By: Manveetha Muddaluru
It’s been a hectic month so far. Do you ever just experience one minor inconvenience and then feel like everything is falling apart?
Earlier this month, I lost my card holder with my student card and bus pass on my way home from my night class. I didn’t want to wait for the bus, so I decided to walk even though it was really windy. But, when I got home and checked my pocket, where I thought I had my student card and bus pass, I realized I had lost it.
I walked all the way back to campus re-tracing my steps in the cold and didn’t have any luck finding it. Since I had lost my bus pass, I had to walk all the way back home in the freezing cold. After filling out a lost and found form with the McMaster Security Services, I couldn’t even be bothered to work on an assignment that was due soon. All I wanted to do was cry, but I was so frustrated with life that, as Ariana says, I didn’t have any tears left to cry. I just went to bed and hoped some kind soul would find it.
I left like losing my student card was some sort of a metaphor for the identity crisis I was having. Being in my final year and drowning in deadlines, I’ve been having a tough time focusing on my school work because of the uncertainty of my future. I took a lighter course load in hopes that I would be living my ideal ‘best life’ this year, spending more time with friends, but also researching different career paths and job searching. But I completely underestimated the amount of work I would have due to taking mostly upper-year courses, volunteering, and work.
Whenever I’m on Instagram I’m reminded of the things I don’t have time for when I see my friends who’ve graduated or have a less hectic semester enjoying themselves and doing things I want to do. I just feel like I haven’t been spending enough time taking care of myself. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve said the word “stress” in the past couple of months, I would have half the money I needed to pay back my OSAP.
I knew I needed a change of environment and perspective. So, I went to a Young The Giant concert in Toronto two days after I lost my student card and hung out with a friend who I hadn’t seen in a while. Even though I had a quiz the next day at 8:30 a.m., physically leaving Hamilton and the McMaster campus, which I associate with stress, helped me get out of the hopeless slump I was in and gain a new perspective on my life.
Being there at the concert and singing along with others forced me to be in the moment and stop worrying about my day-to-day stresses. This change in environment, even for a couple of hours, was so energizing that I came back from the concert feeling more motivated to get through the rest of the semester.
My hope was further renewed when a fellow McMaster student had found my student card and contacted me to pick it up! That’s when I realized that I had way too many hours stressing and mentally re-tracing all my actions that day to figure out where I lost my student card. I could have just been living in the present, like at the concert, rather than worrying about things I can’t change. Everything would have worked out fine in the end anyway.
From this entire ordeal, I learned a bigger life lesson than being more careful with my belongings. I realized that it’s important to stop for a minute, take a moment away from a stressful situation, and do something you enjoy rather than worrying over something you don’t have control over.
Manveetha Muddaluru blogged about her student experience for the Student Success Centre from 2018 to 2019.