I started out typing this in reply to L’s post but then I realised I had a bit too much to say.

Breakdowns seem to be the norm these days. The amount we have to learn has increased (along with students’ capability) but I think the stress of performing is what gets to us. Something, some level of achievement, is expected of us and when we think about it, we get stressed.

However different situations, condensed, there are only two reasons you’ll break down.

Here’s one:

Others don’t know what you’re going through. There is this constant competition of “who has more work and whose luck is the shittiest”. A person who is not in your position says that you don’t have to be stressed. You only have to do this much while I have so-n-so to do! What I feel like saying in reply is, “Granted I don’t know how much you have and your stress. But don’t act as if you know my life and judge. You only know how much I tell you.” Assuming that everyone else has it worse and you should in fact be greatful, you keep your stress down. Let me tell you, you don’t get rid of it, it just bottles up. Every remark, every sentence that makes you worry adds up and one day a very teeny tiny thing can make you blow. You shouldn’t think that this is such a small thing and I shouldn’t breakdown about this because its not only that. Since the last time you cried or released your emotions this has been coming.

You are allowed to stress; you are allowed to whine; you are allowed to shed tears. It’s not going to make you seem weak or portray you as someone who can’t handle it. This is human nature. We let all negative remarks, however small, get to us and we act out. I’m not going to tell you to ignore all of them—you can’t. Ignore some, yes, but not everyone.

So let it outOnce in a while when the stress seems to be getting to you, do some exercise, feel your muscles burning. Let those emotions out in energy, little at a time. DON’T BOTTLE IT UP UNTIL YOU HAVE A BREAKDOWN.

The second scenario:

You psych yourself out. The above specified reasons apply but in the end YOU start thinking into it too much and worrying about what if you don’t perform up to the mark or what will others think about me?  By doing this, you only increase your stress.

Don’t overthink things. You have to learn and perform? Do it. Don’t start thinking about what if you don’t. Have confidence. You will not blow this, you’re awesome, you’re capable. How will you ever know your maximum capability if you start increasing your own stress? Whatever you’re supposed to perform through, have faith and assume that this is something of your level. This isn’t something out of your reach if you believe in yourself. And no, the “believe in yourself” line isn’t used only in life-changing situations. It applies in every case where you require it.

In January, my SAT date clashed with my science lab tests even though we were told that the tests would only start from Feb. To be able to write SAT, I had to perform through two tests in one day with timings of 8:30 am to 11:30 am and 11:30 am to 2:30 am. It left me with no break or time to relax. Due to reasons I don’t want to mention right now because I might need a whole another post for THAT rant, I psyched myself out so much near the end of my first test. I was worried and my heart started pumping really fast and I just wanted to breathe. I felt suffocated, worried, and highly stressed. I couldn’t have a minute alone because of my schedule. It wasn’t my fault, totally the external examiner’s she was so rude so rude so rude when she was the one at fault. I had tears in my eyes when I came out of the lab and quite some classmates and friends were out. I’m this person who just isnt used to showing emotions but one of my best friends was there and saw the tears forming in my eyes. She tried to calm me down because I have another test too but I just ran off because I didn’t want anyone to know I was crying.

As I climbed up two floors, I breathed deep and tried to calm myself down. Another best friend, Kav, saw my expression from a few feet and I shook my head. If anyone asks me “are you okay?” I’ll breakdown right there. I took out my stuff for the next test (thankfully they decided to start at 12) and a friend HAD to ask me that question. My eyes filled with tears and with blurred sight I immediately navigated to the washroom leaving my stuff on the hallway floor. I think Kav noticed me rushing off and came to console me. It was so embarrassing to cry in front of everyone when I was used to not crying in front of anyone since 4th grade. That further pushed me off. Somehow, I managed through. When I got back home and reviewed everything in my mind, I realised I actually had done pretty well in both tests.

My point is, you stress yourself out and you don’t need anymore. You can do it. Just believe that you can. Prepare, learn. But don’t sart thinking it’s too much for you. Like a friend of mine told me years back for something, you’ve finally got a challenge of your level. This isn’t above you.

 

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