NicoleMy relationship with stress all began when I was 10 years old when I was leaving home for the first time to go to sleep away camp. Going to a new place alone and meeting new people was a terrifying idea, but little did I know that I would be lucky enough to make two life long friends who have never left my side. There names are Anxiety and Stress. It was from that summer on that I realized I was no longer living the life of a child in Neverland with Peter Pan; I actually had to grow up and deal with my own big girl problems.

Juggling Skills

It can be extremely hard to find balance in a stressful life. I have to juggle my workload, social life, apartment maintenance, sleep, figuring out who I am, and keeping up with my TV shows…all while trying not to look like a hot dysfunctional mess. Real talk: I did not wake up like this. It takes effort for me to look semi presentable after a night of barely any sleep. Twenty-four hours is not even close to enough time for me to finish everything I need to do in one day. I did not realize I had to be a superhero and be everywhere at once. Maybe insomnia is my super power to cure this balancing act called life. Who needs sleep anyway, when there are so many other things I can focus on?  I guess I will just sleep when I am dead, right? I am in a constant, vicious cycle of stressing about the future and I find that I cannot focus and enjoy each moment of the present.

Pressure Is On

I have come to realize that I put an insane amount of pressure on myself at all hours of the day. It is a constant challenge trying to balance college academics and my social life. I don’t want to fail out of college but I do not want to have FOMO either. FOMO, which stands for Fear Of Missing Out, is the anxious feeling caused by not being at the social scene with all of your friends. Who wants to miss an amazing night filled with unforgettable memories that people will talk about for years to come? It is not a fun feeling when you miss out on a fun time and have to listen to everyone talk about inside jokes for days to come. Is it social suicide to stay in and study on a Thursday night? I know it’s shocking that I have to put academics first some nights, but that is the life of a professional juggler.

Stress concept

Taking tests at school was never my favorite activity. I constantly stress myself out to be an all-star student. The amount of pressure I have put on myself has given me severe test anxiety. Taking a test is like a cardio work out for me; testing makes me sweat just as much as I do when I am on the elliptical for a half hour. The worst part is waiting to hear the results of my test scores. It is just as tortuous as the waiting game for when a great guy might text you back after a date.

Live in the Present

Scenarios likes these are probably the sole reason I have three grey hairs at the age of 20. I know it is easier said than done to just stop stressing.

Take that pressure off yourself! Here’s just a few tips!

1. Be happy with the present and be you.

2. Remember: your GPA is just a number; it is not your identity. I learned to let go and suggest you do the same.

3. Deep breaths and listening to your favorite music always help. Life is short so go live it.

4. Stop over analyzing every aspect of your life and focus on enjoying yourself. Follow your passions and instincts. Embrace life, enjoy the moment and don’t sweat the small stuff.

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