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Surviving Stress & Other Things: The Election, DAPL, & Grad School

Lately I’ve been so busy with school that I’ve completely neglected this blog, as well as many other aspects of my life. So to jump back into it (because I may finally have a bit more free time) here are a few things that have recently been on my mind:

The election → With the U.S. presidential election just three days away, I am scared. My friends and family are scared, and a large portion of the country and world is too. What if donald trump* becomes our next president? What then?

I truly believe that with trump in the White House, the future of our country is at stake. I won’t feel comfortable, let alone safe, with an inexperienced, fragile, and hateful racist/sexist/xenophobic billionaire running our country. I am so exhausted by this entire election that there’s not much more I can say here other than, please vote. Please vote for Hillary Clinton. Whether you like her or not, she’s our only viable option (see: 25 Reasons Why I’m With Her). By not voting for Clinton, you’re allowing trump the possibility of holding the highest office in our country, and putting so many lives at stake. You’re saying that you don’t care about the future for marginalized citizens (women, the disabled, the LGBT community, immigrants, Muslim Americans, Jewish Americans, Black Americans, Asian Americans, Latinx Americans, Native Americans, etc.).

*This candidate has said so many horrific things about race, gender, religion, etc., that I refuse to capitalize his name. His candidacy has also strengthened the resolve of so many hate groups – white nationalists in particular.

#NoDAPL – The Dakota Access Pipeline → What’s been happening to protestors of the Dakota Access Pipeline (see videos attached below) is a major human rights issue and an infringement on the sovereignty of indigenous land in this country. For those of us who are not able to go to Standing Rock, North Dakota, to join the protestors in protecting their land and water, we must do our best to disseminate information and ensure that our leaders know that this is not an acceptable thing to be happening the United States in 2016. Also, be sure to look for rallies happening in your community.

Stress and graduate school → I knew graduate school would be stressful, but I didn’t fully fathom the degree to which I would constantly be overwhelmed. It’s not even my school work that’s too much, but all of my other grad school related duties and responsibilities that have erased nearly any opportunity for me to relax, de-stress, or compose myself. I’ve bitten off more than I can chew, and I’m just trying to stay above water. This is particularly frustrating when there are major things happening in the country and the world today that I want to be a part of. I wish I had more time to be involved in this campaign, I wish I could join protestors in North Dakota and be a part of protecting the land, I wish I had time to spend with friends or family that wasn’t tightly scheduled to fit into my hectic day. I wish I didn’t constantly feel on the verge of shutting down, simply because I can’t do it anymore.

I’m so grateful for my education and all that being in graduate school has granted me access to, but there’s a hush-hush culture around stress in grad school that’s unacceptable. If you’re having issues handling the work-load and pressure, then you’re weak or not smart enough. And maybe that’s the issue here? Maybe I’m just not cut out for grad school? Or it could also be that I just want more time to be a person…not a robot who’s constantly writing and studying and grading and reading and emailing and going to meetings.

Though now that I think about it, maybe I’m just preparing myself for working life in America? Work hard, but hardly be able to be human. Live, but don’t live. Work, work, work.

This is what I’ve been thinking about these past few weeks. What’s been on your mind? How do you feel about the election and DAPL? How do you deal with insurmountable volumes of stress?

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