I think I speak for us all when I say I am tired, just completely overwhelmed. After spending a semester, three whole months, trying to get all of my assignments done, make it to class on time, stay healthy and yet still somehow take care of myself, I’m exhausted. But in reality, it’s been longer than just three months; ever since classes went online in March, we’ve all been living the same life. Online classes were supposed to be easier in a way—we wouldn’t have to worry about getting sick if we didn’t go on campus—but they’ve actually been harder. I think some professors assume that since we don’t have to physically go to class and take time out of our day to commute, we must have more time to do more work, but that’s just not the case. The past semester and a half, I’ve been drowning in stress trying to find a way to juggle everything, and even though I think I have it under control, it’s when I step back that I realize I’m struggling.
It’s hard for me to admit I’m struggling, and most of the time, I’d rather struggle in silence than ask for help. I think a part of it is wanting to be an adult, someone who can handle things on her own without the help of others, but for the most part, it’s just embarrassing. I go out of my way to organize and plan my days to make sure everything is done, turned in or accomplished, but that’s not really living. Now that the semester is basically over, I’ve been reflecting recently on the past year and how I’ve managed to get by. I feel like I’ve barely even had time to think or take a minute for myself because I’ve been so wrapped up in what’s coming next. Whether it’s an assignment or a class, there’s always something more important I need to focus on or get done.
I find that the days go by faster and faster, so fast and monotonous that I hardly realize how many have gone by before the days turn into months. It’s when I start feeling so lost in life that I need something to ground me. Normally, this can just be friends or going out and doing something different, but that’s not really possible right now.
So, I got a kitten instead.
I know, what a responsible decision to make, right? But after months of living the same day over and over—wake up, go to class, do homework, take a shower, eat dinner, go to sleep—it was a relief to have something new in my life, something to take care of and help grow. Learning how to take care of her has also helped me take care of myself mentally. She makes me happy and gives me something else to think about other than school and money.
I’m not saying go out and buy yourself a kitten, unless you feel so inclined, but find something that works for you. Something that might be out of your comfort zone and a little bit impulsive, but something that brings you up from a low and reminds you of the little joys in life. It’s all right to feel lost sometimes, but it’s even more important to recognize how long you’ve been lost and find yourself again.