Japan: My Perspective

I have never been to Japan.

I know, I bet you have not been there either. However, there is a reason why that sentence is so important: I am half Japanese and have never been to the country that half of my body, my soul, my literal blood belongs to. Going to Japan is almost like a milestone in my family – if you go, you are a true member of the family. And as of April 10th, I am officially going to Japan this summer from August 17th to September 3rd.

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Commuting From Home

After going through a life-long search to find the perfect house for my family, I knew that there was no way in hell I would be able to live in apartment that I could pay for myself until I was a functioning adult. Most of this sentiment comes in part by the reality of getting zero assistance from my parents to pay for an apartment and the other fees that come with this responsibility. And since the cheapest apartment I have ever come across that is close by to campus costs $900 a month, I have decided to live at home for my junior year of college. I know, I know, I think I might have lost my mind but at the same time, I have no problem being a scammer.

For the most part, I am a home-body. I like the comfort of having a home or at least little pieces of comfort that remind me of home. And I have made myself quite the home here at Emerson but I am looking forward to having real food, free laundry, and a couch that I can lay on without disrupting someone else’s personal space. If it was up to me, I would gladly live on campus next year but that’s not possible as the junior lottery is a fake scam in itself and there’s not enough space for everyone.

What I noticed the most about making the decision to live at home is that I get a plethora of reactions from those I mention it to or those who ask about my living situation for next year. Overall, people tend to respect my decision but I have gotten a lot of confused facial expressions, some form of amusement, and a lot of questions. And for the purpose of this post, I have decided to share these quirky questions and give you my equally quirky but honest answers.

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Decision Making: Tips and Techniques to Improve Your Form

To some people, I may seem decisive. To others, they’ve probably never seen me set down a firm decision. Always yielding to the people around me, whether it be the cuisine for a dinner out with friends or a subject matter I didn’t know much about or have experience with. I wasn’t born decisive. And quite frankly, I don’t think anyone was. Either way, I’ve learned some things through the many decisions I have and have not made.

First off, not every right decision will lead to happiness. At least, not immediately. That must be accepted first and foremost. If you think the right answer and happiness are synonymous, you might have been making the wrong decision all along. Take breakups for example, I doubt they’re easy for either partner, but the decision was made probably for the better. Your heart will catch up to your decision, just not instantaneously.

Something else I’ve learned is that information will always be the North Star in the decision making process. Even if it’s an emotional decision, it’s grounding to have some sort of fact to connect your brain to whatever is going on in your heart. The hormonal and the logical will balance out when the right decision is made.

I want to clarify that being indecisive does not mean not having a backbone, and vice versa. But it also can be said, that you can have or be without both. This one, I do not have personal experience with. However, I have watched other’s struggle with indecisiveness and kindness to the point of fault.

Surviving in this world is simple: food, water, air, and sleep. Thriving in this world and being happy requires more. You can’t yield to everyone or everything. Being nice does not mean falling for what others say. Being nice does not mean someone’s problems are worse. Being nice does not mean letting yourself be unhappy because someone else needs you more. Being nice means treating people with respect; the same respect you want to be treated with. Being nice is taking an interest and asking the questions you want to be asked. Being nice is standing by a friend; a friend who is just as nice to you.

Just as there are people who are nice to a fault, there are people who are opportunistic to a fault. Or in a less euphemistic way, bratty personalities; spoiled characters that require the attention. These are the people who lead decisions and take advantage of those without the spine. And these you should be wary of.

If you’re saying or thinking false justification lines like “It’s only for right now, it will pass,” until it happens again or “they just don’t fully understand,” although you’ve explained it time and time again in various different forms and volumes. Then you’re in denial and you know you’re in denial. Imagine this article as your best friend slapping you awake. These lines are tiresome and old and it’s time to change your game.

