As a student, there are few things that can drain my energy as much as deadlines. That ever-present feeling of impending doom, which seems to follow me much more than it should. Even sitting down to read my textbooks can make me anxious, because joy and behold – I have essays to write and spreadsheets to make, and I should probably focus on those instead. Then, of course, my brain in its supreme intelligence will make damn sure I feel guilty for not reading when I do focus on my essays. Filtering these thoughts out have become essential for me to do anything productive – if I let them fester they seem to make me completely unable to concentrate. You’d be amazed if you could see how my apartment gets exponentially cleaner the closer I get to miscellaneous deadlines. There needs to be studies conducted on this – I believe it’s a law of nature.
In fact, even as I am writing this, I’m having the busiest week of my semester. Yet I’m sitting here writing. Why? Heck if I know. I am, after all, in college. Through 15 years of studies from pre-school to now, I’ve managed to pull through. Everything seems to fall into place eventually anyway. There probably will be a late night or two coming up. That’s okay. Those don’t scare me. In fact, there’s something strangely peaceful about writing at night. In ten years, I’m sure I will look back on my time in college and wonder why on earth I didn’t take a “chill pill” as we say in Norway. We humans have a strange way of overemphasizing the importance of what it is we are involved with at the present time. Sure, college is a big deal, I’m not gonna deny that. But take a step back. Is what you’re stressing out about right now really that apocalyptically essential, that you have to spend every waking moment with that uncomfortable feeling hanging over your head? I’m not up for that. Hell if an exam is gonna prevent me from cooking a nice dinner with the wife or play my favorite video game for a couple hours, even if I do have to work later. I don’t want to look back on this semester and wonder where the time went. I want it to be full of good memories. I don’t have room for all that drama in my life right now. I’m too busy enjoying the little things. Here’s a photo of me doing what I shouldn’t be doing (according to logic), but I still did. I spent all day playing for a friend’s birthday party when I had a big assessment coming up. I don’t even remember what the assessment was about. But I remember this day like it was yesterday, and in fact, it turned out to be one of the most awesome and fun days of that semester.
So the next time you get that feeling, I want you to do something. Don’t let those negative thoughts fester in your head. In fact, I want you to completely ban the usage of the phrase “I should study” or “I should work”. Instead look at it like an opportunity, and say “I could“. You could write a couple of lines of that book or blog post. It’s an opportunity, not something you should do. This is just one season of your life. Don’t forget all the days ahead. There is so much pressure in 2015 to perform and achieve. Every. Single. Day. But screw that. Don’t get in on that rat race. I’m gonna say it. You’re gonna hate me for this, but I’m still gonna say it (I warned you): Stop and smell the damn roses. Yeah, the cheese-o-meter just went through the roof. I don’t care. It’s a famous saying for a reason. Please, do yourself a favor and look at the big picture. Your future self will thank you for it. And you know what? If you take your own feelings seriously, life tends to reward you for it. Maybe you’ll even perform better than when you were stressing over every little detail, because you have the joy of life in you. That motivation. When you are motivated, even the most daunting task seems like a breeze. Take care of yourself, and the rest will take care of itself.
For all the days ahead.