Here is another piece I wrote for Eagle News (in September):
Is it December yet? What is it about this semester that has us so frazzled? I’ve expressed to friends how drained I am and they look back at me, mirroring my own dark circles, to emphatically express the same sentiment. I chalk my stress up to my twelve hour school days, the pressure I feel to make in impact during my internship, the copious amounts of reading I have not to mention my nonschool related obligations. Mommy needs a martini something fierce… If I hear one more thing about how tired someone is due to their sorority, I’ll be forced to hand them my jam-packed calendar and stack of very real bills. There will come a time, sooner than you think, when time will be so insanely valuable. The idea of being caught up on my homework and having a clean house is just a distant fantasy. Let’s call it my goal by the Thanksgiving break. For now, the tumbleweeds of cat hair go with the décor.
Apparently, it’s not just me who is drowning in quizzes and dreaming of lecture notes. I’ll benevolently let you in on what I’ve been explaining to myself: if I get sick from stress, it will set me back even further. It’s just not worth it. I’m on a quest for ways to decompress without checking out all together. It’s quite possible that I’ll charge a plane ticket to some spa in the mountains and drop the entire semester at any given moment. To stave off this hunger, I have to find joy in the turtles in the pond by parking garage 3 or in the purple orchids that just bloomed outside my kitchen window. They beat the odds and came back to life after some rich person tossed them in the trash, by the way. There’s a movie-of-the-week message in there, I’m sure.
Today, I went for a deep tissue massage because I’d already found myself with daily headaches only a month into my classes. Though the aromatherapy was intoxicating, I’m currently feeling more beat up than blissful. I do, however, feel motivated and optimistic for the first time since school began. Did it get the academic endorphins flowing? My lesson is that we need a little break, sometimes mental, sometimes physical, and we have to be the ones to allow it.
Despite my admittedly jaded perception of most areas of college life, I am an optimistic person. I try to utilize all of the great tools we had reinforced to us, or for some, introduced to us, in courses like Civic Engagement and Interracial & Intercultural Communications. I unplug from media sources that encourage harmful thoughts and when all else fails, remember how fortunate I am to have been born here and not in Sudan, for example. This puts things into perspective immensely.