20 March 2012

Habits for Life

I will be twenty-five in nine days. For the last month, my approaching birthday has alternately been a cause of stress (twentyFIVE!) and a passing thought (while I freak out about homework instead.) Because I'm growing bored of all this freaking out, I've decided to make a list of some of the habits I've developed that I'm grateful for. A lot of people my age (generally referenced as "twenty-somethings") are spending a lot of time "finding themselves" through working, attending classes, or both. Frankly, I'm more than ready to begin the next stage of my life and it's thanks to many of these habits that I know I am ready.

Sleep schedule - I've seen people look at me like I'm crazy when I use this phrase. I don't understand why, cause it's not complex. I don't stay up til four a.m. and then drag myself to class after just a few hours of sleep. I don't stay up all night working on a homework assignment or studying for a test. I get at least six hours of sleep a night.

Budgeting - There's still money in my bank account! Win! I know how much is there! Double win! When I spend money, I do still have a habit of over-spending, but my shopping sprees aren't very common. After a shopping spree, I spend nothing for several months. Of course, I also live in an on-campus apartment and have no bills, so that makes it easier to spend no money.

Finishing things on time - To be fair, there are times I finish things right before they're due (I am still a college student) but I am breaking that habit. I can say, proudly, that I have never stayed up all night to complete a school assignment.

Focusing my energy where it's needed - I'm not a partier. Never have been. I'm not a big fan of clubs or bars or anything of the sort. Because of this, I'm able to focus on what I want or need to focus on. My attention is on school or my writing or my goals, not on going out and getting bombed.

Relationship drama not found - Okay, story. My freshman year a friend asked me for advice. I told her, honestly, that she didn't want my advice. After saying this three times, I gave in and allowed her to tell me the problem. What it amounted to was "I like this person but he doesn't like me and this other guy texted me and I don't know what he means and etc. etc. etc." Me: "Keep in mind, I told you that you don't want my advice." Friend: "Yes, I do. Please." Me: "Okay. You asked for it. First of all, the person you like doesn't like you. Does not like you. You're wasting your energy. If you want to know what the text message meant, ask the guy. To his face. Also, we have a test tomorrow, so you might want to study for that first." Yeah, I can be a little bit of a wet blanket, but my feet are on the ground and I'm not crying over some break-up or whatever.

Determination and follow-through - If (WHEN) I pass my classes this semester, I graduate in May. I've been here since 2006 and I graduate in May. In one year (after a semester of suspension that led to my ADD diagnosis) I brought my GPA up from a .93 to a 2.6 and now I graduate in May.

Yes, I am ready to get out of school and start the next phase of my life. Maybe with these habits, I can make it in the real world.

08 March 2012

Chicken Soup Epiphanies

During a study break, I opened one of the handful of Chicken Soup books I own. Shockingly, it was one I hadn't read - an entire book dedicated to resolutions. I started flipping through, reading some stories and skimming others, when perspective crept up out of nowhere and slapped me across the face. Resolutions, if you think about it, are nothing more than setting goals. This is something I always try to do, but don't always succeed on.

Two stories in particular caught my eye. In one, the writer resolved to stop watching television. She estimated that she had added six years to her life by filling former tv time with other activities. In the other, a writing student passed on the wisdom of his teacher. "[A rejection letter is just] proof that you're writing." As I read this, I heard a click as the truth of the simple statement sunk in. Now, this statement is over my desk in the hopes that one day I will begin collecting rejection letters of my own.

It seems both interesting and ironic that I should read a story about gaining free time and about the craft I so love on the same night that I made a significant move to clear my own schedule. No, I didn't drop out of school. I narrowed my personal extracurricular activities, specifically my involvement in online role-plays. If I can get up the guts to make the big leap, as of tomorrow I will only be on one RP site. I will only have one online distraction/commitment to maintain and I know the people there will wait for me.

In making this decision, I'm dropping about ten RP characters (the number would have been unthinkable had I done this six months ago.) As an avid RPer, this is a pretty big deal for me. I've been taking part in RPs for ten years. Am I ready to quit entirely? No, but I don't think I'll ever quit entirely. Today, however, I've decided to move away from any RP groups I participate in that I don't get anything out of. If playing my characters is nothing but a time-filler, the sort of thing I could do with my eyes closed or in my sleep, if I have no plots to play or characters to build off of, I'm leaving that group.

It's time I take my spare time seriously and do what I actually want to do.

05 March 2012

Enough Already

I'm beginning to wonder if there's some law nobody told me about that says a person's body has to fall apart before they turn twenty-five. It could be some sick, twisted coming of age thing, a test to see if I can face the rigors of adulthood - since, apparently, six years in college with ADD isn't enough. Even if this isn't true, it doesn't change the fact that I've been sick for almost a week and the timing just plain sucks.

On February 29th, exactly one month before my 25th birthday, I started feeling a little ick. Flu like symptoms, very sore throat, and a dry cough. I started taking vitamins, took a couple days off from school, and figured the weekend would help this blow over. Now, it's been almost a week and I'm still sick, running a fever, and suffering from random nosebleeds that aren't really unusual, just annoying. Nosebleeds I'm used to - except the one I had Saturday that lasted over an hour. That wasn't fun. Still, it can be worked around. I'm keeping towels nearby and some saline to keep things from totally drying out.

Today, I gave in and went to the doctor. Basic questions were asked and answered - multiple times. My ears, nose, throat, and breathing were all examined. I was told I had a viral infection and a sore spot in the roof of my mouth. A prescription was written and I took it to get filled. Now, I get to take bactrim (in generic form) and cough syrup with codeine and have instructions to return if my symptoms have no cleared up by Friday. I know I can only take the cough syrup at the end of the day because codeine turns me goofy. The drugs I'm not sure about. I know it won't hurt me to take them. Then I read this on a website: "[This drug] will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu."

Um... What?

Anyway, I'm now taking a drug that may or may not help me and looking forward to spending my evenings in a codeine laced stupor. Other than that, I'm digging myself out of the growing pile of homework and generally just trying to keep myself together.