On “How Are You?”

Today in a nutshell was pancakes and resigning myself to my unconscious decision to be entirely academically unproductive this weekend. If you’re gonna do no schoolwork, might as well do it wholeheartedly with pancakes and books on the side, right?

So I spent most of today reading with a steadily growing weight in my stomach. You know when you can’t fully enjoy yourself because in the back of your mind you know there are things you’re supposed to be doing? That was me. BUT, I ignored it and seized the day and read for pleasure and went to church and went to student dinner. It wasn’t until right before dance practice when someone asked me how I was. Immediately I was like “Oh I’m good!…actually maybe not.” Most people would brush it off but this person seemed truly concerned. So many times I’ve asked someone how they are because that’s just what you do. I don’t really listen. This person did. They gave me a hug and let me vent for two minutes about my frustrations with myself and how hard it is for me to motivate myself to study for subjects I don’t like. And, let me tell you, it made all the difference.

It’s like this huge cycle that never ends. You study endlessly for something, don’t perform as well as you had hoped even though you studied more for that exam than almost any other, you feel discouraged and disheartened, you’re totally unmotivated to study for that class because its so overwhelming, so, you don’t do well again. And again. And again. I don’t know how to stop it.

Turns out, other people have the same problem and I’m not alone in trying to get myself excited about classes and opportunities I’m not naturally passionate about. College is supposed to be about finding out which disciplines make you feel alive and where you can thrive later on in life. Anything with a goal that humongous will have some bumps along the way. It just sucks that those bumps kill your GPA but that’s a whole ‘nother rant xP

I don’t often talk about how I feel out loud. I’ll write it down, I’ll listen to angsty music, I’ll huddle with a blanket and a Harry Potter book and deflect all conversations, but I won’t say anything. Yet after just two minutes of talking to someone I felt so much…..lighter. It was crazy. It felt good. Bonding over lack of motivation is a great way to connect with another person.

Empathy is one of our most unique traits as humans. I think one of the most comforting phrases ever is just a simple “me too.” And a hug. Really good hugs increase quality of life by a hundred-fold (definitely scientifically-proven). So go ask someone how they are and be interested in what they say in return. Let someone vent to you for two minutes because it’s just two minutes and it could make them feel a whole lot better. That’s worth two minutes.

Always,
Melanie

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