By Henry Ball
A common problem people write to me about (and by “me” I mean “other people” and by “write to” I mean “I assume they have these conversations”) is how to deal with stress.
Being stressed used to be undesirable and weak, but now it seems the status quo has other ideas treating stress as a sign of importance and diligence to one’s duties. The cultural norm sets a precedence of being stressed all the time, causing the common man to work unreasonable hours simply for one’s pride.
Where does this leave our stressed population? Without sleep!
Now, I’m not going to harp on about how you should be leading a life that tends to less stress, you go out there and make your mother proud! I’m just here to try and minimise the damages caused by this high-yielding yet inevitably destructive attitude to life.
So you got into bed last night and couldn’t get to sleep. Maybe you just lay there in the silence and thought about those who you didn’t talk to anymore because your lives had strayed too far from each other. Or maybe you were binge watching the excellent “Stranger Things” series on Netflix and were enthralled by its excellent reconstruction of 80’s American suburbia. Don’t worry. It’s happened to the best of us. The first thing you should do is open your copy of the Gair Rhydd and look in the friendly “advice” section (usually around the centre of the newspaper) and check to see if they have any advice for you. Lo and behold, look where we are now.
In famous words of the Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy, “don’t panic”. You’ll be alright. Unless you’ve been contracted by the military to fly a fighter jet today I doubt this day of drowsy half-consciousness will really matter in the long run. Go get a coffee and we can mull over how this whole day is going to go down in a bit.
Now that we’ve calmed you down, let’s think about how we got here. Maybe you were kept up by some exotic lover of the night that you had only met the night before? If so, don’t lie to me, you’re not that great. Maybe you were kept up because of some friendly movie night you had with a friend who thought it was more and so tried to keep making a move but you didn’t really see them like that so you had to awkwardly fend them off.
Try to think positively, you spent some of your awake time today on yesterday’s evening. I’m sure you had fun.
“But Henry, you beautiful and oddly eloquent young man” I hear you exclaim, “What do I do now?”.
Since we’ve already established that you’ve failed to pay due respects to your other commitments, why not relax? Have the morning off and try not to waste another day like you did last time. Then again, that’s what this whole student thing is about. Forget about the piece of paper, you’re becoming an adult and part of that process is making mistakes and trying not to repeat them. Just like my mother always used to tell me “It’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them. Also, finish your homework you lazy little boy”.