I love structure. I mean, I really love structure. I've gotten into a habit of creating my own schedule and sticking with it, even when I'm on vacation. I don't do well with unpredictability either; the kind that forces my weaknesses to be challenged in a most uncomfortable way. Like I mentioned in a previous post, I went into a crisis mode during the beginning of this year, in part it was because I had been deprived of a structured schedule for more than two weeks: school.
Even though school, my internship, and my next internship search brought on stress of its own, it was a different kind of stress; it was a stress that had a purpose behind it. During vacation, there was no purpose or foundation for my stress to attach itself upon, so it decided to attack me instead. The stress turned into anxiety, which left me scrambling to find some sort of structure, even if I had to build it myself.
And it's helped! I owe it to my brother and sister-in-law for recommending that I writing down a list of things I'm going to do for the day. Of course, there are still things that cause me anxiety. For example, my senior thesis could be about anything I want. I did a scared double take in my head that looked like this:
Followed by a face that said "What the f**k":
I'm one of those people who absolutely hates having an assignment be open-ended. I did have a slight breakdown after thinking about the impending amount of work I had to do in order to figure out my thesis topic. I managed to talk myself down from crisis mode by having a couple good scream, reminding myself to take it one day at a time, and that my professors are there to help. I have a nasty habit of getting anxious when thinking about all the steps I have to take in order to get to where I want to be. Surprisingly, the advice of taking things one step at a time worked for my crisis this time. I'm not feeling the constant anxiousness that often bothers me when I need to do a big assignment that's freeform, ambiguous, difficult, or counts as a big percentage of my grade; the senior thesis is a culmination of all four of these anxiety-provoking elements. Right now I'm taking comfort in the fact that the "one day at a time" approach is working for me.