Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Switching Gears

I was looking around my room last night and was horrified to find out that I had been forgetting to clean it the past two months. Not that it looked atrocious or really all that unmessy to the general visitor, but after being in the habit of obsessively cleaning my hardwood floors every other day, the dust that I knew I would find and that pile of laundry in the corner weren't making things better.  All stages of summer were just hanging around sucking the motivation out of the place. For example... I should be working on my resume but oh look there is my tennis racket...anyone want to hit?! The entire day I mentally prepared for the intense cleaning I was going to do when I got off work because both myself and my room needed it. I had bags of things. It was like I spent my entire summer living on foot out of some random over sized bag that looked horribly banged up and worn from grinding the skin off my shoulders as I trekked around doing whatever I just spent my entire summer doing (working). Literally I had accumulated four tooth brushes, random un-matched socks, and for some reason lots of unused napkins.

I finally got home so excited to clean it all and found myself done a mere half hour later. So the big room cleanse wasn’t as eventful as I thought… nor was it as messy as I was hoping. Classes were starting the next day and I realized a lot of the stress was coming from the fact that we are transitioning back into school. The thought of managing 7 classes, jobs, workouts, clubs, and a social life made me want to drop kick my planner out of the third story window in hopes that it could all just work itself out...clearly not the case. For some reason my brain didn’t (and still on day two of classes really doesn’t) want to go back to school. I don’t know why it wouldn’t want to change gears…obsessively relying on blackboard to tell you what you will be doing next and discussion boards that won’t load on your computer that are due in 30 minutes for 50% of your grade sound like a blast! Anyways…I tried to think of other things that could be done to help trick myself into thinking that colder months, hours of note taking, and the fear of not graduating could be more enjoyable than spending afternoons by the pool, or having the time to read a book that doesn’t cost $500.

loved these relaxing summer mornings
Here are a few that I came up with…

1. Throw away unnecessary last year school junk: as I was cleaning I came across this 6 page handwritten mess I actually turned in for a grade last year and the wave of school anxiety began to surface. Looking back on all of the hard work you put in during previous year’s work for many can feel intimidating, unless you are truly one of those go get em’ students who lives for long weekends of APA formatting. 

some gals working on their fitness
2. Restock hygiene products: your deodorant-less summer may have been acceptable since you spent it on the beach, but intro to sociology doesn’t need to know about your brief lifestyle change. You will feel better if you show up feeling clean and sanitary.

3. If all else fails…run through it: Figure out how to sweat about it.  What screams sweltering 90 degree summer day like sweat dripping down your face and awkwardly sporting a t-shirt that is soaked in all the most flattering areas? Integrating fitness into your new school schedule has infinite health benefits (that I am sure we will tell you more about :]).  Exercise allows you to channel all of the back to school energy into something productive.

4. Look in the mirror really fast: so the last time you got a hair cut there was snow on the ground. And your makeup may have gone missing since it melted off in the heat anyways.  No big deal but you may want to consider not looking like a member of the white walkers (Game of Thrones reference see picture here) on the first day. Besides, nothing resets the dread of anything like a new hair-cut and fresh appearance.  

5. Don’t hate me but, check your check book (Had to say it): When you are about to transition back into a new phase of your life your entire daily routine will change as well. This means that while you may have avoided knowing the true balance for the past few months, chances are you will need to assess the damage done on those three vacations you took.  Dread is a very accurate way to describe how many students feel about finances, but the more you understand where your money goes, the easier it will be to avoid those emotional back to school shopping sprees. 
sorry for this moody candid but I <3 tea
6. Do spend money on: a travel coffee mug (or the alike). Whether you are on the morning caffeine or not the daily habit of starting your day off in a certain way is extremely beneficial. Research studies show that daily routines as simple as a morning cup of coffee can help calm stress and give the individual the comfort to go and take on the day in a slightly more coherent manner.  Your daily stress reliever may not come in the form of a travel mug, but find something that works for you.  For many it is a workout, listening to music, sitting down to breakfast etc. As long as your cute travel mug doesn’t become 12 donuts on a daily basis (i.e taking healthy to sugar coma). 

Once you establish your routine, the rest will follow.