If you’re in an intimate relationship with this person, please make decisions about what you want. Make the decision for you, not for anyone else. The decision for you is what leads to happiness. If you’re in a platonic relationship with this person, remember that any person can be kept at any length and you hold the key to the power of you. Listen to your heart, listen to your brain, and find the right decision for you, then happiness will follow.

I don’t think I can say the following statement enough, but being nice or indecisive or both does not lower your IQ. Even if you’ve never studied any subject in your life, you are an expert in yourself. Don’t let someone take advantage of you, whether it be what to eat for dinner or whether to stay in the relationship.

When Life Doesn’t Go The Way You Planned

College is a very strange, unique time in our lives. Our fate has yet to be decided, and as a result, many parts of our lives feel constantly left up to chance. What we imagine ourselves doing in ten years is probably not what we will actually end up doing. So how can one stay sane with such a small sense of control? How can we plan blindly for an ever changing future?

Psych! You thought I was going to tell you. Unfortunately, nobody knows the answer. We’re all just fumbling in the dark as best we can. Honestly, if I tried to tell you what to do, I would probably be wrong. So instead of giving you a list of steps to follow or a surefire plan of action, I’ll tell you what has been working for me and, at the very least, it may lend you some perspective.

Here are my words of advice based off of my personal experiences as of late.

It’s essential to remember that the attitude you feel toward yourself is entirely up to you. No matter what anyone tells you, your personal fate lies entirely in your hands. Of course, it is always wise (and often necessary) to go to others for help. Acknowledging that, it’s wiser still to remember that you can’t lean on others to make up the foundation of your basic self. It’s up to you to stand firmly in what is healthiest for you—becoming too dependent on others can quickly become unhealthy for all involved.

No one can guarantee happiness or success to you—so often I compare myself to others and expect more of myself than is realistic. We have everything within ourselves to be happy—it just takes time, effort (and sometimes psychiatric help). I’m talking about self love here, people. College is full of situations that test what little faith we have in ourselves, and often exposes how vulnerable we are.

One big, ugly problem that almost any Emersonian can relate to is housing selection. No matter how much you try, there’s no promising that it will go your way. My first experience with housing was a complete nightmare. My group of four did not get suite selection, and upon being cast into the stormy seas of open housing, fractured and broke apart. The anxiety of not knowing where or how I would be living next year left a constant, gnawing fear in the back of my mind.

In order to cope with all that terrifying uncertainty, I find it extremely helpful to acknowledge the concept of entropy: the guaranteed decline of all things towards disorder. Without a force of energy keeping things in order, all things will spiral into chaos. That seems like it would be the opposite of comforting, but it’s actually the best thing physics can do for us. It gives us the opportunity to have some control over our lives—a way to influence positive change on whatever messed up situation we are currently in. If we dedicate time towards something we love and care about, that thing will prosper.

College is full of surprises. If your year has been anything like mine, you’ve had a wild ride. A lot of things I thought were going to pan out turned out to be a bust, but on the other hand, a lot of good things have also come out of what were once broken. I’ve realized that there’s absolutely no sense in wasting time worrying about issues that are out of my control, like housing, course selection and countless other things that plague us college students. For those things, we must embrace the unknown and remain firm in the knowledge that the universe will work it out in its own time. If we focus on what we can change instead—like our level of self love—we can turn our fear into a force of positive energy.

Though we can’t all become carefree rays of sunshine, we can make a conscious effort to improve our lives. So here’s what we’ve learned this year: if you do nothing to influence change, things will never get better. But, if you are willing to work against the underlying chaos of our world, things can (and will) get better. Try starting with small things, like keeping your room clean. Once you are aware that the mess only grows the more you ignore it, you will find a purpose in keeping that mess at bay. This same principle can be applied to anything in life. It’s completely a matter of choice—and it’s all entirely, irrevocably up to you.

