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Second Year of College: Analysis

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The whole campus is under construction right now. Theyíve torn out the infrastructure, destroyed the landscaping, and are preparing to close off the library this coming school year. This year will be forever etched in my mind as the year of my mental breakdown and reconstruction.

I am currently doing really well. I just got a job working at the UCen. Iíve been in dire need of a second job for a while now. Iím already a course grader for Human Sexuality. Money has been tight, as always, and I really need to pay off my credit card and save money for next year. Iíll be working 15 hours this week for the UCen job alone, plus the 5 or so hours for the course grader job. Thankfully, I donít have any midterms or papers due this week. Iím using this time to catch up and get ahead on my workload.

Iíve been at ease today. I actually feel like Iím getting work done rather than sitting around mindlessly wasting it. Having two jobs and working at least 12 hours a week for one of them will really teach me how to better manage my time. I really have to use my free time to do homework and not watch episodes of Ally McBeal on Netflix. If I get work done during the week, then I can relax on the weekend. It shouldnít be the opposite. Iím currently doing the bare minimum during the week and then working my ass off during the weekend, staying up until 4am reading and probably not retaining any of it. But right now, Iím doing better. Iím motivated. Iím going to get it done. Iím going to finish this year right.

Mentally, my reconstruction is in full swing. Iím positive and focused. Iím diligent and disciplined. Iím not letting myself be negative towards my body or my mind. When I feel myself about to tear down my reflection and pick at every little flaw in the mirror, I consciously stop myself. I recognize the signs of trouble. Iíve even been working out a lot more, but not because Iím trying to lose weight or anything, but because I actually feel like it. I really do get that ďrunnerís high,Ē which is the release of endorphins in your brain that you get after a great workout, not just after running. Also, parts of my body that I really used to hate have been looking great to me recently, like my legs, for example. They are fabulous! I think I can attribute this change, not only to my new positive outlook, but more realistically, to my aerobics class. I really think all the kickboxing and step aerobics have paid off! I think Iím going to continue taking classes like that over the summer at my gym back home. I cannot wait to make Anthony take Zumba classes with me. I wish I could record it!

I donít think Iím entirely off the hook yet, though. Over the weekend, I felt like I ate too much at breakfast and I was overcome with this paralyzing fear. I could feel panic setting in, my heart start to race and my skin go cold. At first, I didnít know why I was feeling that way, but then I realized that I was about to relapse. It was so sudden, it took me a minute to catch my breath and talk myself back into my calm, positive state. It helped to have my friends there to talk to me rationally. Reason usually works in my times of mental crisis. So, no. Iím not out of the woods just yet. I honestly donít know if I ever will beÖ Thatís not the most optimistic outlook, I know, but I feel like itís better for me to stop expecting to get better and let it happen on its own as long as I stay vigilant about preventing negative thinking and always trying to see the good things in myself. I really, really donít want to sink back into that depression I had during finals week last quarter. You probably rememberÖ But like I said, Iím going to finish this year strong. Iím going to stay positive and get my work done. I still have Anthony, who will be visiting me in about a week, for which I am super excited! My best friend Elisabeth came down to stay with me for a couple days a couple weeks ago, too! I have such a strong support network. If I do fall off the wagon again, I have no doubt that they will pull me back up. Not to mention my great friends here at UCSB: Marie, Gemma, KatÖ Such great girls. I donít know what Iíd do without them.

This year, while the school was under construction, so was I. And I truly think that Iíll be the better for it. My infrastructure is stronger. My appearance has improved. It will be a long time until I have to reconstruct myself again. Just like my campus, I will be forever changing, but always for the better.
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