Mistaking Opportunity for Stress

The fall semester of my junior year, I was in over my head. The word stress couldn’t even describe how I felt for more than half of the semester. I thought a job, internship, mentoring program, two leadership positions and my four classes was going to be busy, but bearable. I was good at time management and thought my dedication would pull me through. I was so wrong.

Running from class to meetings to the library to work to meetings and back to work took a toll on me. I let it consume me, which lead to several breakdowns throughout the semester.

I remember one day, I was running to Walmart to grab supplies for the PRSSA trifold to be displayed at the involvement fair. I was crunched for time and started to feel the anxiety kicking in while sitting at a red light. Then it hit me out of nowhere. Why on earth am I becoming stressed with such a simple task right now? What I’m doing right now is an opportunity not many others have. The opportunity to go to school. The opportunity to be the co-president of an organization. The opportunity to have my own car. The opportunity to be supported by my parents. The list could go on and on. Every day and every position or internship I attained was an OPPORTUNITY. Once I said this in my head, the stress immediately faded away.

We choose the opportunities we make for ourselves and it’s our decision how we want to react to them. Being busy doesn’t have to directly correlate to stress. It’s about prioritizing and being thankful for taking on responsibility. Being involved on campus or in our communities allows us to grow as people and expand our life experiences.

However, at times it truly can become overbearing. If taking on too much at one time starts to have a negative impact on your life, then do something about it. We’re in charge of our lives and complaining about it won’t solve anything. With that being said, I quit my job at the end of the semester to focus on academics and my internship since it was independent work around my own time and I had unconsciously neglected it. Find what’s best for you because if your daily life starts to negatively impact your health, then it’s not worth it. Life is short. Do what makes you happy.

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