Boy, oh boy, does final semester suck. The unending sense of dread, the tension that permeates like a dense fog throughout the body and the mountain of pressure to ‘smash this year’ has been constant.
When vocalising these thoughts, so many people try to make you feel better. Comments such as ‘oh but you’re so on it’ or the ‘but your so organised’, does the opposite of their what they are intending to do. Instead of easing any of those anxious feelings they exacerbate them.
As a person who seems to be perceived as ‘on it’ or ‘organised’ the pressure to keep up with the perception is crippling. When vocalising these feelings, I’m often met with the response of yes ‘oh but you’ll smash it’. Yes maybe I will, but please don’t push my feelings of fear/anxiety aside in one felled swoop. In this moment of vocalisation, I don’t feel that way. By trying to make it better by putting a band-aid on of ‘you’ll be fine’ makes it worse. It comes across as completely disregarding the current emotional and mental experience. I’m sure I’m not the only person who has been met with this response.
Over the weekend I have a lovely chat with a pal, where I expressed these feelings. Instead of pushing them aside, she was like – yes it does suck, yes you are so allowed to feel how you are feeling and thats OK!. Thank you for validating these feelings. It is through others actually acknowledging these feelings and saying its ok to feel this way, that it actually eases some of the fear and anxiety.
So what am I trying to say amidst this ramble? If someone around you is stressed/anxious/ scared about something or the incoming end of final year- please listen to what they are actually saying. Give their feelings room and don’t just say it will all be fine ( it could be, but in that moment it doesn’t feel that way for the individual). I understand you might be trying to make them feel better, but maybe also try a different tactic- Acknowledge how they are feeling, and its fine to leave it at that. Don’t give that promise of it will be fine, because maybe it won’t, and thats totally ok to be honest.
Anyways, let me know in the comments below your thoughts/feelings on this. If you relate, then I hope it does offer some reassurance that you, and your mental space, are not alone.
Till next time.