Sticking to What Works: Why We Find Things We Love, and Then Drop Them

I have recently become comfortable with the practice of yoga. For years, I watched beautiful people in a light sweat bounce casually out the door of the numerous yoga studios around town. As a child, I wondered about them‒what those rolled up mats were for, how they always seemed so calm and serene, why they all looked like hippies. As I grew older, I began to envy them. What was this strange practice that supposedly quieted the mind while simultaneously strengthening the body? I couldn’t understand how meditation could make someone sweat, let alone present a physical challenge.

Curious and interested in Eastern philosophy, I decided to see what all the fuss was about for myself. At first, things seemed hopeless. I was thin and bony, without an ounce of muscle on my body. My grandfather used to hold up my limp little arms and joke with me, saying, “Look at this sack of wet mice.” I couldn’t even lift ten pounds. As I crouched there on my purple yoga mat, praying the teacher wouldn’t come over and fix my position again, I stole glances at the other people in the class. To my surprise, no one else was looking around nervously like I was. They all had their eyes closed, earnestly breathing in rhythm like the good yogis they were.

At the time, I thought they were all masters. It seemed to come so easy to them, like they didn’t even have to try. I started to wonder what I was doing there, feeling like I had disturbed their meditation, distracting the teacher who kept coming over to pull my arms higher up by my ears or bend my knee deeper into a lunge. I thought to myself that I had been wrong to dream about yoga all this time, that it clearly was not for me.

A few years later, I came back to the practice with a fresh outlook. At my new studio, I realized that not one person in the room was a master. They were all struggling too, in their own personal way. I began to feel like for the first time in my life I had found a form of exercise that I could pursue confidently, without having to worry that I wasn’t good enough. Organized sports had always made me feel inferior‒I didn’t understand why I had been born with noodles for arms, lanky legs and flat feet. After trying just about every sports team in my town, I gave up and pursued the arts instead.

This is another interest into which I have dedicated a substantial amount of time. Though creative endeavors come much easier to me than any form of physical exercise, the pattern began to show up once again. This time, I noticed it in my writing. Since elementary school, I have loved poetry. I would collect pretty notebooks and write my most secret thoughts there, weaving them into rhymes as best I could. For years, I remained proud of my work‒I remained humble, but believed that I was writing something worthy of being read. In my junior year of high school, I went to a weekend conference for young writers. I studied poetry there and in that week wrote my best work to date. I met wonderful people who possessed more talent than I had ever seen. I wanted to be like them.

When I got home, I tried writing poetry again as I had for so many years before, but something had changed. I no longer had the confidence in my work to see it through more than one revision, often leaving poems unfinished, never to be looked at again. It was the saddest loss of interest I’ve ever experienced—the passion that had kept me up at night to write poems had gone suddenly, without my notice.

Back to my new found love for yoga. I bought all the necessary accouterments‒the special padded mat, new leggings, headbands, sports bras and tank tops. I was ready to be like those beautiful yoga people I had watched for so long and for a little while, I was. For a few weeks, I scheduled my life around classes, trying to go as often as I could. I looked forward to the rush of energy and bliss that washed over me as I left each session. It was a similar feeling to writing a poem that explains your feelings exactly as they are in your head.

Then, very subtly, something again began to change. I stopped looking forward to classes and started seeing them as I had seen all exercise in the past—something I had to drag myself to, monotonous and unenjoyable. As the weeks continued to roll by, I went to classes less and less, procrastinating with them like I would with school deadlines. After a while, I stopped going altogether.

As time went on, I realized that this was a trend in my life and that, after speaking to others about this phenomenon, I was not alone. Every time I found something constructive, a goal of some kind to work towards, I would pursue it for a while, then slowly lose interest. Yoga was such a healthy force in my life—it was challenging, fun and made me feel good. I had spent so much of my life feeling defeated by organized exercise and here I had finally found something that worked for me. So why did I stop? I’m still trying to figure it out. I could blame it on my generation as a whole and claim that as a millennial my attention span is naturally short. I could even say that those hobbies just weren’t for me. The thing is, I know full well that I loved doing them and wish I hadn’t let them slip out of habit.

