It feels good to take a step back and not take on too much. I have never been the person that reacts to stress in a positive way such as powering through everything and staying motivated because once everything is done you can get “a well-deserved break”. I am more of the I-will-never-be-able-to-do-everything-and-even-if-I-were-I-wouldn’t-achieve-good-results kinda person when put under immense pressure. But I learned that you don’t only get to have “a well-deserved break” after a really stressful time. You get to have a well-deserved break if you feel like you need it. I think it is important to be able to tell when things are getting too much and take a step back if possible. You don’t have to quit completely, but allow yourself to take one step at a time and maybe delay things.
~Flashback to 30th July ’17 S.’s life ~
At the beginning my 2nd semester of uni I had given myself the mission of 5 exams and one “Blockseminar” (a kind of seminar which doesn’t take place regularly but on set days for about 5 to 7 hours or longer if you are unlucky). Turns out all of this had to happen within two weeks in a row. I did the first week with three exams and I think I did okay (as I am writing this, our blog hasn’t even launched, it exists, but it doesn’t have any posts or design whatsoever because J. and I are still in the middle of exam season and I also don’t know when we are going to put this up). But today is Sunday and my exams are on Wednesday and Friday. The Blockseminar starts tomorrow and ends on Thursday, 7 hours every day. 7 hours of dastudy time I will lose and this can be fatal. And tomorrow, on the very first day, the teacher will be giving out topics for thesis papers and presentations. Obviously the presentation would have to happen within the three following days which would leave me with a whole lot of more work because apart from studying for the exams I’d have to prepare a presentation and let me tell you: I am not good with speaking in public/ in front of a class full of people I don’t know. That is one of my worst nightmares. I’d be fine if that wasn’t a thing that was supposed to happen.
So yesterday evening I was sort of triggered into a meltdown and I couldn’t really hide that from my parents who had a talk with me and I have now decided that I won’t be doing the Blockseminar and instead get my credit points when I feel more stable. The moment I hit sent on the e-mail to my teacher telling her that I wasn’t going to be attending, I felt so much more at ease. I am writing this after it happened because it is very present atm. The thought of actually having time and being able to study for my exams properly is so relieving (and other sentences I never thought I’d say ever. Side note: during my 1st semester I had four exams within four days in a row. I seem to be very lucky with exam dates). I had thought about not doing the Blockseminar before but in my mind it felt like I was failing if I didn’t do it. But what I know now is that I am not a failure for realising that I may have overestimated myself and while pushing yourself is a good thing, pushing yourself over the edge isn’t.
~flashforward to present~
What I want to say is: life should never get so hectic that you don’t have time to take care of yourself anymore. There should always be room and time for you to spend doing something you love. So please, if you ever feel like there is too much going on in your life and you need a break, take that break because if you keep pushing yourself without knowing your limits, you may break and that is not supposed to happen. Listen to your body and your mind and and remember that it takes at least as much courage to say “No, this is too much.” as it does to say “Yes, I’m going to do all of this”.
PS: J. and I have been quite absent from our blog and socials recently. We’re again in the middle of exam season and struggle to keep balancing everything out. We can’t wait for everything to be over by the end of February because we miss being properly creative on our blog so much! So please stay with us 😀