It is hard to comprehend that I am am turning 21 on Tuesday. And no, I will not be drinking. Yes, you read that right. No alcohol for moi.
No, I have had it before and in fact love my mixed drinks and wine (so tasty). I just have finally made the proactive choice to not drink at this point in my life, for a couple of different reasons.
- I need my liver uninhibited. I dread the possibility that my current RA meds will become ineffective for any number of reasons and the next strongest stuff takes a toll on the liver, so I would like to keep it as healthy as possible.
- I like being in control. When I drink, I lose fine motor control, like everyone else. But I am incredibly upset by the fact that I have to think really hard about not slurring my words and what it is I am saying. I get stressed by the fact there is so much I cannot have control over, so intentionally putting myself in a situation where I lose control my faculties even a little bit is enough to send me weeping.
- I don’t like how sad it makes me. As someone who deals with depression and sadness alcohol is literally a horrible idea. Its a downer which makes it even a worse experience when I suddenly become a weeping mess. Not to mention I cannot emotionally bring myself to physically function the next day.
- There is a medical history of addiction in my family, and with this I have chosen to follow my parents choice to refrain from alcohol, and refrain from exposing myself to that possibility.
- I just don’t want to. Yeah its tasty sometimes, but in my opinion it isn’t that fun.
For my birthday, unlike last year, I won’t be doing anything exciting. I am going to lunch with my parents, working, going to class, and then I have an honor society induction that evening. I’ll have a lot of homework to do and a paper to work on. And I don’t have a car, and my friends are really to busy to do anything. That makes me a little sad, but I guess I just have to cope with that. A lot of people don’t understand how important my birthday or celebrating it is to me, because its about managing to make it another year despite everything. So I guess I will celebrate it on my own, just like last year. And that wasn’t so bad. At least I’ll get a real birthday treat this year, not a brownie flavored protein bar. Ice Cream, here I come!
In other news, I have figured out my class schedule for next year, and will be registering in two weeks. I should get into everything I need. Hopefully. I mean I will be a senior…even though I will be in Ithaca an extra semester. And besides, I’m am preregistered for most of those classes so its really just one that I actually need to worry about.
My arthritis flared up last week and it was really frustrating. I think the stress of everything right now is not sitting well with it, so I have put myself back on my 81mg aspirin routine and it seems to be doing just fine. I definitely will never again be taking an 18 credit semester. It works when you are only taking 100 and maybe some 200 level classes, but with upper level classes? Forget it.
There is a month left of school, and I can totally make it. I think.
Midterms are the worst because mentally you can never prepare, and you still have class to go to and homework while trying to write essays worth 30% of your grade while somehow not going crazy. So what is a stressed college kid to do but procrastinate?
- Exercise. Go to the gym, go to exercise class, decide to pick up water polo. I mean, at least it will help you with stress and sleeping. So that makes it productive and necessary right?
- Go to a career related workshop then update your LinkedIn. Heck, update all your social media: profile pictures, bios, do some posts, share some photos. This includes updating your icon image for all your emails: personal and school. While your at it, have a new head shot taken.
- Volunteer to model for you friend’s photo shoot they have to do as an assignment. That makes you a good friend because YOU are helping them get their homework done. And I mean, someone’s homework got done for crying out loud.
- Sleep. Take a nap. Learn how to sleep sitting up. Contrary to popular belief, sleep is crucial. So don’t skimp unless you have to.
- Plan how you are going to study and get everything done. Then don’t follow the plan and watch everything fall out of place and get more stressed out.
- Do research for your paper that is due at the end of the semester. It is a bigger percentage of your grade and I mean you do need to find those sources so you can maybe read them during break next week.
- Watch puppy videos, because they make you feel not stressed and sad about life for 30 seconds at a time.
- Take a shower. You feel like you can conquer anything when you are squeaky clean and smell like a garden.
- Organize your bookshelf and all your books. You need to know where everything is and know you have refreshed your memory and will be able to find everything when you finally sit down to study.
- Eat and hydrate. One cannot think on an empty stomach, nor when one is dehydrated. Also, I can’t be the only one who sometimes eats their feelings. And I mean you do kinda need to clear out the fridge of anything that might go bad over spring break.
- Speaking of spring break, why not plan everything you are going to do now? Organization is the key to success!
- Change your sheets so that when you nap and sleep you are enveloped in the comfort of clean smelling things.
- Do Laundry. So that way you can feel semi put together in your freshly laundered sweats as you drag yourself to class half awake.
- Bond with your friends. Take these moments of stress and anxiety to take a break and get to know each other even better. You’ll be bound to get at least one laugh out of it, and laughing feels good and since you’re both stressed laughing is a good way of dealing with all of the stress that you are feeling.
- Do free writing. Write a letter, poem, short story, gay “300” erotica. At least you can say you were motivated about something. And writing is incredibly therapeutic.
- Have a minor existential crisis about what you are doing, your life, what you are studying.
- Call your parents. Have them bring the dogs to the phone or the webcam so that you can talk to them, and your parents can tell you how they recognize your voice and are looking for you. At least someone loves you unconditionally and misses you.
- Decide to pick up a new hobby or skill. The more ridiculous and unrealistic and time consuming the better.
- Lie on the floor and stare at the ceiling and cry.
- Go through your clothes. Figure out what no longer fits and try on everything to find the perfect empowering power study outfit.
- Go through your backpack and clean out. In the process find the assignment sheets you probably should have located last week not the night before the paper is due. But at least you are doing it.
- Inner monologue yourself up to actually getting your work done. Because as much as you hate midterms and all the stress you’re here at college and you’ve gotten this far. You’ve got this rodeo. You can, and will survive.