10 February 2013

Issues: Being Stressed Out (In College and Everywhere Else)

     Hi!!!!!  Sorry (I'm not really apologizing to just my readers, but to myself as well) I haven't been posting anything.  I haven't been in the mood since school started.  I haven't been in the mood for anything, really.  I've sort of been a zombie the last few weeks.  I am a part-time college senior at the moment, so I should have a lot of free time, right???  Well, yes I do, but I am kind of stressed out because it's my last semester as an undergrad and now the pressure is on to not screw anything up.

     A lot is on the line.  Graduating and earning a bachelor's degree is one thing, but the fear of the unknown life waiting after graduation has been enough to cause me to lose sleep.  I applied to grad school, for Ph.D. programs in Biology.  Hell yes I want to be accepted to my #1 choice school!  I daydream endlessly about moving out of my beloved childhood home (I commuted to undergrad all four years. It saved money and I'm not complaining, but it's time to change!) and into an apartment all my own in an area that I have been in love with since my first visit as a child.  But I also have to prepare for deviations, such as being turned down (read: rejected) by my top choices, or even being turned down by everywhere I applied to.

     Some of my friends aren't applying to graduate school, and the pressure is on them to go find a job.  Something they may or may not do for the rest of forever...  Our parents are telling us to make use of our expensive degrees and go be something.  Not all of us are born knowing what we want to do.  Oftentimes our ambitions change as we grow and become exposed to more of the world.  Personally, I wanted to be a doctor all my life until I hit sophomore year in college and I realized I'm too squeamish for cadavers (you know, those dead people they cut open for educational purposes) and that I would much prefer working in a lab, hence the Ph.D. dreams.  Nonetheless, we are all being pressured.  My mom and dad would simply say, "hey, get used to it, you're going to be pressured all your life".  Sigh.

     I haven't thought of any backup plans (shaaaaaame on me) as to what I will do if I don't get into a single graduate program.  Should I apply the following year?  Retake the GRE?  Go job hunting?  Cry endlessly in bed all day so I can drown in my sorrow?

     That last option isn't going to happen to me.  And, my dear friends (fellow undergrads or not), I don't want it to happen to you, either.  We are all above self-loathing and self-pity.  We can't just sit around all day and mope.  It won't help us lower our stress levels.  Let me tell you what happens when I get stressed out.  It's not pretty.  My hair starts falling out, my acne acts up, I gain weight, I snap at everyone around me because I'm always on edge.  And I don't sleep well.  Some or all of this may even happen to you.  It's normal.  Go ahead, wallow a little bit in it.  Acknowledging your feelings is a good thing. But as soon as you start feeling so bad that every minute of your life feels like crap, stop.

     Yeah, yeah, easier said than done.  But that's everything.  Look at it this way, if you don't calm the hell down, you can't tackle your stress/fears/tasks.  If you aren't 100% there for yourself, who else will be?  I know I'm supposed to be YourAwesomeBFF, but I can only provide help.  I can't calm your nerves for you.  You have to take charge of yourself and make the effort to de-stress.  I do, however, have another list.  These are just some things that I have been trying to do lately to take the edge off.  Stress isn't ever going to go away completely, but you can try to curb some of it:

How to Manage Your Stress

  1. Acknowledge that you are stressed.  I have blamed other people and situations far too many times.  When I get stressed out, everything around me seems far more annoying or worse than what actually is.  Accept that it is you that is feeling crummy.  Apologize to others that you may have hurt because you're feeling down, especially if those others are the ones that didn't cause your stress in the first place. And P.S.-Easy on the road rage.  Don't go driving like an angry maniac just because you're stressing.  It could get you and the people around you in a lot of trouble.  So cool it.
  2. Keep busy.  It's possible that you're stressed because you're busy, but what I meant to say is have a schedule.  If you have a lot on your plate, organize your tasks on a list or calender of some sort.  You'll feel a lot better if you get things done on time and in an orderly fashion.  Plus, the satisfaction of crossing tasks off the list is just amazing.
  3. Keep busy #2.  For people like me with light schedules, having nothing to do is the worst.  When I'm not busy, I sit and think about everything wrong with my life, which just perpetuates sadness.  Instead, I: do household chores (i.e. dishes), watch some TV, crochet, talk to someone.  Anything to deviate from excessive thinking.
  4. Find a hobby!  Something that is all about you.  I mean, you are on the internet.  Go search something up; there isn't anything you can't learn how to do.  You might even find something that you're passionate about!  Doing at least one thing that is just for fun is enough to help you feel like your life is about something other than some daily grind.
  5. Exercise.  Don't go getting some gym membership (unless you really want one).  A simple walk around the block can help.  Even pacing in your own home or doing some cardio and stretching can really help.  Devote at least 20 minutes.  It won't take away from your busy life, but it will add to it by making you more functional.  But it will help you recharge and feel better once you get the blood flowing.  Even lazy, unathletic bums like myself can get up and move around.  Or hey, get up and dance!  Even if you look like a fool.  This is about your health, not your looks.
  6. Don't stop at dreaming.  You want something?  Well, you're not going to get it by just picturing it.  There's no such thing as some magical genie that will give you what you want.  Make plans.  Being ambitious only gets you so far if you can't make moves towards those goals.
     There you have it, guys.  This is a stressful world we live in, and chances are we'll never be completely satisfied with everything.  The least we can do is try to make things better for ourselves, right?  I hope this advice helps anyone that is stressing over careers, school, work, family, or a combination of any of those.  Be happy, healthy, and safe, everyone!

