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The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

‘Cura personalis’ illustrates self-care for students


Everyone on the Evergreen campus should be used to hearing the Latin phrase “cura personalis,” or care for the whole person. Education of the whole person is what Loyola hopes to achieve for each and every student on campus—the value even has its own section under the “History and Mission” tab on the school website.

President Rev. Brian F. Linnane, in a welcome weekend speech to the Class of 2021, referenced how students can apply this phrase to their Loyola experience. He mentioned that Loyola uses this value not only to encourage well-roundedness in students, but also to  exemplify care for the whole person by motivating students to seek self-care throughout their time at Loyola.

As students, we all know that a well-rounded education requires plenty of work, and we often wonder how we will care for our whole selves while undertaking this challenge.

“Cura personalis” has the quality of being both a great mystery and a difficult task for most college students. We all are confused as to what “care of the whole person” is and whether or not it involves multiple naps. Many of us question whether or not this is even possible for anyone who strives for academic success.

While we are encouraged to keep the timeless Latin phrase in mind, making the decisions to care for ourselves in our daily can be a daunting task. To tackle this, we are challenged to better understand our time, our studies, and ourselves so that we may work towards this seemingly unattainable value.

As we try to decide what to do with our time and energy, we are easily intimidated by a sea of factors and circumstances surrounding our choices. For example, you may want to stay up and finish your homework, but you may have stayed up until 3 a.m. the previous night and feel a cold coming on.

“Cura personalis” encourages us to weigh our factors and come up with an optimal decision. Our time is valuable and finite, containing limited space to squeeze in the countless activities and assignments we could choose to participate in or complete on a given day. The options to stay up or go to bed are equally tempting, but you will have to choose one over the other. Weighing your factors can help you decipher which of the two is a better use of your time and ultimately decide what to do.

Another problem many students face is the struggle for a phenomenal GPA. Sometimes it seems like we have no limits when it comes to achieving that A average on our report cards. So many of us sacrifice sleep, exercise, time with friends, and much more to become top students.

Don’t get me wrong—a great work ethic goes a long way, but it is easy to tell if someone is burnt out both in their presence and in the quality of their work.

Doing your best work involves having a clear and focused mind, which doesn’t happen if you neglect your self-care. We all need small breaks and down time to function at our best. Someone who exemplifies “cura personalis” is usually regarded as doing their best work, so the concept encourages the understanding that our best work comes from our best minds. We can only achieve our best minds by taking care of ourselves and acknowledging that we need these breaks from time to time.

Arguably the most important step to caring for the whole person is understanding ourselves and our limits. Students who are tired and overworked aren’t entirely healthy, and taking needed breaks and naps only make a difference if we know when to take them. We know ourselves best and therefore we need to know our limits as students.

The only person who can tell you that you are too tired to stay up is you, and ignoring important signals from your body and mind can be hurtful. Pushing ourselves too hard reduces our ability to enjoy life, produce great work, sleep properly, and complete other important tasks that are characteristic of healthy individuals. By understanding ourselves and our abilities, we know how and when to take better care of ourselves and can further our chances to embody “cura personalis” in our everyday lives.

 Good health is more than just a healthy mind and a healthy body: true health, according to “cura personalis,is accomplished through every sense of our being. As students at Loyola, we see this in everything we do and are encouraged to embody the phrase in our daily lives. Some may believe this to be impossible, but through better understanding of our time, our studies, and ourselves, we can work to care for our whole persons and exemplify a core value that our school challenges us to achieve.

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  • AnonymousOct 29, 2017 at 1:50 pm


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‘Cura personalis’ illustrates self-care for students