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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Girl, you got me down, you got me stressed out

I've been back at school for two weeks. I drove back to Memphis the day before classes started, and since then, I feel like I've been...well, to put it lightly, stressed.

If you know me at all, you have probably realized that I am not exactly a mellow person. Not that I don't love goofing off or just laying low, but that I love planning things and having an exact idea of how things are going to go. Furthermore, when people around me get stressed out, even if the things in their lives do not affect me in any way, their stress is contagious to me. I can't explain it, but it's just how I roll.

Last week, Rhodes administration made a really large announcement that will have a tremendous impact on the student body - they announced that effective immediately, we will now have deferred recruitment. Rather, we will no longer have recruitment in the fall, but in January. This has resulted in a lot of confusion and questions, but on top of that, there has been a lot happening in my personal life that has also been stressful to me.

Sunday night, I was trying to fall asleep, and I started to feel my heartbeat pick up, my breathing get fast and shallow, and my mind racing faster than I could comprehend. I was about to have a panic attack, and I was lying in my bed watching The West Wing. On Thursday night, I fell asleep at 9 PM and didn't wake up until 10 AM the next morning (thanks, snow storm Jonas for getting school cancelled), and on Saturday, I watched 3 movies in a row because I seriously felt like I needed to just lay low for a day.

Sunday night, when I could tell that I was about to have a panic attack, I was able to get it to subside. I just tried to breathe as deeply as I could and focus on one specific thing, and after a few minutes it went away.

I don't tell you this to whine or to complain, but to simply communicate that despite our best efforts, we don't have it together all the time.  Anxiety sucks. It is a cruel, cruel mistress that can easily dominate your being without you even being aware that it's happening. But, it helps me to keep things in perspective. For example, with the news of deferred recruitment, although yes, it is a big change, no one is going to die or be physically harmed because of it. It is not the end of the world, and the things that often make my anxiety spike rarely are.

Since it's still January, I'd like to add another resolution to my goals for 2016: to manage my stress better. Keeping perspective, taking a second for myself, and allowing a little frivioloty every now and then never hurt anybody, and for me, they really help.

What do you do when you get stressed out?

PS if you recognize the title lyrics you get bonus points.

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xx, Victoria