It’s been about two months since I’ve been home due to COVID-19 and this week had to be one of the most challenging since having online classes. Plus, final exams are starting this Saturday for me and continuing until next Thursday, which is a long time to be stressed out.
This semester, before and definitely during this pandemic, has to be one of the hardest semesters for me and all of my friends. Unfortunately, my stress and anxiety levels haven’t been the best and I can tell that I’m suffering physically and mentally. Since the beginning of this pandemic, I’ve done a lot of thinking about my future, including whether I’m sure about my career path or if I want to continue going to Missouri State or take a different route.
Having a mixture of my own thoughts and finals trying to prioritize themselves in my mind hasn’t been the best. And the anxiety and stress from preparing for finals has led to me getting migraines, horrible stomach aches and, lately, neck spasms. But I have some pretty great people to back me up when I need help and, thanks to some chats with them, I’ve been doing so much better.
If you didn’t know, I’m a peer counselor in the CAST office (Center for Academic Success and Transition) and I work closely with my two bosses, Dr. Kelly Wood and Dr. Tracey Glaessgen, in addition to the other two peer counselors, Rhiannon Casey and Michael Rexroad. (Rhiannon and Michael have blog posts here too.) They have all been a big help in steering me in the right direction, giving me advice when I need it or just being a listening ear. My family has also been there to hear me rant about my classes or help me solve my problems. Without them being there for me, cheering me on, I wouldn’t know what to do.
I’m going to continue to relieve stress by spending time with my family or just doing an abundance of random fun things. I’ve learned that I’m not doing my best work or being myself when I let the stress consume me so much.
What I would like for you to take from this is that stress or anxiety can affect anyone and it’s okay for that to happen because you can bounce back or lessen it altogether. After this semester I’ll be a junior at Missouri State and every time a day passes, I’m so much closer to getting my degree in business and becoming the only child in my family to graduate from a four-year college. I don’t know about you but that’s its own motivation for me.
“I cannot always control what goes on outside. But I can always control what goes on inside.” — Wayne Dyer
(Bio: My name is Alexandria Givens, and I’m the middle child of seven kids in my immediate family. I’m currently a sophomore business major at Missouri State University.)