In my acting class, every day we do a warm up which involves various embarrassing vocal exercises and stretches. It culminates into a final portion where we shimmy around the room shouting "zibbity-bibbity" sixteen times. Strangely enough, this warm up really allows me to release (I am often a little too enthusiastic with the vocal warm-ups, because I want to scream... all the time) and by the end of it our teacher asks us to hug ourselves, which is ultimately what I need the most. So I cry a little every time this happens.
Why am I stressed? It's the end of the semester! And all the projects I started are supposed to come to an end, and it's up to me to end them.
Here are some things I need to get done:
- Try and win a business idea competition on Thursday.
- Perform a mythology rap for one of my grad-student friends at his class's end of the year shindig.
- Assemble a poster project about evolution and memory.
- Finish a sizeable chunk of my young-adult novel.
- Finish writing my memory research conference project.
2. You splash your pool mates.
Every Tuesday I swim with some of my friends. It's a health thing. Swimming is the most convenient kind of exercise for me because all I need to do is to change into swim trunks to do it. If I want to do anything else, I have to change my shoes, put on gym clothes UGH it's the worst and it takes to long. Pants off, trunks on BOOM, instant workout.
My workout regimen is to swim for about forty five minutes, taking breaks when I am exhausted. I will do 25 or 50 yards and then catch my breath, then go at it again. Sometimes, when I do 50 yard stretches or more, I get very angry, and when I reach the other end of the pool I slap my hands on the water like Michael Phelps.
This week I did this and splashed my friend in the lane next to me. He flinched and wiped the water from his face and I apologized profusely.
"I'm so sorry! I just swim until I get angry and then I slap the water," I told him.
"That's good. Use that anger. Beast mode," he replied.
3. For the first time ever in your life you crave cigarettes.
I can't even spell cigarettes. I am using autocorrect to help me out with this. I know, I know, everyone back home is going to read this and yell at me, but understand it's a craving and not a life decision. I am not going to smoke. I need the lung capacity to swim and splash people.
However, this does not stop me from leaning back in my swivel chair in the computer lab and thinking "UGH I WANT A TOBACCO STICK."
I caved. I smoked one. One of my friends had a pack and I felt strange about it so we went behind the library and did it where no one would see us.
My friend, Chicago, also is unfamiliar with smoking cigarettes.
"Am I cool yet?" he kept asking. "How about if I hold it like this? Do I look cool? How many of these do I have to smoke to get addicted?"
I didn't notice any stress alleviation, but for the rest of the evening I smelled like smoke. It was weird, and I don't think I'm going to do it again.
4. You resort to caffeine.
I used to pride myself in the fact that I didn't do caffeine. I still don't. I don't use regularly, but in my moments of weakness I will buy a Red Bull to pull myself through some reading. Red Bulls are incredible. They taste like magic. My typical routine is to drink one while listening to white noise (http://simplynoise.com/) in my room and getting whatever I need done DONE.
However, my caffeine use makes me sad for two reasons. 1) I wanted to be proof that a caffeine-free kid could succeed in a caffeine-driven world. I still strive to do that, but for now I need the help. 2) the caffeine come-down ravages my emotional homeostasis, and so often when it wears off, I go to my room and cry.
5. You have dreams in which all of your loved ones die.
Okay, they're nightmares. I keep a dream log sometimes, and the stuff that is going on in my subconscious is pretty off the chain. Like getting in a car with my parents and realizing we are driving on a road of baby corpses. This was an actual dream I had.
To add to the ridiculousness, when I wake up from these nightmares, I look around the room wildly and I see that my DOOR IS OPEN? WHY? It's four in the morning, I just had a dream where I fell off a mossy cliff and DIED, and then the door to my dorm room in AJAR? It's really the worst.
|My door opens on its own sometimes.|
HOW WILL CONNOR COPE WITH ALL HIS STRESS?
- Make manageable to-do lists. I am incredibly proud of my ability to make calendars and schedules of what I am going to do and when. This will ultimately pull me through this trying time of my life.
- Swim. The ultimate release.
- Get enough sleep. Which hasn't really been a problem. Last night I slept from 8pm to 8am, so I mean, not bad.
Everything is going to be all right!