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Scientists say water boils at  100 °C or 212 °F.  The boiling point of a liquid depends on temperature, atmospheric pressure, and the vapor pressure of the liquid. When the atmospheric pressure is equal to the vapor pressure of the liquid, boiling is possible. Before I bore you with more science… hear me out.

Picture this… you’re the water, atmospheric pressure is everything that is around you, and vapor pressure will eventually become your tolerance to juggle everything until you indeed... reach a boiling point. 

I'm also water, complete with a lot of atmospheric pressure. In fact, I recently found out that my vapor pressure overflow made me reach my boiling point—and it wasn’t pretty. 

You see, our atmosphere slowly heats us up, and it goes unnoticed. Between work, college assignments, trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, friends, family pressures, and a nonexisting dating life… my atmospheric pressure has been somewhat hard to tolerate. She’s been building up for some time and, for whichever reason, I kept ignoring it by making myself as busy as I could. I left my mental health completely aside to boil. But eventually all the papers got handed in, I clocked out of a work shift, and all that is left is the unsolved issues of my emotions. Ultimately, this resulted in many sleepless nights that eventually led to the ever famous boiling point I previously hinted at. 

[bf_image id="svq9bmn6kxj2jj4j6z57vx"] And so, after a few fights, disappointments, and writing countless unsuccessful academic papers, I reached my boiling point. But I did not realize I was in 100 °C until I shut down in the weirdest way possible. I just kept going. I was in so much pain and anger that I didn’t know what to do and just decided to keep acting normal and somehow, everything started to be somewhat okay. Why? Could it have been my defense mechanism? Maybe denial? What I know for sure is that I was about to be in normal temperatures. Maybe it was dealing with someone else’s boiling point that made mine rise just as quickly. 

Dealing with another person’s boiling point made me put my own into perspective. I used to think bottling my problems was an issue, but maybe it turned out to be a blessing. No one around me knew I was dealing with my own pain, and therefore, no one was on top of me trying to get me to cool down. I was able to find my own time to acknowledge what was happening with my boiling point and worked toward keeping it controlled. However, it took physical pain for me to literally sit down and reflect for a while. They say that if you’re at your worst point, it can only get better, that it’s gotta be wrong before it becomes right… Right? 

For a few days I felt the worst possible back pain. As a dancer and now a Crossfit wannabe, pain has always been second nature, but waking up one day and not being able to touch my toes was the clearest of the signs that my boiling point was still in full effect. So to avoid any further injuries, both physical and mentally, I took a few days off and just sat there with all of the feelings, problems, fears and actual pain I had ignored for so long. And boy was it scary!

More than a boiling point, I feel all of this has been the first “adult” experience of growing pains. Alessia Cara’s "Growing Pains" said it best: “You’re on your own, kid." And as I made my way through the motions I tried to ignore, I could not help but wonder… Is it over yet? Honey, buckle up because it is just getting started. This will be one of the many boiling points you’ll have to endure.  

José is majoring in Public Relations and Advertising. This communication undergraduate student from the UPR Río Piedras campus is an energetic Pisces with a passion for fashion, coming of age films, books, crossfit, and dance. Currently, José is a writer for HerCampus and the editorial executive and digital content creator for fashion magazine Imagen and lifestyle magazine BuenaVida.
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