If in reading this you’ve realized that you too are resisting things you are good at, things that you love—my advice to you (and myself) is to jump headfirst back into it. Drag yourself if you must, but don’t let yourself slip out of healthy habits. No matter how rational your excuses may sound in your head, I guarantee you’ll feel better knowing that you gave it your best college try. As I write this, I am resolving to go to yoga tomorrow. might even write a poem.

Movie Review: Entourage

Warning: Contains spoilers!

Entourage is a continuation of an HBO television series of the same name that ran from 2004 to 2011. It was released on June 3, 2015 and has grossed over $44 million. The protagonist, Vincent “Vince” Chase (Adrian Grenier) and his “entourage” of childhood friends, his brother Johnny “Drama” Chase (Kevin Dillion), agent Eric Murphy (Kevin Connolly), and personal chef Turtle (Jerry Ferrara)  grew up in a dangerous neighborhood. However, Vince was discovered by his agent-turned-producer, Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) and they all ended up in Hollywood.

I had never heard of the television show, nor do I remember seeing any previews for the movie, so I went in completely blind. I actually went to the theater to see a different movie, but every other show was full for the next few hours (the only downside to those giant, fancy armchairs.)

Vince’s nine-day marriage ends and he decides he wants to do something different. Gold, who had just become a producer, offers Vince the lead in his first movie, Hyde, but Vince demands to direct as well. The movie skips ahead eight months, when Vince, who’s already over budget, needs another $10 million dollars. Gold is forced to visit the Texan rancher Larsen McCredle (Billy Bob Thornton) and his son, Travis McCredle (Haley Joel Osment), who are financing the movie. Larson is unconvinced of the movie’s worth and sends Travis to decide if they should give Gold and Vince the money they need.

The gang organizes a screening to get feedback on the movie and hundreds of people show up. Vince gets cold feet, fakes technical difficulties and gives Ari and Travis DVDs to watch themselves. Travis is thrilled, because he’s just met the model of his dreams, Emily Ratajkowski, and goes with off with her.

Gold decides that Hyde is amazing, but Travis doesn’t feel the same way. He first says he doesn’t like Johnny and then adds he hates Vince as well. The gang realizes that Travis only hates the movie because he’s jealous that Vince and Emily have started dating. Larson, surprised but also irritated at the disrespect he believes his son faced, agrees only to back the movie if Gold resigns, which Gold does.

Hyde goes on to be a major hit and makes over $450 million worldwide. Johnny, struggling through the entire movie with his poor career, wins an award for best supporting actor. In the last lines of the movie, a photographer ironically suggests to the gang that a movie be made of their lives.

Unfortunately, I wan’t very engaged while watching Entourage. The characters were more annoying than interesting, especially Travis and Johnny. The fact that the whole movie almost went under because Travis felt disrespected was slightly ridiculous, seeing as Emily didn’t want to go out with him in the first place. He forced her to let him go to her house and watch the movie with her and got angry that she was interested in someone else. He literally waited outside of her house after she finally got him to leave to see if Vince was going to show up. That’s creepy. That’s not okay. Emily is entitled to date whoever she wants.

That’s not the only hit against women in the movie. Most of the movie and the character’s subplots are based around the sexualization of women. The are countless party scenes of scantily-clad women and more than a couple sex scenes. Jeremy Pivon describes the movie as a “male fantasy,” but it’s pretty demeaning to women. The only functional relationship is between Gold and his wife.

Let’s look at Eric, who gets his ex-girlfriend, Sloan, pregnant. He cheated on her, with her mother, I think, which is why they broke up. Then he started sleeping with another pretty blonde with big boobs, but she dumps him because she thinks his relationship with Sloan makes it awkward for her. He sleeps with another girl that night and both girls have to confront him for acting like a womanizing jerk by scaring the hell out of him.

