Only about a month of the semester remains, and I am so tired of this whole school thing. It’s like I’m running the last leg of a marathon, and I’ve just spotted the checkered flag.As I barrel towards the finish line, I can’t help but feel relieved that I am almost done. I start to realize just how tired I am. My calves hurt, and my chest is burning. With the end in sight, I figure I could manage slowing down just a tad.
However each time I lower my pace, my dedication to the race takes a hit too. Each step requires more and more effort. I start to wonder if I’m truly as close to the end as I initially thought.
All of the sudden, my legs turn to jelly. Clifford the big red dog joins the race out of nowhere, and he’s evil. His big ole dog lips are covered in peanut butter and he’s got a loaf of bread in his mouth. He spots my jelly legs and I realize that I’m the last thing standing in between Clifford the big evil red dog and his giant afternoon snack. I scream out in fear, but no one hears my cries.
Alright, so the metaphor may have gotten a wee bit wacky at the end there, but you get my point. Hopefully I’m not the only student with stress-induced nightmares that involve a beloved children’s cartoon character, though I can’t be sure. Therefore I want to talk about a strategy that I’ve personally found to be helpful.
Besides mindfulness being a wonderful way to ground oneself, practicing it helps people to recognize distressing thoughts or emotions and then let them go. I’ve found it quite helpful in keeping myself motivated, and I’d like to share with all you lovely people my favorite places on campus to sit, relax and think about breathing.
1: The underpass below the train tracks. The underpass below the train tracks is a wonderful place to sit and breathe. Unless there is a train, it’s pretty likely no one will bother you. Even if someone does walk down the stairs, they’ll think you’re weird for sitting on the cold concrete and won’t want to talk to you. It’s a win-win.
2: Wyse Hall 302. Wyse Hall 302 is a wonderful office. It is easy to get comfortable inside; the smells of print books and diffusing incense fill the air. Normally the office is either occupied by its professor or locked, so be on the lookout for when the tall man with a long beard takes a bathroom break and leaves the door open. Make sure to lock yourself in so that you can avoid pesky questions like “who are you?” “what are you doing?” and “why aren’t you studying history?” once the professor returns.
3: The connector bathroom that has a bidet. Alright folks, I’m gonna level with you. There’s only three things I truly enjoy doing: watching the live action cat in the hat movie, eating suppositories and sitting on an already warm toilet seat– only the latter can be done while simultaneously meditating. Words can’t describe the euphoria one experiences when they sit on the first floor of the connector’s bidet bathroom’s warm toilet and think about breathing. It is truly a life-giving experience.
Dear reader, I hope you try out these locations next time you feel anxious and overwhelmed. I have done my best to supply you with the tools for success as we take on these next four weeks. Good luck. I believe in you.