Sunday, 6 March 2016

Little Miss Stressed

Over the past few days, I have transformed into something which, in many ways, terrifies me as much as growing so much body hair that could suggest that I'm turning into a werewolf (which, before you get any super crazy ideas, I'm NOT): a human stressball. As squeaky and compressed as a football, stress has been playing an even greater role in my life of late which, for the record, I am not at all happy about - in fact, the very fact that I'm as close as a new driver skirting dangerously near a motorway to losing control of my erratic emotions scares me in more ways than mere words could explain. 

Well, I suppose that everyone who has ever been exposed to stress - either in safe or worryingly toxic levels - will know that it simply doesn't appear out of nowhere like a sale on the H&M website, which leads me to asking the all-important question: what is causing me to freak out like a toddler being introduced to their so-called 'friend' (albeit secret nemesis), broccoli? To put it bluntly, exams and work (which Rihanna sang about perfectly in her recent single, providing a bit of mid-week amusement during her performance at the BRIT Awards) are dragging me down a slippery slope towards panic and hysteria at the moment. 

Hmm, not very surprising, is it? As my first exam is set to take place NEXT month - cue the threatening-looking capitals being used to emphasise this vital fact - I absolutely cannot escape the truth that my future will be determined by how I perform in my eighteen-odd examinations, which are now weeks, instead of oh-so-distant months, away. 

OK, you might argue that getting consumed by a bit of stress is perfectly natural - albeit unlike Kylie Jenner's lips, I must add - because it symbolises how seriously I take my exams, which should only serve as a means of motivating me until the bloody and gory end. In an ideal word, perhaps I would believe in such an ethos because stress never fails to remind me of what my priorities are - in which revising algebraic fractions is more important than catching up on The Vampire Diaries on a Sunday evening - and has actually helped me when my focus and determination have been urgently required. 

For example, I had one of my actual exams - this for my English Language GCSE (technically iGCSE if you want its specific title, but qualifications are qualifications, right?) - earlier this week which, as a speaking and listening assessment, accounted for 20% of my overall marks which, despite not sounding like an awful lot, could make the difference between an A or A* - the buzzword of the year that I've been worshipping like a Belieber paying tribute to their favourite singer (needn't say who he is). As I've got such high expectations of myself, in addition to the pressure of achieving the six B grades that will hopefully land me a place at my first-choice sixth form, I really wanted to do as well as I possibly could in my exam - and, to my heartfelt relief, I did! Bagging 30/30 within the space of ten minutes, I have paved further way to the success that will land on my feet in August: a dream that is showing greater promise of coming true. 

So, as you may be wondering, why am I mentioning this? Well, if it wasn't for getting a little bit stressed out about perfecting my speech and tone whilst speaking, I probably would never have achieved a good mark, let alone all of the ones that I managed to achieve. This simply goes to show that, in small doses (and I'm not kidding when I specifically say 'small'!), stress can be beneficial - an advantage that I'm currently struggling to get onto my side. 

Once again, the Book of Reason is making an appearance, explaining why stress seems to be hell-bent on driving me around the bend at a time when I absolutely don't need it - along with every other teenager across the country who should be working hard in anticipation of their upcoming examinations. For months, I've been fighting for my right to concentrate and focus in my lessons at school because disruption has been taking control. From people tossing pens (one of which 'accidentally' flew onto my head the other day) to noise levels in lessons being as loud as a KISS concert, I face a battle to pay attention to my work on a daily basis which, from time to time, I find emotionally draining. 

Thus, I relish every second I spend at home in between my time outside of the house - peace radiates through the walls, providing me with the most relaxing environment that I could ever dream of having whilst indulging in my studying needs (unless one of my four cats decides to hold a conversation with me while I'm answering an exam question, that is!). In fact, I've grown increasingly nostalgic over my years spent as a 'home-schooler' recently because it is only now that I've become to appreciate how lucky I was to work in peace for the best part of seven years; this time two years ago, never could I have visualised how noisy and disruptive a school environment would be!

Until my upcoming exams are over, I would be quite happy to reside in one of those nature retreats where nobody talks or makes any noise though, unless I happen to find a briefcase piled with thousands of hundred pound notes any time soon, my chances of escaping the daily noises (which certainly contributes to hassle) for a short while are remarkably slim. Still, I've just got to address stress whenever it appears, instead of fighting against it - at the end of the day, I wasn't born to become a boxer, so why fight against the things which cannot be fought? Well, I guess that stress can be fought, yet I tend to do so in a way where I ignore its presence, which is NOT GOOD whatsoever!

At least I'm making some progress in terms of subduing my stress, which is definitely helped by writing about it. Oh my gosh, I absolutely cannot stand the fact that I haven't written anything or blogged for ages, yet time just seems to be eaten away like a male adolescent chomping down on a Big Mac; there is never enough of it! Hm, perhaps a little for searching around for mini packets of Oreo biscuits whenever cravings seize hold of my senses, but I could try a bit harder in relation to my writing duties...

Oreos or not, I'm already feeling a bit less stressed - by starting a conversation about it. 

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