The characters may have come from nothing, but I couldn’t feel sympathy for their problems when they’re so conceited. The whole movie is a showcase of glitzy Hollywood life, and obviously celebrities have personal issues just like everyone else, but it was hard to care about the characters when I didn’t like them or their lifestyle.

Overall, they didn’t face any real problems or failures because every single thing worked out in the end. I don’t really understand how it could be a satire of Hollywood life, because there were no lessons learned and no making fun of Hollywood life. It wasn’t even funny. They started out great, used their connections and riches to solve their non-truly-existent problems and ended up even better without having to change any of their ways.

My Yoga Experience

I have probably struggled with anxiety my whole life. However, I mostly noticed it in high school. Between playing two varsity sports and focusing on my studies, there was so much work to do in so little time.

My average day started at 7:30 a.m. when I would go to school until classes ended at 3 p.m. Then, I would have field hockey or softball practice until 6 p.m. Considering I lived 30 to 45 minutes away from my high school, I wouldn’t get home until right before 7 o’clock at night. This basically meant that I would have to shower, eat dinner and do homework before I went to bed at a reasonable hour.

Yes, I know this schedule could have been a lot worse. I know that I could have gotten home a lot later or could have had longer practices, but for someone with anxiety, having less time can lead to the worst. Having a set timeline stresses me out. Yes, having everything planned out should probably help my anxiety, but I always feel like it’s a checklist, something to quickly get done, like a race. (And does not help that I am also extremely competitive.)

So how does this connect to yoga?

IT may seem like I am writing this solely to rant about my high school life, but I’m not. Yoga was something that meant so little during high school. I did not realize the true impact it could have made so early in my life. I always practiced yoga, but not seriously. I almost took it for granted. It was more for stretching and keeping me in shape. It wasn’t until college that I fully immersed myself into its culture and lifestyle.

With that immersion and new found love, I found a new life. Yoga can mean many different things depending on the person. To some, it is an excuse to wear high fashion workout clothing. To others, a way to get fit. But to many, an escape from the real world.

Photo Credit: Jacob Kleinman Phillips
Photo Credit: Jacob Kleinman Phillips

For me, yoga offers a sanctuary. A place that is forever and fully accepting of me, and that will support me no matter how much I change. It is amazing how having a place that fully accepts you for you, without any judgement, can affect a person. Whenever I feel anxiety creeping up or need to take a pause on life, yoga is there for me with open arms. The best part is that you know that it is always there for you because you have control over your own practice. If you are stressed out in the airport because your flight just got cancelled, all you have to do is find a spot to sit and then focus on yourself.

Photo Credit: Jacob Kleinman Phillips
Photo Credit: Jacob Kleinman Phillips

You only need a place that gives you the ability to center yourself and take a pause from the everyday bustling of life. This pause can be some sun salutations, meditation or just focusing on your breath. Personally, all of these ways have helped me to defend off anxiety, but each person has their own preference.

At the end of every practice at my studio in Philadelphia, my teacher tells us to honor the light within us and within others. When stating this, we bring our hands in the shape of a “v,” with our thumb knuckles pressed against our foreheads, and welcome in all positivity.

Within this saying, there are so many ways for interpretation. Most importantly, it reminds us to stay positive and to stop getting stressed over the little things. To realize what is the most important in our hearts and to honor it fully. Because of this mantra, and so many others that one learns by being a part of the yoga community, I have become a better person by heart. A better person for both myself and for others.

Take it from me, a life without anxiety is a much fuller and beautiful life to live by. With this being said, this article is not meant to convince you to practice yoga, but to find something, like I did, that helps you to reconnect with and love yourself again. We should all have some sort of practice, whether it be yoga or not, to live by that helps us to cut out of routine and focus on ourselves.

I found mine, so what is yours?


