Before fully delving into what I’m talking about today, I wanted to quickly mention that today was my last day of school! I finished my last day of finals, and now all I have to do is pack up my room before moving out on Thursday. It’s crazy to think that nine months ago I was moving in with absolutely no clue how the year was going to go, and yet, three full quarters later, here I am about to head back to California again. I’ve been thinking about my year a lot lately, especially in terms of the people I’ve met and the creative things I’ve done. In thinking about what I was going to write about today, I wanted to somehow connect it to what I was already thinking about.

Over the course of this school year, I have encountered many a storm. Not in terms of weather (though the snow was quite intense), but rather emotionally and with my life in general. I’ve had panic attacks, I’ve cried in the blackbox so many times, and there have been more than a couple times when I seriously considered leaving school and going home. But, somehow, I made it here to the end. In weathering these storms, I have picked up a couple of tips and tricks that I thought I would share today.

  1. Set reminders on your phone.
    My mom used to tell me that life is always completely different two weeks after something happens. On September 10th, 2018, keeping that in the back of my mind, I set a reminder for September 24th, and typed out “See? Everything is okay.” After those two weeks (where in which I packed up my room, drove with my mom to Washington, said goodbye, unpacked everything in my new room, went through orientation week, and started school), I set another reminder for two weeks from then. I have gone through this entire school year setting a new reminder every two weeks. And, I kid you not, every two weeks I see my little note and I think to myself that it’s true, those things that were bothering me two weeks ago are no longer a problem. Or, they’ve evolved into a different problem. But, regardless, life really is different two weeks after something happens.

  2. Find the people who let you vent.
    Now, just to clarify, there is difference between venting and gossiping. Talking badly about someone will get you no where. Complaining will not help you solve a problem. That said, talking about what’s going on, to people who understand, is really helpful. Going to someone and saying, “This thing is really bothering me. I need to talk about it with someone because I don’t know what to do with it anymore,” is a good thing. And if you go to the right people (see thing number three), hopefully they will have advice, or they’ll just listen while you talk about what’s going on. Either one is often much needed.

  3. Ask for help.
    This is arguably the hardest thing on this list, but also the best thing I’ve done. This year, I think I finally learned the value in asking for help. Sure, I always knew things were easier when I asked for help, and I always knew it was the smart thing to do, but somehow I had myself convinced that asking for help made me weaker than the people who weren’t asking for help. To be honest, I still struggle with thinking that asking for help makes me weak. What I’ve done, though, is learn to ask the right people for help. The people remind me that it’s not weakness, it’s strength. When things are hard, asking for help is the best thing to do. But it’s important to remember that asking the right people for help is what makes it the best thing. There were many moments this year when I asked the wrong people for help, and I could tell many a story of how that went wrong. But I could also tell many a story of when I asked the right people for help, and how good things turned out because of it.

So there you have it- three little tips that have helped me weather these storms. As the school year ends for some and continues to wind down for others, I hope we can all look forward to a wonderful summer and a happy new school year. We’re all going to encounter more storms, but hopefully we can all continue to find ways to deal with them. Regardless of how bad some things may be, there’s always some good to come from it. I hope we can always remember that the bad stuff never lasts forever, to find our people, and to always ask for help when we need it.