The last two years of school, I spent in a highly stressed stupor. I was constantly stressed about everything – actually – because even when I wasn’t doing schoolwork, I was stressed about that, and also felt guilty for not doing it. Stress seeped through the edges of my everyday life: even the things that were supposed to be fun were tinged with breathing problems, tears and procrastination.
But I got out. School finally finished (those last few weeks felt like an eternity) and it was like a literal weight (i.e. all the useless pieces of paper that supposedly helped me) had been lifted off my shoulders (i.e. thrown in the bin).
There are still times now (thank goodness they’re few and far between) that I still worry about my (non-existent) homework, or have a vague thought about something being due. I’ll sometimes get home late, and have a split second of worry about the time I’m going to get to bed because I have so much work to do; reminiscent of the days where I spent like 3 extra hours at school and then came home to still have more work.
But, nearly 4 months on, I can say it gets better. The other day my friend and I started planning our Europe trip travels, and this trip has been hypothetical for years. It felt so far away, especially because I had to go through year 11 and 12 to get there. But I am here and we are planning. It sort of only struck me then how bloody broken I was, because it was the first time this trip has been real, and I could focus on making it so.
I still get stressed sometimes: working with a deadline will do that to you. But I no longer feel that constant anxiety that I did in school; the ever-present feeling of not being prepared or not having enough: time, talent or power to do what I wanted.
So I’m totally legitimate when I say: one of my proudest moments of my life so far is getting through school. I mean, I’ve always been studious and loved learning. At the same time, though, I was a perfectionist, a procrastinator and easily stressed. Combine good and bad with two years of intense school, (mix until smooth), and your student will come out defeated. So, cheers to that.