The best support is the people around you.
This week was (and continues to be) one of the busiest weeks of my life. I realized that Grad School was a thing I should start looking into, I had two papers for classes due, a meeting with my directed study advisor, and I had two papers for my special issue in a journal I am editing. Along with my regular President/Captain duties.
And so, I started spending hours upon hours in the library. The library isn’t really so good for short bursts of study time – you need to find a good 2-3 hour block to really hammer out ideas if you want to go there. Not because of busyness or anything, but because, well… it takes some time to get comfortable there.
Okay, yes, those are my feet. I know it’s weird, but I really can’t get comfortable in shoes! And usually I keep my socks on, but it was just so warm that day!!! The best strategy is to take off your shoes, sprawl out (or lay down, like that girl decided to do) and just get to work. Or sit by the big windows and enjoy the fall weather.
Either way, the library didn’t work. Well, it worked fine, but it didn’t completely take down the piles of manuscripts I have to complete by the end of the week. So, finishing off my communication essay, I went off to print out some sources for my political science directed study. As a Clark student, you get $35.00 in printing allowance at about 6 cents a page. Paper is double sided unless otherwise asked. This helps keep us as-green-as-we-can-be-while-still-understanding-how-important-it-is-to-read-papers-in-their-physical-copy.
Yep. I burned through my whole allowance.
But printing out the research made me really excited about my research again, which was quite needed as a boost to continue on that project. I’ll get to actually reading them later… but even then, I still had my other papers to deal with. It’s a weird thing when papers are your way to procrastinate other papers. But the best way to motivate yourself is to have friends to work with you! Jenna stopped by to help me stay focused and keep me working.
But even with friends motivating you, sometimes it’s still too much. And then… something amazing happens.
My teammate and good friend David had heard from someone else that I was super stressed this week. And he called me and said that he was outside the dining hall with something for me. He brought me a mug of his favorite tea and just said that he had heard I was stressed and to remember to take it easy and it would get better. The fact that it was just completely out of the blue, that I didn’t even tell David I was stressed – speaks volumes about how people here at Clark are.
I’m sure everyone can tell you these kinds of stories. That a friend gave you some chocolate because you were sad. But here at Clark – I still think it’s different. This wasn’t just “Oh, hey, you just spent twenty minutes complaining about your workload so I know what’s up” but this was just someone hearing from someone else that I wasn’t in the best place and they wanted to make sure I was doing okay.
So, sure, there are ways to handle your stress by yourself – taking your shoes off, procrastinate, talk to friends… but the best way to really handle stress is to have the support system there around you. Even when you least expect it, they’ll be there to catch you.