My 11th grade English teacher repeatedly told my class, "don't replace action with worry." Now when she said this, I'll admit it went in one ear and out the other while I was worrying about the next paper due. However, I have recently been reminded of her words while interning for Healthy Living.
As I'm sure you all know, to us high school students everything feels like the absolute be-all and end-all. And I'll be the first to admit that I stress about the smallest things. (Admitting you have a problem is the first step, right?) Ever since I can remember I've been a worrier. I've always told myself that it wasn't my fault -- my competitive, private, all-girls high school is practically a cesspool for stress.
But after interning for Healthy Living, I've realized I haven't taken any measures to try to alleviate that stress. So I'm starting now with a few things I've decided are just not worth my anxiety.
I am definitely an extrovert and I love being around people as much as possible. But, sometimes it just isn't possible when managing schoolwork, college applications and extracurriculars. I would say I'm pretty responsible when it comes to making the decision that I'm just to busy to see my friends. But it's once that decision is made and I stay home my real problems begin -- my fear of missing out -- or FOMO as my friends and I call it.
What are my friends doing? Who are they with? Are they having fun without me? Are all questions that run through my head while I'm sitting at home. I'm determined to stop this worrying. I've already decided to stay home, I might as well use my time productively!
Stressing About Stressing
Yes, I do actually do do this and it's a vicious cycle. First, I stress about something or other, then I end up stressed about being stressed and ultimately the stress never ends. This is completely unnecessary and totally unproductive -- just not worth it.
A little background: when I was younger I was determined to be the spitting image of my dad. He always bit his nails, so of course, I picked up the habit as well. When we made a pact to stop it together a few years later, I found I was completely addicted and despite my mom constantly whispering in my ear that it was incredibly un-ladylike, I've never been able to kick the habit. The weird thing is though, I love having my nails painted. So, week after week I'll get a fresh manicure, only to bite it all off. But, worrying about ruining my manicure and thinking about not biting my nails only makes me want to bite them even more. So I'm deciding to just leave them, and my nervous habit, be.
Eating Gluten Every Once In A While
I found out about a month ago that I was slightly gluten intolerant. Eating bread does not in any way dramatically harm my health -- it's really just a slight stomachache. Now when I first found out, I was determined to fully cut out bread. "This is great," I thought. "I'm going to be forced to become so healthy!" But it didn't really work out so well. As anyone with gluten intolerance or celiac can attest to, cutting out gluten entirely is hard, like really hard. Especially considering that my favorite food is Italian. So I'm giving myself permission to not stress about eating gluten every once in a while... the stomachache is worth it.
Not Having The "Typical" High School Experience
Growing up watching shows like The O.C., 90210, or One Tree Hill, has constantly make me feel like I've had at best a subpar high school experience. It makes me realize that I'll never go to a pep rally with my high school sweetheart or go to a Friday Night Lights-style football game.
This is definitely a "grass is always greener" situation and in hindsight, I probably wouldn't change a thing about my school. I'm so grateful for the great education I've received and the amazing girlfriends that I've shared my experience with. Not to mention that, even if I wanted to, I can't change it, so why waste my time worrying about it?
Getting Into College
As I'll be going into my senior year of high school this year, I wanted to end with this one because, at the moment, this is definitely at the forefront of my brain -- and every one of my peers' brains. Now, this is where my former English teacher's words really resonate with me. I refuse to let my stress about getting into college replace time that could be spent doing something to actually help me get in. I'm determined to not let myself stress about getting into college, because I know in the end, I know I will end up going somewhere -- even if it's not my absolute first choice.