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Stop Overreacting: 5—10—15, A New Perspective on Life

My life is over…

Well… maybe not my life, but break sure is. For me, this is the final push in the spring before the beautiful, serene freedom that accompanies summer. And honestly, although it may be the hardest… I may have something to help you get over your “mid-semester slump”. It’s simple and easy to understand, but its impact has really helped me put life situations in perspective. It is called the “5—10—15”.

Say you get a C on your Economics quiz, or you accidentally drunk text your ex-boyfriend something ridiculously embarrassing the night before. Do you choose to hate yourself for it…? Or maybe spend hours thinking about how that one C will keep you unemployed for the rest of your life, or that text will equate to social suicide (think the Burn Book… but way, way worse…trust me)?

As much as I despise the A-word… us young ADULTS are smack dab in the middle of a society perpetuated by drama, gossip, and judgment. Our each and every move is easily scrutinized—whether it’s with a response in the form of a laugh, text, or tweet praising our shortcomings rather than our strengths. Rather than raise us up, society has taught us to knock ourselves down. Small mishaps—such as that one teeny, tiny C—accumulate inside of us, creating a wall between who we think we are and the beautiful individuals we have come to be.

So, here it is: the new (and slightly tweaked) “Golden Rule”:

Take your drunk text, for example: Embarrassing, perhaps. Life changing…highly doubtful.

            5— Realistically, in 5 days, will this action still be tearing you up inside?

            10— In 10 months, will you still be tripping?

            15—And finally, in 15 years… is this ever going to cross your mind?

Although your lack of judgment may have been missing during your roaring night out… most embarrassing, unnerving, or disconcerting situations that occur in your life come… and go. Days, months, and years may be a measure of time, but they sure are not a measure of who you are and who you can succumb to be. That fight you picked last week with your best friend probably resulted in you making up a few hours later. That assignment you forgot to turn in undoubtedly resulted in you working a little harder to make sure the next homework was your best one yet.

Personally, it is hard not to focus on the little things in life—letting them amount to more than the sum of your accomplishments. After having a rough day, a hard month, or a stressful semester, I now choose to make the conscious decision to reflect on my achievements… ignoring (although this is tough) the insignificant. Life is about the ride: bumpy, smooth, or maybe somewhere in-between. Whatever your path may be—do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. 

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Rae Wright


Rae is a junior studying Strategic Communications at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Originally hailing from Los Angeles, Rae enjoys listening to music, spending time with friends, or taking frequent drives to either Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts for a large iced coffee-- her absolute go-to.
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