I must say this semester has not been the easiest for me. Part of it is the coursework, part of it is external concerns (like finances and such), and part of it is my inability to cope efficiently. I have been experiencing so little motivation that it takes immense effort to get myself off my floor and do work or to go to class. I either keep putting things off, or I keep losing track of time. It keeps going forward at a pace that I seem to have lost the ability to perceive or make use of.
I find myself sleeping too little during the week and too much on the weekend, and I constantly feel like I am in a haze or barely managing. Everything is a last-ditch effort not to fail or fall completely behind. I am often late to classes, clubs, and events, and I just stopped showing up at the clubs I used to be in. More often than not, the few clubs I have stayed in, like Gospel Choir and the Ballroom Team, do not bring me the same level of joy that they used to, and I have to make myself stay involved and engaged because people are relying on me. I can barely pray, let alone read my Bible.
I do not feel utterly hopeless or completely depressed. I just feel tired in all ways, slow, and unwilling to move and be involved. I am motivated to stay in school and succeed, so I am just basically managing that, but the minute steps involved in it take a lot out of me. I am not in a complete slump because I still laugh over the simplest things and still dance when I hear any music. I just want to spend all day reading in bed, left alone with nothing else to do. Sometimes, I forget to eat or put off eating because of that though. It is taking a lot to even write this article, let alone write the CWL assignment I have due in a few days and work on my thesis which has been neglected all semester.
I have pulled more all-nighters these past few weeks than I have my whole life, and I missed my first classes for the first time since I started college because when I finally went to sleep, my brain refused to be woken up for anything. I range anywhere from two to five hours of sleep each night, and I nap frequently to supplement it. My self-care is lacking in all areas, and my room is a mess. I do not know if I just need a break or an intervention I cannot laugh my way through. It was the first time since I started my undergraduate career where part of me did not want to go back to school. I love learning, but I feel overwhelmed every moment I am conscious.
There is only one thing I can seem to get myself to do with minimal effort (besides havering for half an hour) is working out. Anyone who is following me on my two main social media accounts will have caught on to this with how they have suddenly turned into fitness accounts. It started with running every day no matter the weather, the time of day, how little sleep I had gotten, or how much my shin splints and knees were acting up from overuse. If I stopped, I was not sure I would be able to continue, and what would I have then? I set my 5k personal best while in a haze of anxiety and repressed stress, running long past the point my feet and lower body had gone numb, feeling disconnected from my body and the world around me. It was not healthy, but it was all I could seem to do right. I would run even if it was almost midnight because I could not afford to not.
When my legs decided I ran enough, I continued boxing and started indoor rowing, bicycling, swimming, etc., sneaking in running moments on the treadmill that I probably shouldn't have. The personal achievements I started experiencing from TRX and weight lifting were the bright spots of my day that made them addictive, and I would not miss a day of training even if my bones and joints felt like they were aching to disintegrate.
I feel part of this is tied to not knowing what I want to do after college and part is from being in a structured and demanding education system every year since I was a child. I'm burning out and panicking, and I feel lost.
I wish I could end this on a cheerful note like most of my past articles with a glimmer of hopeful ambition and the barest of fortitude, but I am just trying to do the best I can. I am not one to give up, so I will keep trying. Hopefully, I will begin to cope better than I am now because, frankly, it is not healthy, and I know there are some very concerned people around me, namely RAs and some friends. I am doing what I can. I just do not want to fall apart or fall behind.