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in the hope that this will help you out

To the Great Jeanine- thank you for putting up with me

Although it’s nothing a quick listen to Y.M.C.A. can’t fix, these past few weeks have got me feeling more down in the dumps than ever, disoriented and confused, more often than not, I drag myself through the rumble of rushed students, from class to class, clenching my books that I couldn’t be bothered to squeeze into my deteriorating bag.

With the rising excitement of our October break just three days away, I can’t help but reflect on these past few weeks. I’ve been lucky enough to be supported by some pretty great people, but there was something wrong with me though. It’s fear, stress as it’s more commonly referred to. But biologically, it’s fear; the butterflies you get thinking about tomorrow’s tests are your digestive system shutting down so your body can focus on either fighting or fleeing (all animals react in this way to danger). Why? I have everything I could ask for, but we put this monumental pressure on ourselves for everything we do. Whether it is academic or social, there’s this unrelenting fear of not being smart enough, friendly enough, or even worse, to try, and to fail. So I put things off, instead of getting them done.

The key, I’ve discovered, is to take a step back. Nothing can be achieved if our basic human needs aren’t met: sleep, food, exercise. And recently, these three elements have either been overcompensated or disregarded. I’m not talking about happiness, I'm writing about contentment, satisfaction through pride, through a sense of achievement. I seek to regain balance.

Torn between my family (Manon call me), focusing on my friends, and giving my all to school, when I’m not dealing with these, I’m thinking about dealing with these, and by 7 o’clock at night my eyes are ready to close. Hey, as you’ve probably gathered, I’m a bit of a stressed out gal, but if you relate to even one thing of what I’ve said, try to realise that it’s not a big deal, what you’re going through this week. In two years, tomorrow’s test won’t be an issue, but your mental stability, your self-confidence will reflect on everything you do. Nurture your involvement, your happiness, practice mindfulness, be at the moment, breathe, relax, you will get everything done but in its own time. I try to keep in mind that I’m just a me. I’ve never been, and no one has ever been, a me in my shoes. Continually taking in new information, new responsibilities, new methods, new people, feeling attacked, and trying to register and address everything is difficult.

Try to find refuge in what you love, (other than screens that excite your neurones and exhaust you further), read a great book, (email the Gweilo team, we have fantastic recommendations), write a song, an article, call your grandma up, paint a picture, go for a walk, make a cake, sit down and look out over Hong Kong’s gorgeous expanses of buildings, sea or mountains. Take a second to recollect your scattered senses, and then get on with life. Trust that things will fall into place, trust yourself, do what you can and if it doesn’t work, find out why, and try again. Look for help, and remember to let yourself step back once in a while. The rest is just white noise.