Find serenity in chaos

By Caroline Waterhouse | Broadcast Reporter

When in doubt, anxiety it out. Everyone deals with anxiety at least once in their life, to some extent. For some, it hangs on us like an impatient toddler to their mom in the grocery store, then to others it creeps up on them so slowly that they don’t even know it’s there until they feel like they have been hit by truck.

I have been the biggest procrastinator my whole life. When I was in lower school to middle school, then on to high school, I would spend school nights watching television before homework. Around 10 p.m. I would usually start my homework or wait until the class period before it was due to finish it. That’s how I functioned, and it worked – until college.

When I got to college, I thought it might be important to start homework earlier, maybe study for tests not just the night before, but I never thought my soon-to-be way of life would work. Everyone said don’t take on more than you can handle, don’t spread yourself so thin that you fizzle out, but surprisingly that is how I found peace in a chaotic schedule.

My senior year of college, I’m taking 18 hours of classes, working two jobs, volunteering at my church’s nursery and going to church. I have kids that I’ve been mentoring since freshman year, and now they go to different schools; That’s one day for each kid. And all of the other stuff like eat, sleep, shower, socialize and stay healthy.

Surprisingly though, I love the busy life. I like going from class to class, then to work, then the gym all before I go home. I love waking up super early in the morning so I can nestle away in a corner of the library with my hot cup of Starbucks as I study before class. Honestly, I always found it difficult in high school when our teachers would say, tonight let’s start with notecards, then tomorrow is the intro, then by the weekend try to have your body paragraphs drafted and so on. It would drive me crazy, and I would still end up with a whatever grade. My sophomore year of college, my two friends and I were working on a history paper and they were writing and planning while I sat there with a completely empty mind until 11 p.m., when it hit me. I started writing, and within the hour I had my golden essay, which landed me a good grade.

Now, this isn’t to say this is how every college student should deal with anxiety. In fact, if they did, the world would be highly paranoid and on-edge all the time. However, it’s okay not to do things the “right” way or “perfect” way. I found what work. It may not be the smartest way to function, but it is how I do. Yes, my schedule is very busy and I get highly anxious a lot, but I know I am productive when I am moving around and being active, instead of moving slowly, waiting for someone to tell me to do something. Anxiety is real and very difficult, but sometimes you have to push and work insanely hard to deal with what’s in front of you. Also there’s coffee, so that helps.

Caroline is a senior communications major from Baltimore.