I’m freaking out. It feels like I’m balancing on my head on a tightrope over an active volcano filled with starving, woman-eating piranhas. One false move and it all goes to shit. Nothing and no one can convince me that anything is going to go back to normal. Ever since classes started only a few weeks ago, I haven’t been able to sleep, eat, or do any of my other favorite activities. This feeling I have is all consuming. I’m cripplingly stressed. And it’s because I’m not stressed at all.
Every time I walk into a classroom, there is a group of people discussing the work from the night before or the test coming up. Their aura of agitation fills the room. It surrounds me like a hot, wool blanket, and suddenly I want to crawl out of my own skin. I thought that everything was pretty manageable. Yeah, it was a little time consuming, but once I stopped dicking around on my phone and got to business, it really wasn’t that bad. And as far as the test coming up, I’m just going to study what I feel like I don’t understand. But should I be stressed? Am I taking it all too lightly? If I’m doing the same work and getting the same grades, why am I the only one who seems to be naively calm about everything?
It seems like stress has become equivalent with hardworking. This stress culture that has been created enforces the idea that stress is a part of everyday life and if you don’t feel it, then you must be slacking. But plenty of people have gotten through prosperous careers without giving themselves stress-induced heart palpitations over having to complete more than one assignment at a time. We can still be successful without it being stressful.
Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a humble brag. What is a humble brag, though, is complaining about how busy and stressed you are. Constantly talking about how much work you have to complete and how many activities you are involved in is now our way of communicating that we are better than each other.
“Oh, you think you’re stressed? Well, I’m taking 7 classes, working full time, serving as panhel president, potty training a monkey, and rewriting the dictionary in braille with my left hand.”
Then, tell me, how do you have time to keep up on your Instagram feed and be able to black out twice a weekend? There is nothing wrong with keeping busy. Some people can’t survive without a jam-packed schedule. But you know that’s how you function, just own up to it. You don’t have to overwhelm surrounding patrons with minute-by-minute rundowns of your daily schedule. It’s almost as if people overwork themselves for the sole purpose of talking about how overworked they are. This could be self-indulgent, like some form of showing off, but it could also be self-preservation to fit in.
A good, hearty bitch sesh is necessary. Complaining can help us get through the worst of times. But our inclination to always be stressed and pissed off is unhealthy. So why don’t we all just chill the fuck out, ok? It’s gonna be fine..