Anxious, Accepting And Assiduous

Anxious, Accepting And Assiduous

"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."- Walt Disney
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February 4th: Today has been an anxious day. I had to sleep in bed with my sister last night because my mind wouldn’t stop racing. I had to stop and think, why do I have these angry butterflies tap dancing in my stomach? Truth be told, it stems from my fear of taking my last semester of Hebrew. Many of the people close to me understand the obstacles my sister and I have had to face with Hebrew throughout our college career. We went from passing with flying colors to struggling to get by our Freshman year. That is when we decided to take a break for a few years. We figured that we would eventually find a Hebrew course online. Well, our Senior year we actually took Hebrew again at The College. The head of the Jewish Studies department contacted us and informed us that there would be a new professor. "Fabulous," we thought.

We thought wrong.

Now, the complications we had to power through in Hebrew is a story for another day. (I still have to graduate without burning any bridges). So I’m here to talk about anxiety, strength and dealing with what may seem like the end of the world.

The crippling wave of emotions that can consume my entire being with just one thought used to be normal. I thought it was the way everyone reacted in times of stress. In elementary school I remember balling myself up on the floor, hysterically crying because I was worried about my history test the next day. My dad took my textbook from me and told me to stop pushing myself too hard. I always studied long and aggressively, but my mind never thought it was enough. My best friend would throw my notes away because I could not stop studying up until the very last second before my exam. (I also use to throw up before an assessment, something I've grown out of...for the most part). I never had a reason why my body reacted with such distress, I believed it was just how life was.

Finally, I was diagnosed with anxiety in college.

I’ve said it before, and I'll say it again, getting diagnosed is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I am happier than ever, and it gave me a solution. I finally understand why my brain doesn’t stop and why I feel in extremes. I've accepted and embraced who I am. As a result, I've been able to change the things that provoke my worries and keep the things that don't.

However, there are still times I wake up, go to bed or walk around with a nauseating pit in my stomach. It comes and goes, but I now know how to deal with it.

For example, Monday, February 5th I woke up with an intense, overwhelming sensation. Sometimes, my anxiety pushes me to get stuff done. Other times, it turns me into a complete mess. This time, I was a little bit of both. I signed onto my Hebrew account, called my mom to tell her my fears and planned my schedule out for the week. Now, when I start to become overwhelmed, I have one fix: writing. So instead of doing my Hebrew homework that doesn’t make any sense, here, I am writing about the anxiety I have over not knowing what my homework means.

Through all of this crazy mess of emotions, there's one thing I know that keeps me sane: I will get through it. It may be hard. It may feel like hell. But I am doing the best I can, and that is all that matters. I’m working hard, getting help and I will find a way to pass Hebrew. Even though the road to the finish line is going to be rocky, I will get there. This thought is something that helps me get through not only this class but life. I know that every path isn’t going to be a quick route, but I will get to the end (well, really it’s just a checkpoint). Isn't that kind of cool though? It's as if life is full of levels and we have to take it step by step to reach full fulfillment.

I guess I'll be fulfilled after I pass Hebrew. (fulFILLED with relief). So, that’s my piece of wisdom for this week. Shit may look rough, but it’s up to us to keep pushing and have faith in ourselves to get past it. Having amazing people around you is a pretty good motivator, especially when they sit there and listen to you vent (Thanks, guys—you all know who you are).

Until next week…

Cover Image Credit: Elisa Riva

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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Studying the LSAT and Working Full Time

How to make room for advancing your future while maintaining the present.

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Working full time and studying for the LSAT proves a delicate tightrope that many people grapple to tread. If you find yourself in such a situation, then some good news is on the horizon as many have juggled the requirements of both aspects seamlessly in the past. Today we take a look at what these individuals did and how you too can effectively balance the scales without leaning too much to one side or the other.


Starting early

Having a full-time job leaves little morsels of time to work with and often the best approach entails beginning early so that the collective total makes up constructive study hours in the long run. As a general rule of thumb for the working class, start a minimum of 4 but preferably 6 months to the date of the test. Science dictates that there are half a dozen intellectual and quality hours per day and with a demanding job breathing down your neck, you can only set aside about a third of that for productive LSAT test prep. With 3 months being the measure of ideal study time for a full-time student, you'll need double that period to be sufficiently up to par.


Maximizing your mornings

Studying in the evenings after a grueling and intellectually draining day at work is as good as reading blank textbooks. It's highly unlikely you'll be able to grasp complex concepts at this time, so start your mornings early so that you can devote this extra time when you are at your mental pinnacle to unraveling especially challenging topics. Evening study times should only be for refresher LSAT prep or going through light subject matters requiring little intellectual initiative. For those who hit their stride at night, take some time to unwind and complete your chores before getting down to business well before bedtime.

Taking some time off

All work and no play does indeed make Jack a dull boy and going back and forth between work and study is a sure-fire recipe for disaster. So take some time off of work every now and then, preferably during weekdays- you can ask for a day off every fortnight or so- as weekends are a prime study period free of work obligations. Such breaks reduce fatigue, better study performance and increase the capacity for information retention.

Prioritizing study

Given the scarce oasis of free time in your busy schedule, you cannot afford to miss even a single session and this commitment is important in spreading out the burden so that it is not overwhelming as you approach the finish line. Be sure to have a clear schedule in place and even set reminders/alarms to help enforce your timetable. If it's unavoidable to miss a single session, set aside a makeup as soon as possible.


Last but not least, have a strong finish. Once you are approaching the home run i.e. about 2 or 3 weeks to the test, take this time off to shift your focus solely to the test. The last month can make or break your LSAT test prep and it'll be hard to concentrate on working whilst focusing completely on the test.

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