Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Mental Health

Yellow Mondays with Emma Ep.2Of spilt tea, broken necklaces and reduced-price mushroom soup 

I have always wondered what my friends’ answers to the famous question ‘describe x with three adjectives’ would be. Of course, I would like them to use words like kind or loyal, but I am sure the final tally would include at least one or two clumsy or graceless.  

My mum used to say that I am an elephant in a crystal shop, but then she stopped when I had a breakdown in front of her because of that on a particularly bad day. Still, I am the elephant in a crystal shop, a souvenir shop, a plant shop, or any shop really. Believe it or not, I managed to break something even inside Paperchase. I considered it a safe shop — it’s paper! — then they started to sell glass Christmas balls, and suddenly it was not so safe anymore.  

My clumsiness has decided to act silly this past week, and one day I ended up spilling tea over my new pair of jeans (twice!) and breaking the cute necklace I bought with the jeans.  

I decided I would not let this series of unfortunate events affect my mood and decisions, so I pushed everything to the back of my mind and moved on with my day. 

While I was coming home from university, I stopped at Tesco to check the products in the reduced-price section, as I always do — shout out to the workers at Tesco on Union Street who see me going in, do the exact same path and walk out with a pile of discounted random stuff every evening. I saw a couple of discounted soups from a brand I like, got excited and bought them. Once home, I started organising my perfect evening: I lighted up a sandalwood candle, changed into my pyjama and started looking through the Netflix catalogue while heating one of the soups. Now, I am a creature of habit, I have been ordering the same pizza for the last 12 years (feel free to psychoanalyse me); therefore, I usually only eat the soups I like. But that day the mushroom soup was discounted, I don’t mind mushrooms, so I told myself I’d give it a try. The first spoon I put in my mouth, I started sobbing. The mushroom soup tasted like mushrooms. Duh? I know (feel free to psychoanalyse me pt.2). That soup was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. All the suppressed rage and sadness of the day (*week/month) came back at once to the point where my hands were tickling, looking for something to break or push.  

I took my sweet time wallowing in my sadness, then I got up, one foot after the other, picked up my backpack and headed to the gym. I’m not saying all your problems will go away after a good workout, but pushing your muscles under the weight of a barbell does help release some of the rage accumulated over time. Not to mention that main character feeling that you get running with Gloria Gaynor screaming ‘as long as I know how to love, I know I’ll stay alive’ in your ears. 

When I went home later that night, after taking a nice hot shower, I was grateful I had found a way to handle my anger without hurting myself or others. Nevertheless, I was still mad. And that is okay, because at least I was feeling that emotion, understanding where it comes from and accepting it. I spent so many years scared of the consequences of my anger that I never learnt how to feel it or cope with it. Though eventually, all emotions resurface, and you have to properly deal with them. This rage is not going anywhere, but neither am I. Still here, still angry, still grateful, still going.  

Have a yellow week everyone. 

Emma Chen

Aberdeen '24

I am Emma (she/her) and I am a Zoology student at the University of Aberdeen. I have always been passionate about reading and writing, my phone's notes contain more streams of consciousness than Virginia Woolf's books.