It’s not the easiest thing in the world, managing college full-time, work part-time, and an intercollegiate sport on the side. Life seems to revolve around tests, quizzes, homework assignments, all that are far too challenging for what we’re learning and fall on unreasonable deadlines. When I’m not diverting all my attention to school work, I am working part-time at a grocery store. This grocery store is where I serve as coffee barista, creating drinks that fit to the customer’s jitter juice needs. The customers you meet are not always friendly and neither are the hours. I always tell my inner circle of people that they’ll always be able to find me in one of three places; the library, Mariano’s, or a basketball court. Depending on the day, I’ll always be either where my stress and anxiety levels sky rocket through the roof due to homework dilemmas, where my patience is tested consistently by customers and managers, or where my body aches and screams at me, alongside my teammates. It’s getting to be too much, and I’ve lost the time to take care of myself.
Coming from a background of severe anxiety and panic disorder, school has never been an easy undertaking. Since I began my education, I’ve struggled greatly with finding myself as an individual and connecting within social groups on top of handling school work. By the time high school rolled around, I finally had a grasp of who I was, who I wanted to be, and who I wanted to surround myself with. Although I mastered the social aspect of my schooling career, I still was unable to keep afloat above assignments and such. This being so, college changed that dramatically. Now that I am a college student, I remain organized and try much harder than I had in high school. A failed course now, means much more than a failed class in high school. A failed course could potentially mean you won’t graduate or earn your degree, therefore it makes sense to try all that much harder to earn that high GPA. I’m throwing in all my effort, however the courses are getting harder. It is fair to say that because of this, I am getting extremely burnt out.
It was decided my sophomore year, following the basketball season, that I was going to drop everything to work part-time. I was only 16, but mature for my age. I knew that soon enough, bills would need to be payed, groceries would need to be bought, and the experience was going to be needed. I assumed that colleges and future employers would care more if you had solid work experience than if you were apart of many high school clubs and activities. This I still find to be true, but it is now that I wish I took the time to enjoy unemployment when I was young, since I will be doing it for the rest of my life. My Mondays and Wednesdays look a little something like this: basketball practice six o’clock in the morning until eight o’clock I have practice. Immediately after, I have school from nine o’clock to two o’clock. Once that portion of the day is completed, I make up a quick dinner and speed to work so I make it by three o’clock and work until my shift is complete at 10 o’clock. Mondays and Wednesdays are my incredibly challenging days. Tuesdays and Thursdays are similar, since I have class from nine o’clock to two o’clock, but then have to be on a bus by three o’clock to make it to a game by five o’clock. The game is finished by six o’clock and we’re on the bus within a half hour. We arrive to school by eight o’clock and I’m home by eight-thirty o’clock in the evening. I couldn’t tell you the last time I sat down and ate dinner with my family. Due to my basketball and school schedule, I thankfully only work at my job 3-4 days per week. However, this being said, the shifts I do work are usually 7+ hours, which is intense after a full day of basketball and school. Work has contributed to making me what I am as we speak; weak, exhausted, and insanely burnt out.
I played basketball all throughout middle school, and through my freshman and sophomore years of high school. Ever since I can remember, I’ve had Agoraphobia; the fear of open spaces. Some might argue this is a silly or unreasonable fear, but to me, it is much more. Yes, it is an irrational fear that I wish could just disappear. The psychological reasoning behind this fear is not so silly, for it is related to the fear of panic attacks in public (in a wide open space) and being unable to prevent others from watching your distraught feelings since you are in the wide open and can’t escape quickly, unseen. I conquered this fear during my basketball career from seventh grade to sophomore year. Playing in a wide open gym six days (12 hours) per week helped the helplessness go away. However, since recently picking basketball up three years later, I’ve run into this issue again of Agoraphobia, and am trying each day tirelessly to block the negative commentary out of my pretty little panicked basketball playing head. This is already difficult, without adding anxiety provoking teammates to your team. Basketball is a process I love, and the constant fear and anxiety is altering my ability to love and conquer. College basketball has been a whole nother race, and because of it, I am even more burnt out.One day off from everything is all I get. Even then, I still have practice. It’s getting to be too much. I need to slow down, drop a couple things, and take care of my body and mental health. The thing is, it’s not that easy, and I can’t just simply drop one thing or the other. I need the education compounded with excellent grades in order for me to graduate and earn my associate's degree. I need a high GPA in order to transfer to a four-year-university, to study exercise science in a well program. It’s essential for me to work so I can build up my resume and watch my bank account grow for when I need it in the future. Basketball might just be basketball, but I need that too, as a way to relieve my stress and anxieties through the sport I love. To leave my angst on the court and dip it into the basket at two points each. Throughout this process, if you haven’t yet gathered, I am becoming extremely burnt out.