Let's get one thing straight; I am not good at handling stress. I get knots in my shoulders, my head throbs, I usually cry, and intrusive, anxious thoughts become all I can hear. That being said, this week was incredibly stressful, and as usual, I did not handle it well.
To give a rough outline of my week, I had four exams in three days, an oral presentation in a foreign language, a concert, multiple programming assignments, and a paper due. Don't get me wrong; I love my classes, I love my major, and I feel like a super hero when I get a program to run the way I want it to, but this week it felt like all of the classes that I love simultaneously threw up all over me. I keep track of my assignments on a sticky note that I keep on my laptop, and as my sticky note for the week started to fill up and I found that this week required two sticky notes, I could also feel my panic beginning to set in.
It started as a tickle in my stomach, I tried to ignore it. I swallowed two tums, and I turned back to my books. Later I started to get a headache directly behind my eyes. I switched out my contacts for my glasses, this usually does the trick, and , again, turned back to my books. I knew I couldn't ignore it when Tuesday night I got approximately two hours of sleep because my heart was pounding so loud and I felt like all of my text books were sitting on my chest crushing me. I wish I could say that I slowed down after that. I wish I could say I stopped studying and listened to my body and gave it rest and sleep. I can't say that. Instead, I took a nap Wednesday morning between two classes where I would usually take the time to eat lunch, I took some motrin, and I studied for 3 hours for an exam that I'm pretty sure I failed anyway.
What I'm trying to say, is that it doesn't matter how much you study, or how much you prepare for something if you aren't mentally at your best. Everyone always jokes about stress, and it seems like it becomes a competition as to who is the most stressed, and who got the least amount of sleep this week. If that's the game, then I don't want to play. I don't want to win. I want to manage my stress, and I want to be able to have full weeks in school without feeling like I'm suffocating, and I want to be able to enjoy my classes all the time, because I like feeling like a super hero. I like feeling like a super hero, but right now, my cape is a little torn. Maybe next week I'll learn how to sew it.