Hyperventilation

Textbooks have been polka-dotting the mail for the last few weeks, and the boxes, unopened, have been stacked in a pile in my bedroom . . . until yesterday.

I didn't want to open them. I wanted to send them all back. I wanted to quit school.

Maybe it sounds lame. After all, I only have one year left before I graduate with my Bachelor's degree. I should finish what I start, right? Of course. Or at least that's the textbook response.

I opened the packages and re-stacked those formidable books and freaked out.

Mental panic attacks, I call them. My brain goes into overdrive, and my heart starts to pound, and I feel like crying if only I could, and I want to back down, give in, and give up.

I've been dreading the start of fall semester. Honestly, I'm nervous about my classes. But I'm dragging my feet because I hate the busyness of school. Yes, I like being busy. No, I don't like the college version. No matter how optimistic I am, no matter how well I can manage my time, no matter how much I get done in a day, there's no getting around it: school is stressful and chaotic and demanding and exhausting. It's never finished, and it's never ending. There's always something, some project, some studying, some assignment, that I could be working on. School is constantly hanging over my head. The worst part is that because I can't come home at the end of the day with my work accomplished and complete, I feel forced to choose between school and life, and if there's a big project due or a paper I should write, guess what (or who) gets de-prioritized? You got it: people. That I hate. Sure, I realize my "job" as a student is to work hard in school, and I do, and I actually have pretty decent time management, believe it or not. I'm just frustrated with college-busyness that seems to jeopardize more important things in life, like spending time with people. I'm not being pessimistic, really. That's just the way it is.

Breathe in, breathe out.
Lord . . . 
I wanted to start out this semester with confidence and anticipation. 
. . . You are in control.
Instead, a mental panic attack, and I try to ignore the bazillions of things jamming my mind, the pit in my stomach, the tears welling up but never spilling over, the taunting that it would be easier to quit.
. . . You are my strength, my peace.
School has never been particularly enjoyable for me, which makes it all the more difficult to keep going. If every day brings me closer to graduation, it also always brings the question, "why?" If there's one thing I know, it's how hard it is to do something I'm forcing myself to do, even though I don't seem to have a concrete reason.
. . . Your plan for my life is perfect.
No, I'm not going to quit, if that's what you're wondering. I have to learn to do what I know to do when I don't know what to do. And one of the things I certainly know to do is be a student. God really has led me down this new college road, and if I'm truly surrendered to His will, like I want to be and say I am, there can be no u-turns.
. . . And You will make my paths straight if I trust and lean not on my own understanding.

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