College Life: Learning To Stay Calm

Our Scarsdale High alum and college senior writes about the stresses of college life.

When your professor looks you square in the eye and tells you, “You really need to calm down,” you know you’ve hit a bad place in terms of overwhelming hysteria.

There is a reason I’m panicked. Six classes and internship give me plenty to worry about towards the end of the semester, as well as applying for graduation, applying for an online course during the winter semester so I can graduate, finding another internship for next semester and general worry and planning for my imminent future as a college graduate in need of work. I tell myself it’s alright to feel a bit panicked. These things deserve being worried over, and that nervous energy pushes me to accomplish the things I have to do, makes me work harder and more productively.

However, that state of hyperactive fear comes with some pretty serious downsides. I’m sure that it’s eating days off my life, lowering my immune system, which is why I’m suddenly suffering from a no-nonsense cold. More importantly, the panic doesn’t truly set in until the last possible moment. I’m 24-hours away from a deadline and shaking so badly I’m almost vibrating as I type on the keyboard. I force the work out of me and hand it in, but I’m sure that it’s not my best, not the top quality of work I’m capable of producing.

The cycle continues all the time, though I’d like to say that during this year I’ve been making some progress to break the habit. Especially in the beginning of the semester, when I was busy but not past a point I was capable of dealing with.

Now, when each class has a deadline and everything is due at the same time, the panic kicks back into overdrive, convincing that professor of mine that I’m a crazy person. In my defense, he did inform me that I had to write 40 pages of my fiction story instead of 30 pages, a week before it was due.

That justifies it a little bit, right?

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