In the past two and a half weeks, I have…
Finished my honors thesis.
Recovered from being sick.
Began the recovery process regarding other health-related states.
Submitted my housing application for a real place in the real New York City.
Saw two friends tie the knot in a beautiful ceremony.
Moved out of my apartment and… back to my parents’.
Finished three books (and counting).
Throughout all of that I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. Imagine, using my critical thinking processes–something only a post-grad would do!
I’ve had a very easy and lucky time so far. That doesn’t mean I didn’t work hard, but the opportunities that have come my way and the ease with which I was able to acquire what I needed is remarkable, as it is for many young Americans in my position. I also didn’t do anything special to deserve this ease of living, but there you have it.
Unsurprisingly, I’ve taken this for granted (and will probably continue to do so with most things). I’m a big complainer, and I know it (and my family nods their heads). Even though I recognize my good fortune, I am not always aware of it as I should be–instead I complain about all the stress.
And man, do I have a lot of stress. Why? Sure, I usually have a lot on my place, but it could always be worse. I’ve begun to realize there are two things that I need to cut down on the stress I feel: a medicinal remedy and a healthy dose of perspective.
For one thing, the inordinate amount of stress I have been feeling has some biological roots. That’s been difficult for me to grasp and to talk about, but I’ve finally come to terms with doing what I need to so that I regain my health. Thankfully, I have a great support system for that.
The other concurrent solution involves repeating to myself phrases like “it’s not the end of the world,” and “it’ll be fine” (as fellow students in my community have heard from our favorite professor more than usual lately) instead of wallowing in self pity about the mountains of obstacles in my way. I was reminded of the importance of this the other day when I recalled to my mother the first day of college orientation. I distinctly remember going home and having a near-panic attack over what classes I would enroll in the next day. I said to her, “I have no idea why I was freaking out about something so small!” The look she gave me said it all. Most of the things I have intensely worried about eventually won’t matter all that much. I just need to keep it all in perspective.
A big part of this, of course, includes removing myself from environments, created by people and things, that encourage destructive thinking, pettiness, or general negativity. Even though it’s hard for me to actively consider these things, it’s important for me to realize the impact someone or something is having on my psyche and either remove that influence or work to overcome it. I will definitely be focusing more on enjoying the next couple of months before a big shift to law school rather than weighing my mind down with unnecessary problems.