Tag Archive | stress

New semester, new drama

It’s currently a quarter to three. I have successfully avoided going to bed by cleaning house, doing homework and now writing a blog post.  It’s not that I don’t want to bed, it’s more that in the past few weeks I seem to have lost the ability to sleep. But, as it’s not affecting my daily activities, I’m more annoyed than concerned.

I survived last semester, despite what the frequency of my posting may have implied. In fact, I thrived. I got a 3.90 GPA for the semester. My GPA is now high enough that I can get a job on campus–you know, if there were a job opening on campus that I was qualified to do–and I have started summer semester.  I have two blocks of classes–Fit For Life (a health/exercise class) and 2D design first block, and then at the end of June, I’ll start stress management (stressed? who me?) and creative writing in the second block, with an online math class all semester long.

I’m beginning to think that the start-of-semester drama might just become a regular thing. I don’t know how what happened this week compares to what happened last semester–I suppose it’s worse, but I’m not as emotionally torn up about it.

Okay, so Monday, first day of class. Minor freak out because I’m the largest and most out of shape person in my Fit for Life class–even though that wasn’t really a surprise. Fat folk would tend to avoid that class, and get the required credit from a health class that would allow them to be sedentary. My 2D design class turned out to be nothing at all like I was expecting–and will require much more work. Slightly bigger freak out about that. After spending a lot of money on books, I came home, and began working on my online math class (I am NOT going to let myself fall behind) and then…blue screen of death.  A couple of hours trying to get the computer to restart, followed by a couple of phone calls to my computer engineer of a brother-in-law, and my hard drive died. Completely.

Yay.

Granted, it was much better to have this happen on the first day of the new semester rather than, say, three weeks ago when I was finishing up my final English paper and studying for finals, but it still left me in tears. Fortunately, the Brother-in-law has a several unused computers lying around his house and he (or, more properly, Sis) offered me use of one of them until I can get a new hard-drive.

So, Tuesday, no school, I went up to Sis’s house to trade computers (eventually, I was having car trouble on that day as well) and because she wasn’t feeling good, to keep her from killing her kids (it wasn’t QUITE that bad, but I did see some spectacular tantrums). This included several very educational games of “I Spy” to wit:

me: Is it a stoplight?

G: nope

me: is a go light?

G: YES!

It’s a little scary that I’m learning to think like a four-year old.

Then home, and more time and trips to Best Buy to set up the loaner computer than should have been strictly necessary. But, it works, I’m on line, and once again stressing over random story problems with no real-world application. But, once again, I hope that this constitutes all of the drama alotment for summer semester–or even just first block–so I can concentrate on my studying and getting through school as quickly as possible.

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Any more drama, and I’m going to have to turn into a theater major

This adult gorilla uses a branch as a walking ...

Image via Wikipedia: This has nothing to do with my post, I just thought it was amusing that it was suggested as a feature image.

I thought it was over.  I thought I had gotten all the drama out of the way for, if not the semester, than at least the first month.

I was wrong.

So, I missed the first day of school on Wednesday.  I was upset by it, but not terribly, because the first day is simply all about meeting your instructors, going over the syllabus, and making sure you have the right book(s).  For me, this semester…well, it hasn’t quite worked that way.

Anyway, what with modern technology having progressed considerably since I went to school the first time, my syllabuses can be found online. So, last night, I looked up the syllabus for the class that I missed–and, wait a minute…

The names of the lessons were along the lines of “Forming study groups” and “becoming involved” not, as one would expect from a stress management class “meditation” and “keeping thins in perspective”.  So, off to find the catalog to see if I could figure out what exactly was going on.

Well, it turns out that the class I was signed up for wasn’t stress management, it was college success, which, frankly, I should have taken ten years ago.  So, off to see if I could get that changed.

Begin act two.  Or one.  Or the prequel.  Whatever.  This drama thing really isn’t a good move for me…

So, I causally mentioned a hiccup regarding my grades a few posts ago.  Here’s what happened with that.  According to the records, I got an “E” (which is like an “F”, but for some reason, UVU doesn’t give “F”s) in my math class, which put my GPA below a 2.0, which means I got put on academic probation.  Well, I got an email from my math professor explaining that my failing grade was caused by a computer glitch, and I actually got a “D” (which still means I have to take that class over again), which would raise my GPA above 2.0, and thus take me off of academic probation.  The thing is, that hasn’t happened yet.  And, because of the academic probation, there was a hold on my record, so I couldn’t add a class, and, for some reason, I couldn’t drop the class I didn’t want.

So, off to campus today to meet with my advisor, to try and get this fixed.  After explaining the situation twice–she couldn’t understand me through the tears–she was able to take the hold off my record, and agreed that I really needed the stress management class–which, by the way, is not only full, but has a wait list that’s over 20 individuals long.  Which makes two classes now that I know I’ll be taking over the summer.

So, barring, say, a meteor strike, I figure everything that can go wrong has already, so it’ll be smooth sailing from here on out–right? Right?

Why are you laughing like that?

Deconstructing the bad day

Last week was one of the worst of my life.  Since then, I’ve been thinking about what makes a bad day, or a bad week for that matter.  Is it that the events of said day are truly horrible, or is it that we focus on the horrible, but ignore the good?

