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Day 47

A clean room helps make a happy mind. Today is May 3.

Maybe this is just me, but I’ve found one of the hardest parts of being a high-achieving student is the guilt and anxiety when life is out of my control. There’s just this constant pressure I put on myself to be perfect, and when I don’t think I can meet my own absurd, unrealistic expectations, I shut down. I stop working and studying, which in turn creates even more panic and stress. I’ve created this toxic reality for myself that centers around academic achievement. 

I’d guess being away from school would make life easier, but it’s actually been the opposite. Without the structure and routine the academic year provides me, I’m struggling to stay afloat. I’ll spend days on end doing nothing productive, living off of chocolate and tortilla chips. The longer I put off studying, the more scared I am to fail and the less I want to review. It’s like if I don’t study and I don’t try and I don’t care, then I’m leaving myself an escape hatch to flee through when life gets too hard. As awful as I know it is, I feel like if I separate from the world, maybe I won’t be as disappointed when I see that I can’t live up to my own expectations.

I’d guess being away from school would make life easier, but it’s actually been the opposite. Without the structure and routine the academic year provides me, I’m struggling to stay afloat.”

In my process of ignoring all my responsibilities and isolating myself from the impending pressure of Advanced Placement tests, but still in an effort to be semi-productive, I picked up my room today. For the last week or so I’d let my laundry (both clean and dirty) pile up in miscellaneous heaps. I can stand a messy space for a while, but when I can’t see my floor any longer, it’s time to clean. I put on some good music and danced around my room as I hung up shirts and jackets. By the time I was done, I was smiling and feeling glad my room was organized once more.

In addition to maintaining a semblance of neatness in my bedroom, I’ve been trying to find new movies and TV shows to connect with. For some reason I prefer watching a string of 45 minute episodes in a series rather than a 120 minute movie. I know it’s strange, but that’s just me. Recently I’ve been enjoying Criminal Minds (obviously), but because I’m about halfway through the final season that’s available on Netflix, I’ve decided to broaden my horizons.

“The more media portrays positivity, acceptance and self-love, the more people will begin to mimic and embody such behavior. I’ve heard that art mimics life, but I also believe life and love mimic art. If this is true, I hope beautiful art can continue to promote beautiful lives.”

I am usually not a fan of reality television, but the recent reboot of Queer Eye has pulled on all of my heartstrings. I’ve recently finished the four-episode series where the “Fab 5” traveled to Japan to help four heroes elevate their lives. For anyone in need of a feel-good show, I strongly recommend Queer Eye in all its forms. With every episode I feel better about myself and have a little more faith in humanity.

Today, I decided to challenge myself and watch a movie. I’d recently seen a new one come across my screen as I was browsing Netflix and decided to check it out. Honestly, when I watched the trailer for The Half of It, I was prepared for another overdone love triangle high school drama where by the end I felt unimpressed. The movie completely flipped my expectations around, and by the end I was laughing and had damp eyes.

“The world is full of beautiful places. Let your heart be one of them.”

Jenim Dibie

The story seemed to highlight friendship and personal growth, as well as challenging world-view and societal expectations, far more than it focused on classic romance. The healthy, honest character growth and conversations it facilitated in the film is what the world needs to see. The more media portrays positivity, acceptance and self-love, the more people will begin to mimic and embody such behavior. I’ve heard that art mimics life, but I also believe life and love mimic art. If this is true, I hope beautiful art can continue to promote beautiful lives.

“The world is full of beautiful places. Let your heart be one of them.” ― Jenim Dibie

How did you spend your 47th day of social distancing? Let us know in the comments below.

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