Getting Ahead: The College Catch 22

Sleep: a college urban myth. The ever elusive act of sleeping can only be witnessed on the Emerson College campus if you wander into a History of Media Arts 1 class where you will surely find a room full of sleeping college students. You may think it would be more common to find students asleep at night, however, you’re more likely to find a bunch of Emerson students wandering around campus at 11 p.m. having just finished up their nightly org meetings, red bulls in hand, as they migrate back to the dorms for another homework-filled all-nighter. Not exactly the college life that most of us envisioned growing up and certainly not the college experience that we are bombarded with in the media. However, in recent years, it has become both an expectation and a commonplace that college students maintain balance among the pressure to succeed in all aspects of their lives.

Today college students are expected to maintain stellar grades, work a part-time job, intern, be involved in (if not lead) clubs, volunteer and have a social life that rivals that of the Gossip Girl cast.  The result of all of this is to prove that they are a well-rounded person, whatever that means. Students who do not measure up to these qualities, or choose to not follow this format, are labeled slackers, or even worse, deemed failures. While college students have always been busy, in past generations students who did everything listed above would have been considered highly ambitious or successful. Now doing all of these things is simply average, and in order to be ambitious or a success, the minimum criteria is you need to have your own start-up. It’s no longer enough to simply go to school and perform well, expecting to find a job upon graduation. Today students are encouraged to constantly be building a resume with relevant experience before even graduating. With the job market more competitive than ever and the lack of weight a college degree carries anymore; students often push themselves past their limits in order to just keep up with their peers.

But are we really getting ahead or are we simply getting by? There is only a certain point to which a person can stretch themselves before their work starts to suffer. At some point the constant busy way of life will lead to an eventually burning out. Yet, it seems our society has grown accustomed to expecting quantity on a resume rather than quality.

Personally, I’m one of the biggest offenders of this lifestyle. I go to class and work during the day and once I get back to the dorms at night, I do homework and work on projects, leaving around four hours for sleeping. Naturally, 20 hours a day, six to seven days a week can lead to being burnt out and I find that I will often crash sleep for 12-15 hours increments every few weeks. Then, there are times where there are literally not enough hours in the day to get everything done, so I have to find ways to cut corners. I’ve heard multiple times from friends and peers that they feel class is a waste of their time, because there are other things they could be working on. It’s not uncommon at Emerson, and I’m sure colleges around the country, to see students in class on their laptops, doing other class work or applying for jobs and internships. Even though classes are the purpose of attending college, the actual class time seems to take a back seat to students’ other commitments.

While it’s not about fleeing from commitments and responsibilities and longing for the simpler days of high school, it’s important to find a wholistic college experience, where students can be engaged in everything they are doing, rather than simply going through the motions. It can be tempting to try to seize every opportunity that your college or university has to offer, and in doing so bulk up your resume. However, come graduation you may feel like you never experienced any aspect of college to the fullest. That’s the college Catch 22; either gain experience or have a college experience.

Tips for Managing Stress

As Emerson students, we all know what it’s like to have busy schedules: classes Monday through Friday, orgs in the afternoon, then part-time jobs, internships and/or performances. Sometimes it’s overwhelming and we don’t know how to get out of it. I know that I’m constantly anxious about all the things I need to get done. But instead of tackling my stress, I often pile more work onto my load thinking that I need to do everything, be a member of every org and maintain the best grades, all so I can secure a job in the future.

Stress, however, isn’t good for the body. Long-term stress can weaken the immune system, leaving you more susceptible to illness. It can cause indigestion, nausea, constipation, headaches and muscle pain. You may also become more irritable, impatient or forgetful. Oftentimes, and I know I’m guilty of this as well, people attempt to cope with stress by over or under eating, oversleeping, procrastinating or taking it out on others. These, however, are unhealthy approaches that might even make your stress worse.

Here are some tips on how to recognize and manage stress:

First order of business: identifying the source

For me, stress creeps up slowly. It’s something I don’t recognize until I’m already losing sleep and feeling like I can’t catch my breath. With spring break just around the corner, papers, presentations and midterms loom in front me. And when this past weekend arrived, I was so busy I felt lost. I didn’t know what to assignment to do first or even if I’d have the time to do it all. I even had a realization at three in the morning that Sunday that I hadn’t eaten since a late breakfast the day before. I knew then that I had to do something or I was going to lose my mind.

