Not even three weeks into the semester and things are already starting to hit the fan. Essay deadlines have suddenly become relevant, midterms have reared their ugly heads and I still have no idea when those books I ordered on Amazon will arrive. That being said, there is still a little bit of good that can be extracted from each passing day. Be it the absolute bangers blasted at the DUC-ling or the giant, inflatable rubber duck that sits proudly on McDonough Field, immerse yourself in the little brushstrokes of this mess of a canvas to drown out the tightening vice of your course load.
I impulsively made a trip to the Robert W. Woodruff Library last Saturday since I had nothing else to do. I passed by a couple on my way there, sitting on the bench outside of the Candler Library, enjoying the cool breeze in this sweltering summer. All I could hear was a boy mumble something, followed by a girl using a cocktail of expletives with a loving tone.
I entered the library and proceeded to study human physiology. I opened a bag of potato chips, but after I finished it, I did not feel full.
I cannot quite put my finger on what is wrong, but I end each day and start the next one like mechanical clockwork. No particular second in my day stands out. I want to be a doctor and yet I am still pelted by this overarching melancholy. I am wounded but there is no blood.
I am literally emailing an anthropomorphic skeleton anonymously in order to vent out my problems, symptomatic of how desperate I am to vent.
How can I ever be happy if working to achieve my dreams is not sufficient?
Dear (Melanc)holy cow,
The bonds you form are the most important things that exist. No matter how many As you get in human physiology, no matter how many questions you answer in class and no matter how many obscure, serpentine business clubs you join, all of those things are fundamentally unfulfilling achievements.
Things can be different though if you take that first bold step.
Ask some people on your floor if they want to watch a movie and enjoy a few thrilling hours of “It Follows,” getting to know the worst sides of them as they bawl their eyes in fear. Maybe casually ask that girl in your extracurricular if she wants to grab coffee sometime and relish a couple of hours whining about other club members. Or even still, you could impulsively walk into squash club and try your hand at a racket sport you have never played and are probably going to suck at. It doesn’t matter because one of the members will invite you to a Chipotle dinner afterwards.
More so than malnutrition and heavy workloads, the biggest killer of student morale is loneliness. The beauty of it, though, is that the antidote lies in your hand. You just need to be brave enough to insert the needle.
I decided to take a stroll in Lullwater one night as a study break. What I saw horrified me. The dark shadows of leaves enveloped me as I wandered in the moonlight, the tendrils of creatures of the woods crawled toward me, the dubious smoke from those bushes in one corner — everything in those woods spooked me silly. Now whenever I try to sleep, I am haunted by the spectre of that fateful night. I see the face of the phantom every time my head hits the pillow. Its veiny, red eyes piercing my soul. With putrid breath that smells almost as bad as pre-med students during finals week, the phantom whispers horrific words such as “class average 60, no curve.”
Do you have tips for a healthy sleep cycle during these tumultuous times? I fear even approaching my bed.
Smoke on the Lullwater
Dear Smoke on the Lullwater,
I know how you feel and I blame it on the fact that the workload is building. I recall nights in which I wouldn’t be able to close my eyes until 5 a.m., which was a feat in itself, given that I have no eyes.
Sleep deprivation is amok, my friend. Last Friday night, I saw a group of five male students with red eyes walk out of a fraternity house. They had clearly been studying for their finals all night and must have been super tired. I guess the 20 large pizzas that they ordered from Dominos was a little reward for all the hard work they must have been doing. They are an example of what you should do: treat yourself intermittently in order to motivate yourself to keep going.