Building a friendship with the stress within

A Wake Forest student’s perspective on how to deal with the pressures of the times

Building a friendship with the stress within

Emily Bebenek, Staff Writer

It’s that time of year again, folks. That time when you start to consider dropping out (your parents’ basement could be considered cozy from certain angles), giving up (we live on a giant ball of dirt floating through the cold vacuum of space, so why do I care about my astronomy exam anyway?) or just moving to Canada and forgetting everything you’ve ever loved (I’ve heard that they’re very nice up North and I just need that energy right now). But fear not! I have some incredible tips and tricks to make sure that you make it to the end of the semester in one piece (physically, at least — I can’t promise anything else).

My first tip is a bit of a no-brainer: get some R&R! Can’t find time in your busy schedule? Make time! You’ve been to that class countless times over the semester — you aren’t missing anything! The COVID test site is too far away? Skip it! You have at least two weeks until they notice (I know from experience). Don’t let all those haters get in the way of the hallmarks of a true college experience: an abysmal sleep schedule and excessive internet usage.

My second tip comes from years of experience: use escapism to create a world in which you’ve already graduated college, married rich and have nothing to do but spend money and look sexy. The real world might come calling, but give that bitch a good kick in the butt and go back to your imaginary yacht party with Lizzo. You have better things to do.

If your fantasy world crumbles around you, take as long as you need to have your mental breakdown (just don’t smash anything too expensive — I know you can’t pay for it). Then, once you’ve properly grieved your gorgeous spouse and perfect life, try giving back.

The world provides you with snacks and drinks, and it’s only fair to share what’s left with Mother Nature. Carefully place your food wrappers on the ground to demonstrate your appreciation. And, when you see someone else’s offerings laying around, leave them there! It’s very rude to disturb a sacred site. You’ll find that the peace of mind you get from sharing your blessings with the world is a truly satisfying feeling.

Now, I know it may seem unorthodox, but I promise you this next one works wonders. Call up your relatives and scream at them. Unleash all the pent-up rage from years of their passive-aggressive behavior and social incompetence. You can’t be afraid to express yourself. Yes, you might get disowned by your parents, but just remember that expressing how you feel is never something to be ashamed of. In fact, try this with your friends too! This way, you can see their appreciation for your honesty firsthand.

And, even if you can’t find the time to take a break from academics, don’t strangle yourself with your fairy lights just yet! There are still ways to impress your teachers and reduce your stress. Start speaking up in class, and don’t be shy about how much you resent the teacher and their grading system. Your professors will appreciate the feedback! Also, make sure to drink and eat regularly, using candy and alcohol to sustain you through the long nights. Gotta stay healthy!

My final tip is this: leave the country. Take advantage of a Wake Forest study abroad program and run away before they can drag you back to the States. Change your name, create a new identity and live your life as a somewhat content retail worker in Europe or Australia. Forget you ever knew this place. You’ll be much happier, I swear.

But, if you do choose to stick it out, know that we’re all in the same boat. If you ever want someone to scream into the void with, you know where to find me. Go Deacs!