By the time this blog is published it will have come home… but this week I’m writing about me going away!
So the last few weeks have been hectic, finishing assignments, moving out of my uni house and sorting out my next steps. But right in the middle of the madness, I took the opportunity to meet up with my friends and camp in Cornwall for a week.
It was massively inconvenient timing that I spent Sunday lugging three massive bags to New Street and then from the station to my empty family home, having to move out early to set off the next morning. After a long drive down in torrential rain we arrived at the thankfully dry campsite and had to get the tents up fast to make a booking at the pub, and then managed to lose the tent pegs in the middle of this, causing a lot of frantic searching and wild accusations. It was at this point I realised that I was still extremely stressed!
The NHS describes stress as usually a reaction to mental or emotional pressure. It’s often related to feeling like you’re losing control over something. And when we go into stress, our body starts to release hormones that keep us on edge and it makes everything seem like a much bigger task than it is.
This was all well and good when I was trying to smash my final presentations, in fact I did great in my assignments precisely because the crushing fear of existential doom was forcing me to go back and improve, add more information and not stop thinking about my work. Great for then, but for now where my only worry needs to be finding a pub that screens England matches in Cornwall, this constant hurry and haste needed to stop. But stopping stress is tricky to do. How do you break a cycle of worry when each minute problem that appears, you extrapolate into a gigantic obstacle?
For me I only got peace once I swam in the sea for too long and ended up blue and shivering on the beach, freezing cold, unable to think. This was pure dumb behaviour. I knew I was getting too cold, but I had some ridiculous determination to keep swimming for longer as if it mattered at all. And then because of my stressed state of mind, my inability to pause and crucially knowing when to give up, I found myself with a real problem. But it was here that I let go of my stress because I finally got some perspective.
This is not a useful template to follow – if you’re still carrying pressure from exams and assignments, it’s super important to find a way to let it go before you do something dumb like me. Stress is a part of every student experience but we all cope with things differently and life rarely follows great examples.
Have a great week. I’m writing this on Friday so I’m full of excitement for England vs Italy this Sunday – I think none of us can quite believe it!