L.I.F.E.: Living In Fear Excessively

It seems not so long ago that the excitement for a new semester was felt within my fluttering heart. Now, those feelings are but a foggy memory, replaced by the frightening mid-semester blues and purples.

I guess the purples aren’t so bad to hold on to — after all, we are Weber State University — but the blues are bogging down students, nearly to the grave. Oh, wait, Halloween isn’t for a couple of weeks. I’ll refrain from the death-y and sulky puns at least for another week. . . .

But seriously, am I the only one? The drive, the force that once propelled me to be on time for all my classes — and, somewhat more importantly, to physically be within the walls of my classes — has diminished into thin air (as opposed to heavy air. Heaven forbid it disappear into heavy air; all our lungs would cease to function properly).

These feelings seem to be a recurring (and traumatic) experience for me. Semester after semester, about seven or eight weeks into the 15-week-long peril, the once-crisp textbooks that smelled of organization and order, now carry the odor of the local Deseret Industries. The once-endless energy has dwindled, and the body now begs for caffeine or other artificial energy supplements.

Some call this “burnout.” I call it “warfare.”

One of my all-time favorite shows (and is meant for all-year-round viewing, not just for December) is Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. At one point in time, it seems that Kevin McCallister has outwitted the Wet Bandits, Harry and Marv. However, the bandits soon get a hold of little lost Kevin, and Marv exclaims, “You may have won the battle, little dude, but you lost the war.”

Who would have thought such brilliance could come from a Chris Columbus movie? (Last week’s column, anyone?)

There are a few battles I lose here and there throughout the semester. You may have felt the same sometime.

Here are just a few of the things that I have found helpful when the blues move in:

  • Wallow. Sometimes it’s just necessary to feel your mood. Give yourself an allotted amount of time to wallow (let’s say, 10-15 minutes?). When the time is up, give yourself the permission to be happy.
  • Move. Exercise really is an amazing remedy. I get my iPod and listen to some great tunes as I jog or lift weights. Afterward, I feel tired, yet satisfied. Sometimes that lactic acid buildup can cause your focus to shift.
  • Smile. While this is probably that last thing that you may feel like doing, just do it. Some research suggests that the simple act of smiling can lead you toward actually feeling happier.
  • Record the good. Take just a moment to write down a list of just five things that are going right in your life. Instead of revisiting the past lost battles, you can find something for which to be grateful.
  • Acts of kindness. Many times we get so involved in our lives we forget the impact we can have on others’ lives — both good and bad. Pay a genuine compliment to complete stranger. Give up your seat on the bus. And don’t expect a “thank you” in return; you’ll be just fine with your act of random kindness.
  • Go see a counselor. A number of counseling sessions are included in your student fees. I find it so refreshing talking to a complete stranger to help me sift through my current situation and help make amends. These are trained professionals! At any rate, take advantage of an enlightening opportunity.

These are just some suggestions. I am positive that these, along with some of your own remedies, can help get you out of the mid-semester blues. Go and get ’em!