Headlines and Deadlines: How Managing Stress Impacts You

Column by J1 Reporter Lily Biggs

Listening with Lily

Although conflicts and politics divide all of us in today’s world, there is one thing that unites us all- we have all been stressed at one point or another. Whether it is a student in high school or an important political figure, stress provides both positive and negative forms of hope about the future.

Recently, stress impacted me a lot through deadlines for school. Before Thanksgiving break, many teachers had the amazing idea of having all their homework due on the day before break. Coincidentally, this was also the day the unfinished Mbeat, a weekly video broadcast,had to be done by. I also had to come in early to fix some edits for BURN, Marian’s literary magazine.

After staying up ‘till 3 am finishing all my homework, I made a plan. I would get up early to get the Mbeat finished, fix the edits in BURN, and finally get help on the math corrections that if I finished that day, I would get an extra point. Many of my friends decided losing sleep wasn’t worth the extra point, but I needed every point I could get.

The day didn’t start out that well. It turns out that running on two hours of sleep doesn’t make you feel great. It was fine though, since I had prepared a cold Monster to drink the night before.

Once I got to the journalism room, I tried to text the person on my team who had the laptop the night before. Ten precious minutes later, they responded saying they didn’t have it and thought the other members on our team had it.

Illustration by Lily Biggs

Thankfully, we found it in the Mbeat studio. Disaster struck again once I realized it was dead. It would have ordinarily been no problem, but the charger was broken beyond repair and I didn’t know where to get a new one since the advisor had left the room. 

By this time it was 7:30 in the morning, 15 minutes before the bell rang. The advisor finally came back and gave me a new charger to use. I had enough time to finish the Mbeat, but the rest of my plan had gone up in flames.

Even though I felt like crawling up into a ball and crying, I knew I had to keep pushing through. Stress, sleep, and emotions could wait; school couldn’t.

In the end, everything worked out. I finished the Mbeat and all the other homework and corrections for my other classes. That morning taught me a very important lesson- too much stress prevents you from productive work, but the right amount motivates you enough to stop procrastinating.

The next day, my body crashed. I slept for 14 hours straight and didn’t get out of my bed ‘till noon. Stress allowed me to get through seven hours of school, but I don’t think the price I had to pay was worth it.

A speaker once told me “stress” is a good thing. After experiencing that morning, I would have to disagree. 

The next time you are stressed, reevaluate your situation first. Ask yourself, “Is this worth sacrificing my mind and body?”

If the answer is no, take some time to yourself. Chances are that your situation won’t matter in five years. If the answer is yes, I only have one thing to say to you: good luck, and drink that Monster! You’ll need it.

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