By identifying the source, you can gain control of your stress and make actions to lower it. I’ve found that the five strategies below are the best method to tackling the problem.

Strategy 1: Avoid any unnecessary stress

I know that I have a hard time saying no. Just the other day, I gave a woman on the street money, offered to review a friend’s paper and agreed to lunch with another friend. All of this added onto my already full schedule and forced me to take a step back. I had to tell myself that sometimes it’s good to say no. I ended up canceling my lunch plans which was the definitely the best choice for me. In either your personal or professional life, you shouldn’t take on more than you can handle. If you realize you have, it’s okay to admit you’re overwhelmed and need to take a step back. Look at what you have on your to-do list and drop whatever is truly unnecessary.

Strategy 2: Change the situation

It isn’t always possible to avoid a stressful situation. In this case, to prevent similar situations from occurring in the future, you can make actions now. Don’t bottle up your feelings; express them. Communicating your concerns about someone or something openly and respectfully will loosen the tension and inhibit the build-up of resentment, anger or frustration. Be assertive and deal with any problems head on. Trying to deny they exist won’t make them disappear. And lastly, manage your time accordingly. Planning ahead and making sure you don’t overbook yourself will help to lower much of your stress. I know this last tip is something I really need to work on. I want to imagine that I can do it all, but know that I can’t.

Strategy 3: Adjust your attitude and adapt to the stressor

When I become stressed, I’m often overwhelmed with everything I need to do. It’s the only thing l I can focus on and I then become upset that I’m in this situation. Looking at the world in a negative point of view didn’t change the situation or solve any of my problems. Because of my despondent attitude, I’ve actually missed out on a lot. For example, I forgot that my cousin’s baby shower was quickly approaching and was unable to fully appreciate the fact that my friend received an interview for an internship at The Today Show. Re-framing the stressor to focus on the positive can help keep things in perspective. Thinking positive thoughts will improve your emotional health and reduce stress. You’ll also feel like you’re in control and can actually manage your stress.

Strategy 4: Make time for fun and relaxation

For college students especially, it feels like we don’t have time for anything fun. We have a binder-full of homework to complete, essays to write and part-time jobs to get to. But taking the time for yourself is really important. Relaxing will give you a chance to recharge and prepare you to better handle future stress. This can be as simple as taking a few hours out of every day to go for a walk, listen to music, read for pleasure or watch a well-loved sitcom. I’ve now accepted that it’s alright for me to watch New Girl and The Mindy Project every Tuesday night. It’s only an hour out of my time; the world’s not going to end and any assignments I have can wait. I know I’ll still be able to get them done.

Strategy 5: Maintain a healthy lifestyle

I am not the healthiest person. I eat way too much junk food and think exercise is for the criminally insane. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, however, is extremely important. When you strengthen your physical health, you’ll also improve your resistance to stress. Exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet will not only bolster your body, but also your mind. Avoiding alcohol, cigarettes and too much caffeine and sugar is also important. If your body feels healthy and strong, so will your mind.

The Health and Wellness Center is a great resource offered by Emerson College. You can make an appointment to go and talk about your health and if stress is affecting it. They can offer more tips for stress management and relaxation.

The Counseling Center is another wonderful resource. Here, you can discuss anything that might be bothering you. A professional will carefully listen and then provide the best support and advice.

All in all, everyone deals with stress differently. We’re always going to be faced with a situation that causes us anxiety. Knowing our limits and being aware of the various ways we can tackle the problem will help us to reduce stress and keep a positive attitude. It’s a continuous process, but one that will allow us to live happy, healthy lives. And hey, maybe sometime soon you’ll see me making an appearance in the fitness center.