There’s nothing like curling into a ball, alone in my dark room, after a day of stress, insecurity, and anxiety at school.

I had a little PMS blow-up the other day. I was already stressed out by nearly everything, when my grandma called to ask if I could go home for a while to buy her some food because she hadn’t had lunch yet. I checked the time and it was already 2 PM, which meant that it was pretty late for lunch (which worried and stressed the hell out of me), and that my Biology laboratory class would start in under 30 minutes. I didn’t know what to do at the height of the moment, so I just sat there and offered her viable solutions, like long-distance troubleshooting company representatives do, which made me so angry at myself for not actually going home to get her some food. It was so frustrating and selfish of me. I didn’t know what to do with myself after the call, racked with self-hatred and disgust, I proceeded to Biology class.

I am under immense pressure, operating and studying under a scholarship grant’s grade standard. Last week, I found out that I am also subject (by scholarship contract) to work for 30 hours this semester at any university office of my choosing during my free periods. I started last Friday at the Environmental Science Department’s office. It was nice having new people around to talk and listen to, but at the end of the day everything comes down, crushing me into tiny little fragments of stress, fatigue, and overwhelming emotion. What makes this fine is that listening to Bowie and Queen’s “Under Pressure” is now extremely pleasurable and in itself rewarding, as I commute by way of jeepney to school every morning. Speaking of rewards, reading Lin Manuel Miranda’s tweets after a long day is like god smiling down at you from heaven.

It’s exciting, seeing how much I’ve accomplished since I dropped out of school about a year ago. The sweet and slow anticipation of what is to come, and, of course, the immense anxiety of knowing that I have to put in work and deal with the stressors. There is no getting away from things now, a reality I’ve reconciled myself with. A friend once sent me a documentary named Game of Thrones: A Day in the Life, which is sort of a peek into their filming process, production and all that. Christopher Newman, one of the show’s producers, said something that stuck with me: “Game of Thrones is a big event and what you mustn’t do is get put off by the bigness of it. […] It must be like parachuting; don’t worry about the height you’re jumping, just make sure the parachute works.” It’s inspiring to me as I’m thinking about it now and applying it in the context of my present situation. But even with all this bigness, as always, remembering to take care of myself. ♦