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Emma Off The Record: In a Sentimental Mood

I’ve been feeling some not so good way lately. To be honest, I don’t know why. Do you ever have one of those weeks where nothing is actually wrong, but you still feel down? Whenever I’m feeling this way, I usually try to take a step back from whatever is going on in my life and attempt to diagnose the problem. What I’ve realized, though, is that sometimes the answer isn’t so clear—and that’s okay.

When I was back home this past summer, I couldn’t pinpoint exactly why I felt so sad and moody all the time. Was it because I had to leave behind Boston, and the perfect semester I was having so far? Was it because I was reverting to my old ways and letting my high school insecurities take over? Was it because I was frustrated about the pandemic and the lack of empathy I saw all over the internet? Was it a combination of all of those things and more? The answer is definitely the above. 


A woman works on a computer, and the table has a coffee cup and open notebook.
Photo by Peter Olexa from Pexels

Being home for four straight months taught me the power of letting it all out. Despite being so grateful for my wonderful family, the comforts of home, and my loved ones’ health and safety, I found that fully leaning into my most vulnerable (read: ugly cry) moments allowed me to find the most clarity and perspective. 

Flash forward to now: I’m settled in my apartment in Boston, living with my close friends, and chugging along through the semester. Most of the time, I am pretty occupied with work and extracurricular activities, but there are some days where I wake up and feel like I can’t be productive. I distract myself with Instagram, cleaning out my inbox, or tidying up the apartment. By the time I make it through my list of procrastination methods, I can’t even bring myself to have a good cry session. 

This slumpy feeling has definitely been happening more frequently as the semester draws close, and the world seems to be entering lockdown again. Some weeks I have piles of reading to get through and essays to write, but other weeks I have one or two assignments to take care of, which leaves me with a lot of time to sit around and worry about the future. It’s this confusing state of mind where I feel like I don’t have much to do, yet I’m extremely overwhelmed.

I was planning on going home for part of winter break, but I’m honestly afraid of flying back to California and putting my family at risk. I barely feel comfortable leaving my apartment to run simple errands. I’m already starting to stress out about next semester since I have no idea what classes I’m taking or if I want to rework my schedule to fit in an internship (if I manage to swing one, that is). Meanwhile, I’m still trying to stay focused on the present moment and make sure I end this already unusually fast-paced semester on a strong foot. 


goals, coffee, notebook
Photo by Estée Janssens from Unsplash

It’s a lot to take in, but I’m trying to find ways to keep my spirits up and stay motivated. This week’s playlist is full of the moody, broody tunes that pretty much summarize how I’m feeling as of late, plus a few slightly more uplifting tracks to balance out the melancholy vibes. This playlist’s title is an ode to one of my favorite jazz songs of all time played by legends Duke Ellington and John Coltrane. Listening to sad music is pretty cathartic for me and sometimes even manages to clear the gloomy weather taking up too much mental real estate. Hopefully, this group of songs has a similar effect for anyone else experiencing the blues right now.


If anybody reading this feels the same way as I am right now, know that we really are alone together. I keep seeing this phrase strewn across billboards and my way-too-targeted Instagram ads. The thing is, this bittersweet, cheesy sentiment really encapsulates the one thing that’s giving me hope right now: we are all going through this right now, and that means we can all get through this together! 

Your mental health shouldn’t be on the back burner considering everything that’s going on right now, so try your best to prioritize taking care of yourself. I know we’ve got this! :) xoxo, Emma

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Emma is a senior at BU studying Journalism and Gender and Women's Studies in the College of Communications. She's originally from sunny Los Angeles, California. She is an avid fan of local bakeries and making oddly specific Spotify playlists.
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