Caution: construction in progress

Do you ever feel like you’re constantly figuring out new things about yourself, and what works for you and what doesn’t, such as your daily routine, your relationships, your diet, your interests, your career, and a lot of other things? I certainly do.
All this construction happening around Drexel’s campus and University City in general, and especially The Schuylkill Yards project, has me thinking a lot about the process of becoming our best selves and living our best lives. The Schuylkill Yards project was conceived by Drexel University and is being brought to life by the Brandywine Realty Trust, and the project, which will be an enormous transformation not just for Drexel, but for the entire city of Philadelphia, broke ground on the new Drexel Square on November 9th. There are tens of billions of dollars associated with this project, and even more economic output is expected because of the new innovation, office, retail, and lab spaces, educational facilities, and residential buildings and hotels that will bolster and multiply the environment of innovation, entrepreneurship, commerce, culture, discovery, education, and lifestyle in University City, and which will only be rivaled by Silicon Valley in California and The Triangle in North Carolina when completed. It’s visionary and extremely exciting; it will revitalize deteriorated portions of the city, and leverage the best of what Philadelphia already has to offer. The future looks bright for Philadelphia!
But I’m wondering at what point does ambition, which is the central theme of Drexel’s latest ad campaign, supersede integrity. It’s terrific that Drexel is aiming high and pushing the bar, but the constant construction is exhausting; there’s always another building going up, or another renovation being done somewhere on the campus at all times, and I can’t remember when it wasn’t like this. In the busyness of trying to become our best selves, and to live our best lives, it’s easy to neglect the parts of our lives that already bring tremendous value in favor of the “next step” or the next big project or endeavor. And if we’re neglecting those parts of ourselves, then we’re really just depending on the success of our next change or next undertaking to make us a whole, complete person.
For instance, isn’t it the easiest thing in the world to forget about taking care of our bodies with physical activity and rest and maintenance when we’re investing all our energy and resources into getting the right job or getting the perfect GPA so we can be accepted to the law school of our dreams, or some other big goal? It’s not just about balance, it’s about appreciation and integrity: remember to recognize and be grateful for the important parts of your life you already have, and remember to never compromise them. Not even for the next big thing, because if that goal of yours demands you sacrifice your health, or your family, or your personal values, or whatever else, it’s not worth it. It is possible to live like this and to constantly aim high when you just know what those important parts of your life are, because, if you’re prudent about it, you can deliberately set yourself up to prioritize only what your sights are set on, and cut out everything else. I hope Drexel remembers this as we move forward into the next big thing–and I also hope Drexel never stops aiming high!

Brannon Blunk
Hello there! My name is Brannon Blunk, and I'm a senior Custom-Designed Major at Drexel University. If you ever want to discuss something I write, I'd love to hear from you!

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