Finals week madness is right around the corner, and along with it comes the immediate realization of the end of the semester and instant stress.
I was unfortunate enough to experience my first dose of the typical “school-related freak-out” over this past week. Only instead of it happening once and getting it out of my system, it happened approximately 6 1/2 times.
I like to think of myself as someone who is normally calm, collected and is the first person to give someone else advice and nurturing words if needed. I never thought of how it would feel when I would be the one who needed to vent.
I found myself, all over the span of a few days, overtly overwhelmed with an insane amount of class work, presentation preparation, papers, sorority functions and juggling two jobs. And sure, everyone in college has times when they feel completely tied up, but usually, the calm part of me says “It’s OK, Janae. Breathe, write down what all needs to get done, and then get it done. No worries.”
This week, that calm voice was non-existent, and my sanity ceased to exist as a result. I completely lost it, several times over. What was more difficult for me to grasp was the fact that I usually know how to avoid freak-outs, but this time around, I was no exception to the “pre-finals college freak-out session.”
Instead of screaming into a pillow, venting to a friend or any other way to constructively handle stress, I completely shut myself down from those around me. I didn’t talk to anyone, and anyone that I did talk to didn’t get to see the nicest side of me. My housemates knew right away what was going on, and all took turns talking to me, checking on me and making sure I was OK.
It was the first time that I truly felt like I had people I could rely on besides my parents and my best friends, and it was a great feeling to have. Although my housemates, best friends or parents couldn’t make that awful week any better for me, they did make it easier for me to deal with by reminding me that we were all so close to being done, and to stay strong and think of the big picture instead of worrying about life’s little details.
Looking back on last week, I’ve learned how to effectively deal with stress, which for me means letting people in and giving them the chance to hear what’s on my mind, and all my concerns and crazy statements and babbling. Looking back on last week, I now know how to effectively deal with stress effectively, which for me, means letting people in and giving them the chance to hear what’s on my mind – including all my concerns and crazy statements and babbling that I’m infamous for when I’m having a bad day.
When you find yourself overwhelmed with life, step back, take a deep breath and then take a look at the big picture. Remember, what may be a problem to you may be a miniscule issue to someone else, and whatever you’re stressing about now will hopefully be resolved soon. Go to those around you for moral support, and they’ll be sure to help you through it. End the semester strong, with mental and physical happiness to bring into the holiday season.