So as pretty much anyone over the age of twelve would know, stress is a major part of life. For some people, stress can be a motivator, an inspiration, the only thing that gets them to start their projects and tasks on time and finish them to a reasonable degree of quality. To others, it can drive them barking mad. While I generally lean towards stress-as-a-motivator, I definitely just experienced two days where stress was pushing me to the edge.
It’s definitely important as a student to learn how much stress is ideal, and how much is just too much. While this post would probably be more suited to the period of time before exams, I believe reflecting on this early and allowing for it sink in over the coming weeks just might be the most practical way around it.
The last two days of this week have been very stressful for me. I managed to get an interview at Starbucks – those of you who understand my addiction to that particular coffee shop can guess just how ecstatic that made me. Unfortunately, the road to the interview was lined with several stressful events. First, I ran out of time for a haircut. Second, I managed to cut my ear, which only stopped bleeding five minutes before the interview. Third, the bus I planned to take left five minutes early, meaning Fourth, I barely made it in time for my interview.
As you can imagine, by the time I arrived for my interview, I was ready to curl up in a ball and cry. Preferably with a small cat. Unfortunately, cats aren’t allowed in residence and besides, I had a manager to impress. I forced myself to calm down for the interview, and did a fairly good job, but I was still stressed when I went to leave.
Unfortunately, more stress awaited me. I had plans to go to the Exhibition with friends, leaving Glendon at 6. It should have taken thirty minutes to get back, but no. The bus on Mount Pleasant wasn’t running. The Yonge Subway was delayed due to an investigation downtown. It seemed like I couldn’t escape stress no matter what I did. Even on the way home from the fair, the subway encountered delays and the streetcar was stopped by an accident. I got back at 12AM, slept for six hours, and then faced a day with my family with a pounding headache, a cold, and an exhausted brain. STRESS, STRESS, AND MORE STRESS.
What is a student to do with all this? The key, I think, is to not focus on the stress and think of the good things. Sure, I probably lost a pint of blood from my ear, and sure the TTC can be annoying as hell. But I got the chance to get hired at my favourite store. I got to go to a concert with some great people. And today, I finally got my haircut and got to welcome another friend to a new apartment in true French style, with a baguette, some pate, cheese and of course, wine, all with a perfect view of downtown Toronto framed in the windows. Last but not least, Frosh starts tomorrow. There is nothing better than that!
The point is my friends, stress can overwhelm you if you’re not careful. Stress could help you finish that project, but it could lead you to the breaking point and bring bad grades and worse mental health. Sometimes, you have to take some time to yourself. To quote Easy A, sometimes you gotta let your freak flag fly. Go dancing at a concert (anything but 3OH3! though, it gave me a massive headache), have a drink with some friends, go for a run, bake! Do anything to decompress and relax. Then jump back into the task, and I guarantee you’ll find yourself more alert and prepared then you were before.
I have my next interview at Starbucks tomorrow. I have Frosh starting. I have brand new people I have to make a good impression with. I have an eAmbassador post I’m anxiously awaiting news from. Am I stressed? Most certainly, but I’m going to take it slowly and maturely. It’s too early to get overly stressed in the school year. There’s too many fun things to look forward too!