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The Stress and the Bliss
The Awkward In-Betweens in Life
Summer should be a time of relaxation and enjoyment. A time where there are no assignments due at midnight or an 8 AM class the next day. It is during this time, however, where I feel the most stressed out and anxiety filled. The show Phineas and Ferb states it best when they state that there is so much pressure to enjoy summer vacation. Not only this but how do you transition from doing every activity you possibly can to waiting and having free time? I have compiled a list of helpful tips on how to survive this in-between spot. This spot of being in the middle is a problem faced by every generation. For the sake of this article, I will be telling it from the coming home from a college perspective.
Like many others, I travel out of state for a university. While I am out there, besides my loving friends, I am on my own. I cannot go home every weekend or every time I do not feel like making my food. When this happens, one becomes self-sufficient (If they had not been already). With this power comes great responsibility. You decide when you need to get up to start assignments, where you can get jobs, what activities you can join, and how much interaction with others you can handle in one sitting. And all of these are continually changing. Personally, I like to be over-involved, to feel useful. Some examples include joining a sorority, newspaper, band, small ensembles, honor societies, and other on-campus organizations. Now, to be able to afford all of this and be able to meet my human needs, I need to work. Find a job that works best with your schedule, even if it means you lose some social time. Now, this is not easy to do, but once you get the time management of it all down, it is almost calming. It is nice to be relied on and feel like you have a purpose. This all changes when you go back home.
Finals are over, and it is time to say goodbye to the friends you have lived with for the last nine months and to pack your stuff. Alone this can be very stressful and heartbreaking. Once you grasp your head around this, however, it is just a drive home. Now, the first couple days you feel relieved! You do not have to worry about getting a paper in on time or making sure you got all of your meetings scheduled. It is just time for a break. Until you realize you need to work to save money and get everything in place for next semester. While this may be incredibly frustrating if you did not have arrangements before leaving for school, or the plans fell through, at this point, you apply everywhere and hope for a reason to get out of bed every day.
My next frustration, living at home. Coming back from school, my family had moved. So now I am in a town where I know no one, and I am not about to go beg people on the street to be my friend. So the isolation with my two toddler siblings can be a bit much sometimes. Your daily activities are following the schedule of the toddler; bedtime at 8 PM and you are sitting in your room binge-watching Netflix with headphones, so you do not wake the kids. You go from everything being on your time at your discretion to playing the sit and wait for it game. So how do you survive?
Plan for something. Have some weekend getaway with some friends at college. In doing so, you keep your communication open with them and it gives you something to look forward to in the future. Even if it is just meeting halfway and finding a mall, it gets you out of the house and socializing with something familiar.
TRY TRY TRY to have you work situation figured out before coming home. It makes it a lot easier for you to handle and it prevents the awkward layover time. Even if some plans fall through, it is good to have a backup like babysitting for a cousin or your first fast food job. Some money is better than no money. Plus, it gives you something to do.
Use this time to better yourself. I go crazy not doing anything, so I take my planner and schedule out things for myself. Including painting, crafting, learning a new language, playing an instrument, working out, or even taking online quizzes to strengthen my brain. SOME active stimulation is better than binge-watching The Office for the 15th time.
Stay hopeful. Stay positive. It is frustrating, and it is A LOT to wrap your mind around sometimes. Do not let yourself fall into the waking up every day at 1 PM and staying in pajamas all day because you can. Challenge yourself to be the best, even in this awkward transition.
I wish you the best of luck on your in-between, I believe you will do great things.