Stress is a part of college, but when does college stress become too much stress? Where is the imaginary line that separates the healthy stress from the crazy, panic level, mayday mayday – she’s going down, stress? I’m not exactly sure. But I am sure that I catapulted over it about three weeks ago.
This semester, under some fit of insanity, I decided I was going to take a 400-level senior seminar (as a junior), a 400-level and 300-level English class, and two 300-level Spanish courses, one of which teaches the history of Spain…in Spanish. That would be fine on it’s own, but when you add working 10 hours a week, writing a weekly article for the school newspaper, running with the running club, and training for a half marathon – things get interesting.
So, for the past week I could literally feel my blood pressure rising. I was constantly studying for the Spanish history course and was seeing no progress in the class. It was literally above my capabilities, but I wasn’t ready to admit it to myself. I was so stressed out that I couldn’t sleep more then five hours a night, I struggled to force down food (my appetite hits negative twenty under stress), and my running was suffering. Everything was suffering.
When I was with my friends, all I could think about was school. When I was studying, all I could think about was the growing stack of obligations and how I missed my friends. The only fun I could find time for was spending a few minutes writing out my blog posts (when I was awake at 4 a.m).
But then this week, things got worse. I had been studying for a quiz in the Spanish history class for two weeks, and when I went to the review session, I literally had no idea what the professor was talking about. I sat in the class, stared at the whiteboard, and I had some kind of epiphany.
What was I doing? I was letting stress take over my life and make me miserable, all for some silly class that I can just take another semester when I have more practice in Spanish. I was exhausted both mentally and physically.
After class that day, I dropped the course. As a self-professed perfectionist, it sort of killed me inside even though I knew it was the right decision. I went back to my room, and I was disappointed with myself for not being able to stick it out, despite my parents and my friends assuring me my decision was more then reasonable.
I threw myself a little pity party for the rest of the night (my roommate/best friend was lucky enough to be out of town), but that night I slept for nine hours. Nine blissful hours. The next day, I woke up, and realized one class was not worth my happiness or my health. I only get to experience life once, and I can’t waste that time being so stressed that I am one step away from a panic attack.
The next day, my appetite was still zero from all the residual stress. But then, I had a sudden desire for a Starbucks Fappuccino, even though the last time I was in Starbucks was in 2010. Let me tell you, it was the best frappuccino of my life, and while I was drinking it, I realized it was time to buck up and accept the situation.
For now, I will be picking up a few extra hours at work, since I will have extra time without that class. I am still not happy about the situation, but who knows maybe something good will come of it…hopefully…at least I’ll get more sleep and have more time to blog for you wonderful people ;)
Have a great weekend.
Have you ever dropped a class in college? How do you manage stress? Have you ever taken a language class/can you speak more than one language?