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August 25, 2012

Teenhood Today: Stress, UGGGHHH, and raw spaghetti

The Daily Star

The Daily Star —  

Honestly, who hasn’t felt stressed out over something?
A test? Crammed schedule? Relationships? Mint or cherry ice cream? Or just life?
If you just answered “Why, no! As a matter of fact I have never felt stressed,” you are a liar. Everyone has felt stress at   one point or another. It’s a natural part of life. What’s hard to accept is that you are stressed.    
Some people shake their heads at people and whisper how “That person is too busy to be adding one more thing to her life,   what is she thinking? She’s just going to end up stressed and then I’m going to hear about it,” as they hypocritically sign   themselves up for their 15th chocolate-covered-lollypop-making class. 
I’m not saying that it isn’t good to involve yourself in numerous activities that you enjoy. I’m just saying that you should   reduce the quantity that you participate in.
I am a poor example of this. I am constantly adding more into my schedule. One more club won’t hurt, right? One more volunteer   position can’t do too much damage, right? Wrong! I’m beginning to learn that it’s OK to say “no.” You don’t have to be a part   of everything in the world. The world will keep spinning even if you don’t have a hand in everything.
That, however, is easier said than done. 
There are always new things to try, old hobbies to perfect, and weird activities to do just to say, “Yeah, I hurdled over   Mount Everest, eating raw spaghetti, hula-hooping, and juggling plums with my toes. You haven’t?”
But once in a while, you have to tell yourself that your sanity is more important than any club, hobby or activity. Because   if you don’t cut back on the amount of stuff you’re doing, you will go crazy.
You’ll start worrying about how you’re going to finish the speech you were asked to write, when you will study for the upcoming   test, what your best friend was saying about you behind your back, how you’re going to memorize the Declaration of Independence,   if you’re going to make it home in time for dinner, if your pet sloth is eating your pet mango, what the topic of your essay   is going to be about … etc.
Eventually you will experience a little thing I like to call UGGGHHH!!!! It’s a mixture of a killer headache, five tablespoons   of stomachache, a dash of bruised ego, five cups of short temper and one teaspoon of melted confidence. 
When you put too much on your plate, your body will literally go into overdrive. You won’t be the same person. You’ll lose   sleep over matters that really don’t need to be worried about. You’ll become angry with people for saying, “Good morning,”   and say things that you really don’t mean to or about your friends and family.
That one extra activity is not worth it!   
Are you experiencing UGGGHHH? Try looking at all problems as temporary and solvable. Reduce the amount of stuff you’re doing.
And most importantly, look beyond the here and now. “The sun will come out, tomorrow” (Annie). Believe me, you won’t always   be stressed.
Miriam A. Thurber
is a rising sophomore at Unatego Central School. ‘Teen Talk’ columns can be found at