Thursday, October 25, 2007

S.O.S. I'm Stressed!
By Gunes Atalay

My second year in college and I am a full time student. I am in a completely different country. I have no friends, nor family. I work over 40 hours a week. It is the middle of the night. I have a huge midterm due tomorrow. God, it seems very hard. I am sure I am going to fail. I have 24 hours to do it, but I also have school all day tomorrow. I can't be home before 10, even though my last class is canceled.

Why? Because I live in Staten Island. And that is because I am broke. So in reality, I have less than 2 hours to do my midterm. By the way, I have about $34 left for next two weeks. I am ruined. Oh dear, I also have a speech due tomorrow, so I need to get some sleep tonight, somehow. It is almost 1 am now.

Why didn't my boy friend call me yet? Is he cheating on me again? I have to stop thinking about him. I have a midterm to focus on. I wonder how the weather is going to be like tomorrow. God, I hate New York. So expensive, crowded and dirty. Did I say expensive? Oh god $34 for two weeks. That equals 2 dollars 42 cents a day. Not even enough for subway. My fridge is empty too. Okay, Gunes. Concentrate. You have a midterm. But I have a horrible headache, how am I supposed to do this? Maybe I should just not do it. I am going to fail anyway.

According to the University of Florida Counseling Center, I am very stressed at the moment. Even though they say it is normal to be stressed in certain amounts, I know I am not feeling well. My body is aching and I am very anxious. Stressed to the point where stressing stops helping me move on, it just literally stops me from being able to act. Not fun.

The center also says there are ways to fight this stress. Developing a balanced lifestyle, gaining perspective by discussing problems, special relaxation techniques and clarifying values and developing a sense of life meaning.

I don't have time for any of these! How am I supposed to have a balanced lifestyle? It is not as easy as it sounds. How will I get good sleep when I have to work all the time and do homework in a language I don't even know well. How am I supposed to eat well when I can't stand this new culture’s food, and the restaurants serving my cultures food are so expensive?

How am I supposed to gain perspective by discussing problems? Maybe it works for other people, but it just gets me more freaked out and also it wastes time. So now, if I try to get rid of my stress and talk to someone, I will have less time to do my midterm. Doesn't work for me. Oh, and “relaxation techniques.” Maybe I am just not the right person, but meditation just makes me want to laugh and feel stupid.

Clarifying values and developing a sense of life meaning? I am 19! Who knows the meaning of life, let alone my 19 year-old teenager self? No fellas. It is not that easy. My parents always told me how school was going to be the easiest part of my life. “It is gonna get harder after school. You will feel like you would do anything to be back.” I don't think so.

It might sound irrelevant but my nose was broken twice, the first time was when I was 13. They asked me when I was 14, if it hurts a lot. I said “Hell no. It is nothing, you don't even feel it. It heals fast too.” Then I broke it again at age 15. Trust me, it hurts. I just “forgot.”

Human beings tend to forget. Imagine yourself, just before a midterm. All you want at that moment is to get it over with. You are probably completely scared, praying. Telling your friends all you want in life is to pass that midterm. Guess what? You won't even remember that midterm in a year. You will completely forget how scared you were. Did I say a year? Make it a month. Maybe even a week.

So, I suggest those guys at the Counseling Center try to go back to their college days, and go back for real. Was it that easy to get rid of stress?


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