Dining Hall food is disgusting. I've worn this outfit thirteen times already. There are only three different ways to reorganize my room. This class will mean nothing to me in five years. I learned this in high school. My friends are busy. I have twenty dollars to live on for the next two months. Stop leaving your hair in the sink. Why is my floor having a party on a Tuesday night? If I hear one more Broadway song being belted from the room at the end of the hall...
If half of these things haven't been biting at your mind at this point in the semester, you're either lying to yourself or you're an extreme optimist. If you have found yourself skipping classes, using your meal swipe on cereal and pineapple for the fifth time this week, and being so bored with this two month routine that you've rearranged your room seven times just to add some variety to your life, you are probably having a mid-semester crisis. Take a lesson from the queen of boredom-induced anxiety, this is no way to go through college. This is my very thorough guide on how to shake the stress, monotony, and doubt that keeps hitting you in the face every beautiful morning (or afternoon) you wake up to.
1) Get close to you roommate. I know, this is so obvious. But it is absolutely essential. You live with this person and, if you spend every day wondering what they think of you and making sure you don't step across the unspoken line dividing the room down the middle, your life will be just one notch above actual hell. I spent approximately two weeks wondering "would she judge me if I...," "is it rude to change in front of her?," and "will she think I'm an OCD psychopath if..." before I went absolutely crazy and allowed my usual, quirky, eccentric, confusing self to shine through at last.
This opened the door for her to feel more comfortable being herself as well. Needless to say, it worked out for the best. She's one of my best friends now and the only person I am 100% comfortable letting loose around. That's not to say spend every minute possible with your roommate, but just make sure it's enjoyable when you do!
2) Use the gym. Freshmen fifteen? No thank you! You pay a lot to go to college and you probably forget about the all-access pass that the tuition and fees grants you. I know exercising doesn't sound like fun, but it's a sure stress reliever and health booster. Think of it as a way to take all your anger out and refocus your mind and energy. At the very least, working out gives you something to be proud of even when nothing else seems to be going well. Nobody can deter you from reaching your goals in the gym; you have complete control here.
3) Find the music that makes you happy and listen to it. While doing homework, when cleaning your room, or maybe even during a particularly tedious class, your favorite music should always calm you down and make you feel like yourself. My graphic design class was seemingly so unbearable that I had nightmares about going to it; I talked to my professor about it and now I'm allowed to breeze through the class with jazz in my ears. Make your own life soundtrack.
4) Eliminate the sugar. While you're at it, you'll likely lessen your caffeine and empty calorie intake as well. These things might taste great and you may even think they make you happier, but they're addictive. Test yourself and go just one week without something you know is bad for you. When you let yourself try it again, it won't be as satisfying. Your body will feel better when you're not dependent on junk to fulfill your day.
5) Find a close friend outside of your usual group. It's easy to spend every free minute with your usual friends but there will come a time when you get sick of them. It could just be for a day or it could be permanent but, either way, an outside friend is a safe zone. This person is safer to vent to and is a break from the routine tomfoolery and shenanigans you probably put up with on a regular basis.
6) Find a place off campus and claim it as your own hangout. Study here, relax here, read here, stare into space if there's truly nothing else to do and you just needed to get away from everyone. This is your sacred place and you do not bring drama here or introduce other people to it.
7) Sleep is more important than work. You may be gasping at that statement but it's fact. There are so many physical and mental health issues linked to a lack of sleep that I wouldn't even be able to post an article long enough to list all of them. By putting each minute assignment or an extra hour of study time before your own well-being, you're only taking away from your ability to focus and succeed the next day. This isn't to say that, if you have a project due the next day that's worth 60% of your grade and it's 12 a.m., you should go to bed immediately. Just don't do this to yourself every night, or really even more than twice week.
8) Be a child once in a while. Watch Scooby-Doo, play Hillary Duff music, eat a PB&J, and cry into your pillow for your mom. I promise, being a "young adult" 100% of the time is boring.
9) Know the people on your floor and love them. More importantly, forgive them. If I held a grudge for every time I could hear a neighbor singing during quiet hours or every party held the night before I had to wake up early, I wouldn't have any friends. Living with forty other people can be a blessing or a curse. You decide. Being on good terms with the people you see every day prevents infinite awkward situations. It comes in extra handy when you need to borrow school supplies or don't have your own microwave.
With these nine changes, I stomped my mid-semester crisis. I could continue providing small-tidbits of advice for several pages, but it's almost 1:00 a.m. and, in a necessary effort to follow my own advice...