Newman chaplain offers guidance for new semester

Jan 07, 2021

As students, staff and faculty begin a new year and a new semester at Newman University, many are still recovering from 2020 — a year of cancellations, changes, isolation and distance.

Looking forward, Newman Chaplain Adam Grelinger said, there are many ways to find peace and hope in a new start.

Here, Father Adam offers just a few ways students can embrace a new year and look for ways to focus on what is to come.

Embrace the Distance

Why? It always helps me to know the distance. I went to school in Maryland for six years and drove home for most breaks. It was about a 19-hour drive. Somehow knowing that it would take that long and counting down the hours really helped me to not get frustrated by all the hours of asphalt.

How? It’ll be 16 weeks of go, go, go — but we’ve got friends and weekends. We can do it together. 16 weeks.

REM Conditioning

Why? Humans need sleep! There was a period of time when I was a freshman that I averaged about three hours of sleep per night. I could hardly process the information in my classes and it is a miracle I passed. Since you want to excel, not just pass, sleep is necessary!

How? Maybe set a goal. Maybe when you plan out your day you can say, “I’m going to try to get to bed at this time.”

Digital Diet

Why? We need time to just think and be. Constant noise drowns out our own thoughts. It can even fuel our anxieties because we don’t take the time to process all the events of our social life and the responsibilities of work and school.

How? Avoid listening to music while walking to and from class — or during class. When you’ve got free time, don’t fill it all with screen time. As you might limit your consumption of food on a diet for the good of your body, limit the consumption of noise for your mind and soul.


Why? Because your destiny is to be with God. You’ll put hours into your schoolwork, your job and shows, but those things will all pass away. It is of the utmost importance to invest in our eternal future.

How? Even taking just a few minutes in the morning or evening to connect with God opens the line of communication. Don’t underestimate what God can do with that time.

What’s the one thing?

What’s the one thing you’d love to accomplish this semester? The one thing you want to look back on and be able to say, “Yeah, I did that.” Time is limited and it keeps marching on. School shouldn’t be just a time of waiting for your career. Don’t wait for a future time to achieve your goals or pursue your dreams.

How? Identify, plan, commit. Get friends involved for support. Be wary of the apps and shows that want to steal all your time!