How to successfully have your first breakdown in college

What’s up guys, how are you doing?

So, true to character, I’m currently procrastinating.  I’ve got an essay on Macbeth due tomorrow afternoon, and I’m just not feeling it right now.  And considering Maria has been ever so persistently reminding me that it’s my turn to write the blog post (and that it’s been nearly two months since the last one oops), I figured what better way to distract myself than to catch up with you guys?  So grab your beanbags and some snacks and get comfortable, friends.

I don’t know about any of you guys, but in high school I feel like I kind of had a lot of control over my emotions and my overall mental stability.  Like, I still put everything off until the last possible minute, but somehow I knew that everything would be okay.  I can honestly never say I’ve never had a breakdown; I’ve never been so overwhelmed that I’ve needed to have one.

THAT WILL CHANGE IN COLLEGE.

And you know what?  If you still have control over your emotions after your first year of college is over, then I applaud you.  But this was an entirely different ballgame for me.  Homework piles up, your family [unintentionally] begins to stress you out from home, you’re running out of time, your room is a mess, you can never seem to find time to shower or do laundry or eat meals, your sleep schedule is out of whack, and in the middle of all of that you get you’re freaking period at some point.  That’s what college students like to call ~April~ guys.  And it sucks.

Because of all of those things I just listed, Maria and I have now both experienced legitimately hardcore breakdowns.  I mean, we were both weepy, hyperventilating messes.  Not at the same time, thankfully (our friend Chelsea would have had a field day trying to fix both of us at the same time LOL).  But we decided that since it’s practically inevitable that you’ll eventually experience one of these yourself, why not give you some tips on how to make sure you break down correctly?

(Plus we all know I love a good numbered list.)

  1.  Pretend all your classes are super easy and that you’ve got this.  Honestly, nothing will set you up for a great breakdown like thinking you’ve got everything under control.  Tell yourself all of your classes this semester are super easy, that the essays you have to write are short and won’t take long, and that you can totally wait a little bit longer before starting your homework.
  2. Get the scoop on all of the drama happening at home.  It’s all about seeding, friends.  Get the low-down on what life is like for your family back home.  Money troubles?  Mom needs surgery?  Dad wants to get rid of your dog?  Also your truck?  What?  Since when?  Everyone’s been cranky and your siblings haven’t had school lunch money in a while?  Once you’ve learned everything they’ve been keeping from you and you’ve got about twenty more things on your plate that you wouldn’t have had otherwise, you’re just one step closer to the perfect breakdown.
  3. Spend the last few dollars in your bank account on All Time Low’s new album.  Or, you know, on Jimmy Johns or something equally stupid.  This way, by the time you realize your clothes hamper is overflowing, you won’t have any money to do laundry!  See how well things are going?
  4. Keep putting off your homework in order to de-stress from the first three steps.  I mean, you totally deserve it.  Binge-watch Once Upon a Time on Netflix the entire weekend or read a book.  Either way, keep your mind off of studying for upcoming finals and finishing your papers and projects and reports.  You don’t need that right now.
  5. Pick a night after your much-needed break and formulate your plan of attack.  Okay, so eventually you’re going to have to get your stuff done.  Sit down, figure out everything you have to complete and when each thing is due, and plan the days and times you’re going to work on it all.  While doing so, be sure to let your mind wander to all of those things your family told you and all of the money you don’t have and let that all begin to boil.
  6. Make sure you have the essentials.  You’re going to need your roommate or best friend somewhere nearby, and then it’s highly recommended that you keep your phone at your side as well.  Chances are, you’re going to need it.  Make sure your fridge is stocked with your favorite drink (Dr. Pepper for the win) and your food drawer contains the junk food that fills your heart with unicorns and glitter, and if you’re lucky enough to have a freezer, ice cream isn’t a bad idea either.  Put on your sad song playlist that we told you to make a couple posts ago.  Tissues are also recommended.
  7. You won’t get over it; you’ll succumb to it.  Just accept that when it happens, it’s happening.  There is no fighting it off, no keeping it in.  When you find yourself staring at your laptop screen and going completely numb, heart rate increasing and palms getting sweaty, just let it happen.  Warn your roommate (or don’t, that’s always fun), grab a tissue.  It’s okay.  You’re going to start crying, which will quickly go from sniffles to weeps to violent, spine-wracking sobs.  It’s fine.
  8. Call your parents.  Your roommate will likely be as surprised as you are that it’s happening, so as nice as it’ll be to have them there, just call your parents.  They’ve dealt with you being ridiculous before, and they’ll do it again.  If anyone is an expert on how to handle your emotions, it’s them.  Let them talk you through your plan of attack and reassure you about the problems at home that you have no control over.  I promise it’ll help.
  9. Go for a walk afterward.  I didn’t do this, but thinking back I wish I would have.  Granted it was the middle of the night when mine happened, but still, fresh air would have probably done me good.  Your mental health is more important than school work, and if you’re having a super hard time, then dude, what are you waiting for?  Go outside.  Walk through campus.  Come back.  Have a second go at it once you’ve cleared your head.
  10. ATTACK.  After your breakdown (which will likely happen around April like ours did), you’re going to feel like a whole new person.  I have no idea why, but it’s honestly like shedding your skin and just shaking everything off.  It’s like you get a second chance.  So you’ve got about a month – month and a half – left of your first year of college and a handful of different sorts of homework assignments due by then.  You can do it.  It’ll be rough, but once it’s over, you can take a two-week-long nap at home in your own bed with nothing to worry about for another three months.  How great does that sound?

Well, there you go.  If you’re going to break down, you’ve got to do it right.  Hopefully this will help!  But don’t worry, becoming blubbering messes isn’t all Maria and I have been up to in the last month and a half.  Between classes and Netflix marathons and listening to One Direction (RIP ot5) and hibernating (I mean napping), we’ve kept ourselves pretty busy!  Hopefully the same has been the case for you all.

With that, I bid you farewell to write my paper.  Maybe.

Take care, be kind!

Carissa

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