Being anxious isn't helpful on a good day, and it can make a bad day completely miserable. Personally I feel like shutting down when my anxiety levels get too high. I sit down at night to begin some of the work I need done the next day and it seems impossible to choose one task to start on because they all need to be done. My anxiety in my daily life can manifest in making multiple checklists, having more than one outline or calendar for my week, and constantly checking my emails and school sites to make sure I didn't miss anything. It can also just be a feeling that's almost like I've always forgotten something at home. My anxiety comes up in my life without any outside stresses from the rest of the world, but the world can always add to it. With everything happening lately, shutdowns, panic buying and public health at risk, my anxiety likes to pop in more often then not. Everyone is scared, and there are so many unknowns, its hard to know where to turn. With so much information being put out every day, its a constant fight to decide what is truthful and what is overstretched or exaggerated. My anxiety levels have risen substantially, worrying for everyone's health and safety and how this pandemic will effect the whole world. But then again, I have come across people who do not seemed worried about this. I've even heard things like, "it's not even that bad, let's just get this over with and give it to everyone". I find this disregard for the safety of people who are more at risk to be concerning and it makes me wonder, do some people not worry? It's been so built into my life that it seems hard to imagine a life without worrying about something.
I've been running competitively for 8 years, so I've learned a thing or too when it comes to the sport. Even though running is one of the most basic sports, there are many nuisances involved in training and racing. Of course you need a lot of training before you're ready to race and it can feel like an uphill battle to start training. Starting is the first step and usually the hardest, and each run needs a start, but of course the journey of running needs any even bigger start. There's plenty of advice out there for starting to run, but these are the thing I think are most important.
Our world produces 3.5 million tons of plastic waste a day, and that doesn't include any other kind of waste. The average American produces around 6 pounds of trash a day. There is approximately 15 billion tons of trash in our oceans and only 14% of the oceans ecosystems are undamaged. These facts are scary and there are plenty of other facts about how we are killing our planet. As a young person, seeing how destroyed our planet is already and how so few are doing something about it makes me wonder if there is any hope for us to restore it.
Finals week is the plague of all college students' life. One week of pure suffering before you are free for a well deserved break. Finals week is when you prove your knowledge and hard work from the semester or quarter before. Whether you have exams, projects, presentations or papers to do this week, it is bound to be rough, and that is what everyone tells you. But it could be much better, granted it will still be hard and you'll still have to put a lot of work in, but it could much less miserable. Going into your first finals week, I'm sure you don't know what to expect and that can make it all the more anxiety inducing. There are a lot of things you can do to help yourself do a lot better during this week and of course, you'll need to find what works for you.
These days everyone is a little more addicted to their phones than they'd like to admit. I know as a college student, I always have my phone on me, and there rarely passes an hour where I don't check it. Our phones and computers have become a fight for our attention, with social media, ads and constant reminders of what the rest of the world is doing. In no way am I trying to paint the Internet as this evil thing, because I think it serves many great purposes, like keeping us all connected and more informed. But everyone needs a break. Having information and entertainment constantly at our fingertips creates a need in our brain to be occupied with something at all times. This can create a shorter attention span and make it more difficult to focus. I myself find it hard to simply watch a TV show without being on my phone scrolling through some form of media. Taking a breath from the digital world that we are all so engulfed will give you new freedom. It will give you your independence back and release the Internet's hold on your attention and brain space.
Road trips are fine and all, but it was beginning to feel very lonely. I wasn’t actually feeling particularly lonely, just very alone. At first it was invigorating, driving without a destination in mind, no one telling me where to go, but I missed authentic conversation. Then again I didn’t mind having all this time to myself. I hadn’t had any time to myself until this adventure began. I was becoming very bored with the food choices though, I can only enjoy Taco Bell so many times. I had been driving for 19 days. I already had been through the mountains covered in reaching trees, valleys with sweeping grasses, prairies with wild animals roaming as they please and now I was by the ocean. When I left I was looking for a fresh start, but now I was looking for anywhere that felt like home. I thought I had found that place a few times, once far away from any other city in the middle of the woods of Montana and once in a small town in North Carolina. Those were both missing something though, and I could almost reach out and feel it, but not quite.