Monday, October 31, 2011

"Am I more stressed out this year than last year?"


I think we are. Everybody we know is having a rough or stressful or life-changing semester. Ours is simply stressful; some grades haven't been what we wanted them to be and there are always teachers/fellow students to grapple with. And it's been this way every semester. I have end-of-the-semester stress symptoms every May and December.

It seems to be worse this year, however. Last Fall I was still baking, actively planning Christmas and making sure my friends felt the love of the season. This Fall I collapse on the couch to start watching my stressed-out go-to show: The Gilmore Girls. No baking has been done, Christmas planning will just have to wait, and does anyone actually want a Thanksgiving dinner or can we just do pizza?

I've analyzed the situation, of course, and I have come up with two reasons for our extra-tiredness:
#1: Our class levels are higher. There is a huge difference between a 100-level course (that's a beginner class) and a 400-level class (that's a class that grads can also take). Three of mine are 300-level classes and one is a 400-level. Damm's are constantly getting more complicated and building on what he learned the previous semester.

#2: We've depleted our backup stores of emotional and physical energy. We started this whole college thing back in the Spring of 2009. We still have (after this semester) three more grueling semesters to go. This is the Hump Semester, if you will.

I think the Spring semester will be better. I'm filling in some educational gaps and I'm taking a 100-level course and a 200-level course (and also a 300-level and 400-level). My stress will most likely be lower. Damm's won't, but at least he'll feel like we're finally going downhill (to the summer) rather than uphill (building towards another semester).

In the meantime I have a PowerPoint project to finish, a research paper to write, a group presentation to prepare and several papers and tests that I know are coming up. Not sure what Damm is doing. Feel free to offer up a prayer or two for us this week:)

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