I'm talking about the second definition.
"Holy sh*t," you may think. "This is actually happening."
In my experience, I have realized that we are always getting excited about the next part of our lives. As younger kids, we insist that no, we're not just five. We're five and a half. As nine-year-olds, we are itching to reach double digits. As middle schoolers, we want to be in high school. As high schoolers, we want to get away and head off to college...but, then that day happens.
I remember it like it was a semester ago...cause it was.
The day is September 3rd, 2017.
My parents and I packed the car up to the brim with my bedding, my dorm decorations, my books, food, and so much more. The car was jam packed but nothing compared to what was going on inside my head. Granted I don't live too far away from my school. In fact, it was only about an hour and a half drive, and also probably the eighth time I would be driving to that campus (I visited an excessive amount of times). But I was spiraling and just miserable.
Now I needed support and decided the only solution was to head to social media.
Why the internet? I have no idea. I never had a ton of friends/ followers on Instagram, but I just allowed myself to rant. I spoke about how much I'm going to miss everyone I've become close with at home, how scared I am to meet new people, and how I would miss having alone time in a familiar place.
And someone responded, to my surprise.
I'm not going to mention her name, but it really helped me. But it also got me thinking about some stuff.
No matter where I am, what milestone I am about to achieve, what item off my bucket list I'm soon going to cross off my list, I am always filled with this immense amount of anxiety and stress.
My heart pounds, my palm sweat, I start breathing really heavily, and I can't sleep...like ever.
AND IT HAPPENS TO ME ALL THE TIME
It happened when I went to Israel in eighth grade...but I survived.
It happened when I was starting high school...but I made it out alive.
It happened when I think people are mad at me...but most of the time it is irrational, and I get over it.
It happened when I started seeing a therapist/ social worker because of the stigmas surrounding it...but I got over it and learned to help myself.
It happened when the concept of college research was first introduced to me in the tenth grade...but I love college now.
It happened on April 29th, when I had to pick a school to go to...and I made the right choice.
It happened when I did R Factor...but I survived it and conquered a big fear.
It happened when I decided to come home for the first time on the train and got lost...but I found my way home.
It's happening now, as I worry for my second semester...but I will get over it.
The point is: I've survived every sort of new chapter of my life that scared me.
How I did it, however, is the question.
1. I got advice and help from some very special, very helpful, and very important people in my life
I've learned that the goal is to surround with people who bring you up, not down.
2. I learned coping strategies
When dealing with stressful events, using breathing to your advantage, or distracting yourself by doing something less stressful, like coloring, can really benefit you.
3. I've learned (and am still learning) to put things into perspective
Let's face it, no one is perfect, especially me. But, what I do know is that if this worry is in good taste, like if you're worried about a new job, then that's completely normal -- everyone is nervous on their first day of work. I've had the same summer job for three summers already, but still, I get nervous every year. Point being, stressing out is okay. Having it interfere with everyday living is not okay, that's when you need to refer to the first thing on this list. Rule of thumb: if it won't matter in 10 years, it shouldn't matter for 10 minutes.
4. I realized that this is a vicious cycle that my brain does to me.
It's happened before and it will happen again. I'm still going to digress, but deep down I know everything will be okay.