The College Student's Guide To The Successful Scaling Of Mt. Stress

The College Student's Guide To The Successful Scaling Of Mt. Stress

Mt. Stress can be a challenge for even the most seasoned climbers.

The thought of two more weeks until Thanksgiving break is functioning as the sole gasoline keeping students going and the thing that is dragging them along.

It is the period of the semester that everyone is becoming increasingly stressed, unmotivated, overworked, burnt out and just ready to go home. It is the time when teachers think that they are the only class that you will have any work for.

It is the ever-joyous time of working with others on group projects that will make or break your grade. It's the season of writer's block, brain farts, lack of ability to form sentences or just talk, nevermind trying to write a paper.

All of it mixed together with tears, lack of sleep and just pure non-stop work forms a whole heaping mess of unnecessary stress. When you need a break, here are 11 things that might help you take your mind off of that ridiculous mess looming in the corner.

1. Put the work away

Take a few minutes for yourself. Not yourself with your work in front of you, but yourself with your laptop closed, notebooks put away, flashcards in the drawer. Remove yourself from what is stressing yourself out, even if it's just for a few minutes. Not only does it work as something to do by itself, but it's also important to do for the next stress relievers.

2. Breathe

As a nursing major, as soon as I finish one assignment, it is immediately time to start the next whether it is studying, writing a paper or starting a study guide for a test two weeks from now that has to get done now otherwise it never will. An important lesson that I have learned is to allow myself to have a break amidst the chaos. Breathing is an important step in taking a break. It calms you down and lets you look at things with a more clear mind.

3. Watch something

Watch a few episodes of your favorite show on Netflix. There is nothing wrong with taking a few minutes for yourself to get in a few laughs or to catch up on a show that you missed. Just be careful not to watch the full series. Taking time for yourself in between assignments or just as a break is not procrastination, it's a break.

4. Listen to music

Nothing puts me in a better mood than putting on a good jam. Whether it is an oldie, but a goodie, a sad song, a jam, Jesus music ... whatever puts you in a better mood, blast it!

5. Go to the gym

As much as the walk across campus is a pain, you will feel so much better after running on a treadmill, biking a few miles or doing some yoga. Watch the TV show that you would normally watch back in your room or put on those jam tunes and kill it. Go endorphins!

6. Talk to a friend

Sometimes just talking to someone about what you're stressed about helps you to feel better. Oftentimes, when I talk to someone about all that I have to get done during the week, I feel a million times better. Through talking things out, I separate the emotions that make it seem like I have a million things to do, from what I really have to do, when I really only have 20 tasks. Also, your friend might be in the same boat as you, so you know that you're not alone.

7. Call home

FaceTime or call home to talk to your family. Anytime I call home, I know that my brother and sister will be there to make me laugh. Also, there is nothing that makes someone feel better than a good laugh.

8. Pray

"Turn your worries into prayers." Phil. 4:6

Even when you don't have the words, God knows how you feel. Send your stress, worries, sadness — whatever emotion you're feeling — to Him.

9. Play a game

The other day while I was struggling to write a philosophy paper, I took a break and played Candy Crush for 15 minutes on my phone. It was just long enough to clear my head so that I could focus on what I had to get done. Play something on your phone or find a game that you can play with friends.

10. Read a book

Have a book that you've wanted to start or one that you've read a million times, but is always your go-to? Read a chapter or two (or three if you're like me and then can't put it down). Being transferred to another place or into a story will take your mind right off of what you're stressed over.

11. Sleep

Do not underestimate the amazingness of the power nap. They call it a "power" nap for a reason.

Cover Image Credit: Android Wallpaper

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.

You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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An Incurable Disease Doesn't Change The Love I Have For You

Because one day the one you love the most is fine and the next day they're not, it causes devastation you never truly recover from.


Loving someone with an incurable disease is the most emotionally straining thing I have ever experienced.

My significant other and I have been together for almost six years. During the summer of 2018, we all noticed the significant changes he was going through. He had lost around fifty pounds and had a lack of appetite. We had figured something was going on, however, we didn't realize it was anything serious.

Fast forward to the Fall semester of 2018. I had visited my boyfriend and we had expressed certain concerns, such as, through the night I would try and get him to stop uncontrollably itching his legs to the point of bleeding, or that he was looking a little yellow and was exhausted all the time. After seeing his sister in November, while I was at school, she pleaded with him to go to urgent care because he did not look good. He was yellow, exhausted, and very sickly looking. We didn't realize that the urgent care visit would be the precedent of the rest of our lives.

After coming home for Thanksgiving and spending a week straight in the hospital with him, it finally set in that something was not right. Between all the vomit, getting moved for testing, the weakness, the constant calling for medications because the pain was so severe, and the almost month-long stay in the hospital, it hit me full force that something was really wrong. Words will never truly describe the emotions I was feeling, or the burden of my thoughts that I felt were too selfish to pass on anyone, so I kept them to myself.

When we finally got the diagnosis, we were surprised. PSC, otherwise known as Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, is an incurable liver disease that affects the bile ducts which become scarred and inflamed, more likely than not lead to cirrhosis and an inevitable transplant. There was no cure, rather the only solution was a liver transplant, and even then the disease can be recurring.

I was thinking selfishly. I was torn in two. What would our future look like? Could we have children? Could we ever do the things we used to?

Loving someone with an incurable disease is a mix of emotions. There is a constant fear in the back of my mind that he is going to wake up in intense pain and have to be rushed to the hospital. There is a constant fear of every time waiting for the bi-weekly blood test results to come back, in fear that his Bilirubin spiked again or he is undergoing a flare up and needs to be hospitalized. There is a constant anxiety that one day he's going to be fine, and the next day he won't be. Even the simple things, such as laying beside one another, was a constant fear I had, due to the pain he was in every day. What if I hit him in my sleep on accident? What if I accidentally hugged a little too tightly and caused him pain?

Loving someone with an incurable disease can be a fluctuation of emotions, however, he makes it worth it.


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