds us all to take a break from the multitude of deadlines that surround us daily and to enjoy the moments in life.


In writing twenty page papers, reading hundreds of pages per week, preparing for class discussions, figuring out my thesis project, seeking out potential committee members, worrying about a summer job, I often forget to breathe. The pressure of grad school can sometimes feel like a weight on your chest that will never leave. The only thing that helps me handle the constant stress is the notion that it will all be worth it in the end. That, and yoga!

The practice of yoga helps bring a natural balance of body and mind in order to allow for both physical and mental health. Every time I go to a yoga class, I spend an hour focusing on breathing while working different poses and moves. The trick is to apply this to everyday life, to breathe in and out calmly, knowing that the pain of the pose (or the studying or research) will eventually end. Easier said than done, right?!

I’ve come to realize that this “breathing” comes in many forms. The MES program has an amazing student organization that really allows students to take a step back from the everyday pressures of school. MESSA plans numerous social and service opportunities to allow members to interact with one another and the community. Last semester, in the midst of final exams, we elected new MESSA officers at an oyster roast. At first, I couldn’t help but think that my time would be better spent at the library working on my final papers and take-home exams, but the relaxation and the ability to “breathe” was exactly what I needed! Doing well in school is incredibly important, but it is also important to remove yourself from stress and enjoy life.

MESSA has already planned numerous events for this semester. We had a welcome back party the first weekend of school, we are volunteering at the Save the Light Half Marathon and 5k on February 5, and most importantly, we are hosting our annual 8k for H20 on February 19 to benefit Charleston Waterkeeper. These events are great ways to help the community, to interact with fellow MESSA members, to get away from the everyday grind of school work, and most importantly, to take a moment to breathe!

One thought on “Breathe.

  1. So very well said Megs.

    As stress mounts we do stop breathing or at least stop breathing deeply. This has the effect of stopping the oxygen to the brain and the total cessation of rational thought.

    It prevents proper functioning and results in the only two option apparent – fight or flight.

    When I was repeating my final year of High School, doing the ‘suicide 5’ – Maths 1 & 2, Chemistry, Physics, English, I needed to take a break between school and home study to get through.

    I found physical exercise did the trick. I played tennis, hockey and rode my dirt bike off road fast.

    It only took an hour of that and I could then get back into the study. If I didn’t do it I couldn’t settle to study.

    I still do similar things when the stress levels get higher than I like.

    Thnak you for this reminder, I need to write a post on my site to my visitors on a similar theme.

    Good luck with your studies.

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