Thoughts Before Heading Back to School

Hey friends! So it’s currently 1:50am on this Saturday morning. Today is, unfortunately, my last day at home before I go back to LA for summer school! I’ve been feeling… a little bit stressed, to be honest. See, I’ve never taken a summer session before. And from what I’ve heard, it goes by FAST. Think, regular quarter (which is fast enough as is), but on steroids. We gotta cram 10-weeks’ worth of material into 6 weeks. That’s pretty intense. And I’m taking 2 classes, which is full-time for summer session. So yeah. I really want to do well in my classes to keep up my GPA.

I recently watched a TED talk given by Stanford health psychologist Kelly McGonigal. She talks about how stress perception affects our physical well-being. There are two different ways to view stress. One is the most common viewpoint– to perceive stress as something negative and detrimental. The other way is the one Kelly advocates– perceiving stress as a conducive mechanism that prepares you for handling whatever challenges life throws your way. If you view stress in the former manner, you are more likely to die young than if you view stress the latter way. Point is, stress doesn’t necessarily have to be seen as something negative, as most people believe.

So, this time around, I choose to view this anticipatory anxiety as a sign that my mind/body are preparing itself for this 6-week battle, so that I can perform to the greatest of my ability. A moderate amount of stress is healthy!

I laid out my schedule for the coming month-and-a-half, and I gotta say, it’s a pretty ambitious one. My only concern is that I will burn out. Willpower is indeed a limited resource, and one I must use efficiently and wisely. I only have a one-week break between summer session C and the start of the school year. And my fall quarter schedule is really no joke, with 4 (maybe even 5) classes. I gotta pace myself. Check in daily to see how I’m coping. Take a little time off for myself, if need be. I need to prioritize my mental health, this time around. Gosh, I feel so mentally fragile, these days. I’m still trying to identify the patterns that mark the onset of a mental breakdown or depressive period. I know exhaustion can give way to depression, just as lacking a daily structure can also get me feeling down. I must find that happy medium where I’m doing enough to be productive, but not too much so as to run out of mental energy.

This anxiety, depression and bipolar II is really difficult to manage alone, which is why I also have to see a therapist on a regular basis. The thing with Kaiser is that it is so damn difficult to get an appointment in. You literally have to schedule months in advance before you can see a professional. My next appointment with a new therapist is at the end of August. We’ll see how I’m coping, then.

At this moment, I’m feeling a little manic. Which explains why the heck I’m still up, at this ungodly hour. I was watching a bunch of old videos of myself dancing, and felt inspired to continue choreographing to my favorite songs. I’m actually interviewing to be an assistant choreographer for UCLA’s HOOLIGAN theater’s fall production, “Singin’ in the Rain”. That interview will take place Monday, so we’ll see how it goes. Hopefully I won’t be too nervous. Well, past experience has shown that, no matter how nervous I may feel inside, I somehow end up keeping my cool and delivering. I just need to find that confidence within myself.

Alrighty folks. Enough chit-chat. Your girl needs to get some rest. Oh, and I’m currently tapping away at my first book! On page 14. Writing a book is seriously not an easy task… but I will persist. Who knows if this book will even see the light of day? Maybe it’ll turn out so bad that I won’t even bother trying to find a publisher, or even self-publishing. But this is a great experience, for I am stretching my bounds as a creative writer and growing tremendously in the process.

Ok. Gotta get some shut-eye (or at least try to, in my current state). Ta-ta, for now!

 

 

 

Best,

Belicia

 

p.s.– finished this post in a solid 20 minutes. BAM!

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