One of the things that I have never ever dealt well is an intense amount of stress…or an intense amount of any emotion for that matter. In small amounts, I can process what I’m feeling, smile and then laugh it off and move on. I’ve always had a happy, go lucky attitude that is a mix of my mother’s intense positivity and my father’s dark humor. However, just like every other person, I have my breaking point and that point tends to revolve around school. This semester, I am particularly stressed about the fact that I have to take Geography: Introduction to Earth Sciences as one of my requirements to finish my degree. Not only that, but this is one of the three sciences that I have to take. As the semester progresses and my capability to grasp concepts I’ll never ever use in my field of study. Sure it’s good to know, but it’s a royal piss off that my ability to identify rocks, soils and calculate the gradient of a slop decide whether or not I get an arts degree majoring in Criminology.
Now I’ve been trying to learn how to deal with stress a little more productively than I normally do. Normally I deal with stress by whining, getting angry and ignoring the issue. Unfortunately, you can’t ignore a subject that you know nothing about. If this were a Criminology, Philosophy or Psychology course I could get mad, ignore the issue and do well because Criminology at least allows me some realm of understanding of all the social sciences and humanities departments. Geography on the other hand, I got a whole lot of nothing. Nada. I have used toilet paper. It’s gross and it’s useless. So I can’t ignore it. I have to deal with it and flush it. So I’m taking some advice that I got from a great counselor last semester and I try to let myself experience my emotions.
Which I did all weekend and all this week leading up to my lab exam. I let myself experience the stress instead of denying it. It’s apparently quicker for me to stress, freak out, break down, catalog those emotions so I can try to figure out how to deal with them better later and then get back to work. If I feel the need to take a break, I don’t wait and I take a break. I cry. I rage. I take a nap because I’m exhausted from crying and raging and then I get back to work.
However, today all of that went out the window because it was crunch time. The day of the lab exam. Gah with a side of rancid coleslaw. So instead of staying up all night trying to memorize equations and questions that I don’t understand, I went to sleep shortly after 12:30am and slept straight until 4am. Then I woke up, drank all the juice in my cup then went and finished off the jug. Already I was feeling stressed out over my exam that was in 8 hours so I stuck the empty juice jug back in the fridge and went to bed. I went back to sleep and was awake at 7:30am when I didn’t shower, put on my make up like I was a 2 bit hooker, pulled on the first pieces of clothing that I found and eventually stumbled out of the door in flip flops.
It was snowing.
To deal with my stress, I let myself feel stressed and I took it out on the world. I glared at the creepy guy who stands at my bus stop and told the midget lady who thought my music was loud that if she could tell me how to find the gradient of a slope then I would turn my music down. When some guy tried to talk to me on my next bus I told him that I was a convicted sex offender and asked if he wanted to come over to my house after school. At that point I knew I’d get worse if I didn’t get happy, so I channeled my ever positive momma, put on my happy music and though of nothing but pleasant A’s on my lab exam, term paper and final. I thought about numbers being easy and the fact that I had studied my booty off for this test so all I could do was my personal best and then stay positive.
After two songs I wished that my D-Cup boobies could earn my degree for me.
I reviewed my exam material with my classmates and Teacher Assistant for the rest of the morning leading up to our class time. As the morning wore on, I got quippy. Here are a few of my study time gems:
- “I need to write this exam like I need explosive diarrhea.” – Said to a classmate when he asked if I was ready for the exam after he spent 5 minuets bragging about how easy this stuff was
- “I’m too cute to do math.” – Said as I blinked up at my TA as he tried to explain how to calculate the angle of a slop.
- “Knowing what my pencil is made of takes all the fun out of learning.” – To one of my classmates who was perky, had bad breath and kept babbling about subjects not related to me calculating the percent of clay in a specimen sample.
- “Specimen sample makes me think of that time we had to collect poo in a bucked to figure out what was wrong with my sister.” – To a classmate who kept saying “specimen”.
- “I love lamp.” – Said to a classmate after she confused the hell out of me by butting in on my study time.
- “It puts the correct answers on the paper or else it takes the dumb course again.” Muttered to myself as I sat down to write my exam.
All in all…I barely finished my exam in the time allotted. I think I had a minuet left to check my answers and I had spent the entire time being confused with myself. Weirdly I remember how to calculate the location of something on a map to its nearest second arc. I also know what I’m talking about when I say I know how to do that calculation. I also know what I mean when I say the gradient of a slope is delta E over delta D multiplied by 100 to find the percent of the slope. I don’t understand the importance of it, but I understand it like understand the words that a French person says…I just don’t get the meaning.
Did I deal with the stress in a healthy and productive manner? Maybe. I didn’t get as mean as I usual do so I think that’s a step in the right direction. But I’ll put it to you good people out there: How do you deal with stress? Is it positive? Negative? Do you puke? What do you do when you’re stressed?