I’m inclined to believe that it’s the former.   Something happens to put us in a bad mood, and consciously or subconsciously, we focus on the things that will reinforce our bad mood–we notice the jerk who cuts us off in traffic, but not the person who lets us in.  We gripe about forgetting our umbrella, but don’t notice how wonderful the rain is.

Sunday, things turned around for me.  I made it to church–I’m claiming all three meetings, but that might be stretching it–I had what amounted to a therapy session during Sunday School.

I’ve been trying to focus more on the positive in my life, and let the stress go–something that’s nigh-on impossible for me.  I know that it’s foolish to worry about things that I can’t control.

For now, all I can do is focus on my schooling, and know that whatever happens, happens.  I’m trying not to stress, but that can always lead to stressing because I’m stressed out, which just turns into this whole big mess…

One Week

My calendar tells me that it’s been less than a week since I went back to school.  That can’t be right.

Last week was insane, to say the least.  Every day was filled with some sort of stress, mostly of my own creation, but others…well, for instance, Wednesday morning, I was awakened when my sister called me to tell me she didn’t need surgery.

I hadn’t known that she might have needed surgery–so, okay…

After realizing I needed a change in attitude, and after trying very hard to change said attitude, things have gotten much easier. I’m getting back into the swing of student life, and, have found out a few little things that make my life much easier–like I don’t need a parking permit to park on campus on Saturdays–which is nice, because my Saturday class starts at 8am, but the buses don’t start running until 8:30.

An odd thing has happened, too.  All of a sudden, when I have stuff to do, I’m aware of the time when I don’t have anything to do.  My days now have a purpose, but once that purpose is fulfilled, or before it is time to start that purpose, I’ve become bored and restless.

Maybe that means that I’m ready to start looking for a job again.

I’m still anxious when I’m on campus.  I had dismissed the notion of getting Lulu certified as a service dog so she could come to school with me, but today, as my Isaiah class filled out, I began to revisit the idea.

I hate to think that I’ve fallen so far from the person I was, but I have.  I know I need to be around people, as annoying as they are, to be healthy and happy.

It doesn’t make the transition from being a hermit any easier, though.

Turning anxiety into confidence

I was happy an hour ago.

Really.

This afternoon, I went up to my sister’s house, I needed to take care of my ticket (by taking care of my registration before paying the ticket, they knocked 25% off the fine), and I needed to return a Buzz Lightyear toy that G left at my house, and Sis convinced me that I needed to see E crawl, a skill he learned yesterday.  (He hasn’t figured out that he can move one hand at a time, so he’ll pick both hands up, causing him to do a nose dive, scootch his knees forward, then do it again. It’s hilarious!)

It didn’t take much talking to convince Sis to go shopping for school supplies with me–I’ve decided that I’m going to UVU, and have started on the process of getting my acceptance finalized, and the credits that will transfer transferred, and I know there’s a few things that I’d need no matter what, namely, a backpack, notebooks, and pens and pencils.

On the way home, I was thinking about what a big step this is, and a conversation I’d had earlier in the day, and my confidence started to slip. I thought about my previous attempts at school, the train wreck that is my emotional life, and money.  Always that stressor, money.

I know that avoiding doing for fear of failure, or making a mistake is not living life, neither is being so afraid of conflict that I let other people dictate my every move.

On the drive home, I noticed a few billboards for Intermountain Health Care that had slogans like “Turn anxiety into confidence”.  I know the message that they were trying to convey was along the lines of “Medical issues are scary.  Our staff is knowledgeable, and will educate you so your disease or the disease of your loved ones is less frightening” but I took a more personal message from it–that I really do need to turn my anxiety about life in general into confidence.

I wish I knew how.

One of the things that I was noticing more was all the ads, all the signs that surround us on a daily basis.  Every single ad, every billboard, every package of every product was designed by a graphic designer or artist (some of them were me–I used to work in a sign shop, and I took a detour on my way home from work, which lead me past a couple of signs that I designed).  One of the things that I’ve worried about, and have had worried about to me was the availability of work.  Mom, I’m going back to school to make it easier to find work. There are jobs–and hopefully, by the time I graduate, I’ll be able to find a company that needs an in-house designer, or an ad agency that’s hiring, or something else.

And it’s what I love doing, and that makes all the difference, right?

It’s been stormy the past few days, and I’ve wondered if that’s had an affect on my mood–I think it has, but not directly.  The dogs were crazy yesterday, and I was mad at both of them, but, according to the book I’m reading now (Inside of a Dog: What a Dog Hears, Sees and Knows) that was likely because the higher winds were kicking up all sorts of new and exciting smells.  Today, the rain has calmed everything down, including the dogs.

The other thing is my bad hip has been aching constantly–again, likely due to the changes in the weather, and it’s hard to keep a positive outlook when you hurt so badly you think you’re going to throw up.

I really am trying to stay positive, even if I’m prone to crying at random moments (most of the time it has nothing to do with the moment I’m actually in–but rather something I’m thinking of.)  What happens next is too important–I can’t blow this.

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