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Confession: I’m Less Stressed When I’m In School…

The end of the summer means Netflix binges have to come to a close and it’s time to enroll in classes for the fall. I feel excited and anxious at the same time; glad that structure will return to my days, even if it limited my free time. My mind constantly races, thoughts flying by in the blink of an eye, too fast for me to decipher them. When it becomes overwhelming, it begins to develop into an anxious feeling in my stomach and a lump in my throat. School lets me break up the chaos that is my mind and allows me to focus on my goals. My competitive drive takes over and I can laser-focus on giving every ounce of effort to get that “A”.

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Confession: I’m Less Stressed When I’m In School…

For the last year, my life has lost any sense of structure and order. I haven’t enrolled in classes since 2015 and I lost my job this past March. Work gave me a reason to wake myself up at a certain time each morning instead of sleeping in until I felt like getting up. I remember how passionately I hated my alarm clock and I dreamed of throwing it across the room. No longer am I a slave to my alarm clock, but I am not exactly happy, either. I have too much free time on my hands (believe me, too much of a good thing makes you lose appreciation for it) and not enough structured time.

As an army wife, I constantly deal with battles concerning my husband’s PTSD and the anxiety that I feel when I am unable to help him. The weight isn’t just on his shoulders, but on mine as well; it is my honor and duty to help him through each day the best way I can. At times, my life can be like a stink bomb, leaving me suffocating from the pressure I always seem to be under. When I feel like throwing my hands up in frustration and just giving up, I turn on Hulu and fall down the rabbit hole. I love getting lost in an episode of Mistresses because I can say f*** it to my problems and gasp at the drama that ensues within a 45 minute show. Each character has their own set of flaws, way more noticeable than mine lol, and each story line shows how anxiety is a part of their lives.

I felt so proud when I finished Stranger Things, but the satisfaction quickly faded and my anxiety came rushing back when I realized I had nothing left to watch. I sped through Orange is the New Black about two or three days after it was released after finally catching up on the latest season of Game of Thrones. The knots in my stomach were back and I knew I couldn’t just sit around anymore. I grabbed my laptop and began the process for enrolling in classes at the community college (conveniently located just behind my neighborhood, no less). The lump in my throat grew smaller and I began to feel a sense of peace wash over me.

The ability to dive headfirst into someone else’s reality for a time being is my version of a much needed vacation. School, on the other hand is something more permanent, like moving into a new house and being able to start fresh. The last few months have made me realize that there is a void in my life. I tried pretending like it’s not there, but my anxiety is a definite sign that it is real. I tried to drown myself in endless marathons of my favorite shows, but the escape was only a temporary fix. I need to fill the hole instead, with school. I need something that is truly all my own in life, a goal that I can work towards, so that I can have something in which to truly be proud.

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