Happy trails,

Sweeney

(Note:  I feel like I have to say this.  I'm not a professional therapist or life coach or fitness instructor or anything certified.  I'm just a college kid putting things out there.  If you have any doubts about whether you're healthy enough to exercise or how to go about it, please talk to your trusted doctor.  And lastly, don't go attaining your goals and managing your stress at the expense of others.  Make sure whatever you're aiming towards is safe and legal.  No seriously, please.  Look out for yourselves and each other!  Don't say I didn't warn you to be good!  I totally did.)

23 January 2013

Cosmetics: Sally Hansen Diamond Strength in Shade 220-- Champagne Toast

     Hey, all!!!  I have loved doing my nails since I was a little kid and I was only allowed to wear red and pink.  I guess in my subconscious unhappiness with that rule I spilled a whole bottle of a Sally Hansen bright red on my Mom's jeans when I was...maybe 5 years old.  Now I am 21 and I can wear whatever color I damn well please! ...And of course here I am reviewing...a light pink.  Sally Hansen Diamond Strength No Chip Nail Color is this line's whole name.  This post is about Champagne Toast, but I do own another shade in this line called Diamonds and Rubies, which is a classic red.

     Let me be one to say that I love Sally Hansen nail polish.  It's one of the only polish brands I buy because they are relatively cheap and I haven't been disappointed (sort of, I'll explain in a second).  I've bought many of the different lines (even the stick-on strips).  I think I've seen every color of the rainbow at my local Target.  I don't like to buy expensive nail polish.  Why? Because they all do the same thing.  They get crusty and thick and dry up and get gross.  I don't want to throw away several extra dollars, too.  I mean, I could buy a polish thinner, but I don't have one and probably won't bother with it.

     I was shopping (a few months ago) for a sheer pink that would make my fingernails look clean and pretty without being a dramatic color.  I saw this in Target and I instantly gravitated towards it because it was less than $5.00 and part of the same line Diamonds and Rubies was in.  I am absolutely in love with the way that Diamonds and Rubies applies and looks against my MAC NC45 skin.  Champagne Toast looks like a light, soft pink, kind of like a ballerina's tutu or slippers.  Except, this has shimmer, and I mean lots more than it looked like in the bottle.  The shimmer looks like tiny glitter particles.  I snatched it up and took it home with high hopes of having those glossy, sexy, pretty, delicate nails you see the chefs on Food Network have.  Sorry, I couldn't get a decent shot of the polish in the bottle.  Blame my crappy bedroom lighting and my equally crappy camera skills!



     Let me be honest, the first time I tried this color, I absolutely f-ing hated it.  I thought it looked very dull on my nails and it bugged me to no end that you could still somewhat see my nail through it.  I thought my skin tone just didn't go with it and that it would b better off on lighter skin.  I chucked it back into my drawer and forgot about it after unsuccessfully attempting to pass it over to DB's mom.

     Cue four months later (a.k.a. NOW), I am cleaning my room and stumble upon this color.  School starts up again soon (a.k.a. tomorrow morning) and I wanted to do my nails for the "occasion".  Don't laugh at me because I have nowhere cooler to paint my nails and go to!  I first applied one coat of Essie First Base Base Coat, let it dry, then laid on 2 coats of Champagne Toast.  I didn't use a top coat this time.

(BTW, this is my skin tone for reference: MAC in NC45, Revlon Colorstay in Toast, Sephora Matifying Compact in D50, Clinique Perfectly Real in 37.  I'm of Indian (yes, like the country) descent and I'm a darker, golden tan with warm yellow and orange undertones.)


Champagne Toast: 2 coats, no flash

Champagne Toast: 2 coats, WITH flash

Here is a shot of the flash not hitting the color directly.
     You don't get a shot of my left index finger because I chipped while trying to scratch off a tag from a new bowl.  I have had it on for three days without a top coat and haven't had any chipping otherwise, so you can imagine that this will probably last for a week with a top coat over it.

     I thought nothing special of this color.  Don't get me wrong, this shade is somewhat sheer and applies well.  The formula is amazing, and not too thin or not too thick.  It's just the slightest bit streaky, but I think that's just something you have to deal with when it comes to light, shiny colors.  I just don't like the color on myself.  I look at it and just go, "meh".  I think I'm just not a fan of sheer, shimmery nail polish.

     As you can tell, I like to look at my nails and go WOW.  I have been attempting to find some more understated, nude-y colors just because they're more mature-looking, match all of my outfits nicely, and make my naturally light-yellow nails look brighter.  

Decision:  
  • If you are someone that likes sheer, shiny colors and don't mind see-through nail polish, this might be good for you.  
  • If you are like me and tend to prefer more opacity and creamy finishes rather than sparkly, you might want to skip this one.
  • You totally don't need to buy this specific color.  If you see something just like it and want to try it, go ahead.  But I can't make any guarantees 
     I'm starting my second semester as a college senior tomorrow.  I'm a little excited, happy, nervous, and sad to be going back to school because it means I'm getting just that much closer to graduation.  Hooray/boo for getting older and hitting milestones in life!!!

     Please feel free to leave suggestions, comments, reviews, pointers in reference to these "cosmetic" posts.  Thanks for reading!!!

Happy Trails,

Sweeney