By: Drunk Stoned or Stupid Staff
Last night might have been epic or it might have sucked. Regardless, we have Game of Thrones characters to explain it.
Trying to remember everyone you met last night.
When you remember that you paid for every Uber.
When you go to check on your hungover friends.
When you’re cleaning up the house by yourself.
Realizing your liver has feelings too.
When you realize you texted your ex.
Remembering what the club was like.
When you’re in the middle of a dope story and your friends leaves.
That one really fucked up friend.
When your non-hungover friends come over.
Shamelessly eating your leftover drunchies for breakfast.
When your roommate comes home wearing the same thing from last night.
Realizing that tomorrow is Monday.
When you check your credit card statement.
When you decide you hate all people.
When your ex texts you back.
Realize it will all happen again next weekend.
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Drunk Stoned or Stupid Staff
I was an anxious kid growing up.
I wasn’t up for anything adventurous. I was convinced that The Grudge was about to crawl through my door any minute (and I didn’t even see the movie, just the preview). I would stare at the crack in my door waiting to get grudge-ified (idk why I didn’t just close my door). I was even scared of the ocean for sporadic periods of time even though I loved to surf.
But it wasn’t until the 10th grade when I had my first panic attack.
I was sitting in science class when I seemed to intensely notice that my heart rate was rising. That prompted some questions… What was happening? Why am I feeling like this? Am I dying? Then I started to feel light-headed, which prompted some questions… Did I forget to eat breakfast? Am I dying? I’m dying, aren’t I?
I was so freaked out that I got right up and walked out of class. I left my backpack and everything. I went to the bathroom and washed my hands. Maybe it’ll just go away.
Even now writing this I feel my pulse raising as I stood there staring down that bleak hallway back to class. For some reason, returning to class was a challenge too great. If I returned to class I didn’t know whether that panic would return. I was fucking scared. My hands were shaking. But what exactly was I so scared of? I’d gone to school my whole life and now returning to class seemed impossible.
I went to the office and called home. My dad asked me what was wrong on the way home. I told him I felt sick. The only problem was that the second I got in the car I felt 100% fine.
Then the weekend came and I felt fine. Monday came (as it does).
I didn’t have science class on Monday but then something hit me. Is this going to happen to me in every class now? Is this just going to creep out of nowhere and fuck with me? I made it through math class but it wasn’t easy. I felt uncomfortable. I couldn’t pay attention.
After a week I worked up the courage to tell my Dad. He said it sounded like anxiety.
Anxiety? About what? I go to a great school. I have friends. My parents aren’t divorced. I’m a fucking white kid in Suburban Washington. What the hell do I have to be anxious about?
After scouring trusted sources such as Web MD and Yahoo Answers; I reached a conclusion. There wasn’t something I was anxious about besides the anxiety itself, really. There was no logical reason why I was anxious because anxiety isn’t logical. I would get anxious about becoming anxious.
The hardest part was that I felt like I had to keep it a secret. I didn’t want to tell my doctor and there was no chance I was going to tell my friends. What is 15-year-old me supposed to say? “Yeah sometimes I just get freaked out for no reason at all but yo wanna come play Halo 2 or COD 4 this weekend?”
Then the anxiety started to evolve.
All of a sudden presentations started to freak me out. Now, keep in mind, that while my unfounded fear of school presentations began to take hold, this is happening at the same time that I’m the Capitan of my High School Improv Team (I know ladies, one at a time). Improv team, which involved me performing live on stage in front of an audience… yet a presentation on Cells would freak me out.
None of my particular anxiety was remotely logical. I should have no issue going to class or giving a presentation. I’ve done those things my whole life.
Once again, anxiety is not rational.
Down the road, I asked my uncle about his anxiety and he said that fluorescent lights used to freak him out. This dude runs 55 mile races through mountains and he was afraid of light bulbs.
It took me over a year to tell my mom that I had anxiety. I tell my mom everything (except that one time I stole a fifth of triplesec, thinking it was tequila, and drank the entire thing watching Anchorman with a couple friends). That’s how uncomfortable I was talking about it.
I didn’t tell her because I felt weak. Why is this thing that is completely irrational and invisible starting to control my life, my decisions? I felt like it was changing who I was and who I wanted to be.
Then the anxiety started to wane. High School came and left. I was going to Chapman in SoCal and life couldn’t be better. I thought that the anxiety was gone for good.
It would come out of the blue. Sometimes it was class that got to me but then I started feeling it in anticipation of things. I would panic about a presentation or a trip I was going on with friends. I was fighting and struggling and losing.
Now, if this is when you expect the quick fix cure-all to anxiety you’re not going to find it. There is no one solution or magic trick. But I will tell you what helped me with time.
After 5 years of dealing with anxiety I did a couple of things.
- I admitted to myself that I had anxiety and that it was okay. It didn’t make me weak. The anxiety was real. It was a thing that was happening to me. Talking about it made it feel manageable. I’ve been meaning to write this piece for years and just couldn’t get myself to do it.
- I always try to stay in the moment. I want to kill myself for how cliché this is but right now is the only moment you only get to live.
- Steve Job’s commencement speech at Stanford helped put a lot of things in perspective.
- I challenged myself. You have to do the things that make you anxious. I feel like that is the only way to re-train your brain that you are capable of doing the things that make you anxious.
Back in 6th grade I was Lysander in Midsummer Night’s Dream (once again ladies, the line is too long… please take a number). I don’t know why my psychotic drama teacher chose a Shakespearean play for a bunch of 12 year olds but I memorized the shit out of that script.
On opening night, I was standing in the wings as the house lights dimmed with Hermia, Helena and Demetrius (what a dick amirite (Shakespeare jokes, gotta love it)). Hermia could tell I was nervous so she looked at me and said “the hardest part is always the part right before.” Now 12-year-old me was probably like “yo quiet, stop messin’ with my head.”
But damn, Hermia was right.
My mind was telling me to panic as I foresaw all of the potential things that could go wrong while I was on stage. We are some of the only creatures that are able to project potential scenarios in the future. That is an incredible ability and sometimes a curse because we can just as easily forecast negative outcomes as we can positive ones.
Moral of the story (and anxiety to some extent) …
Your head is capable of messing with you in endless ways but it can just as easily help you accomplish incredible things.
-Noah John Mayer
Chapman students pay over $40,000 dollars a year in tuition alone, not counting housing or meals plans or anything additional. Just classes. That’s $20,000 a semester, that’s a brand new Kia Optima (no one wants an Optima but for context just roll with it). We are pouring money into this school. So lets slow down and ask ourselves: what do we get in return?
We should be able to at least get the classes we want. Right?
The other day I had to register for classes. Notice the word choice- “had to”. Registering for classes might as well be American Ninja Warrior because it is confusing and difficult as fuck. I sat down to register after hours of planning out my schedule.
I click register.
Four went through, but one didn’t. A red alert comes across Web Advisor (I won’t start on Web Advisor and those fucking cookies). It notifies me that I don’t have permission to take this class because it is only for certain majors.
Except I am in a minor that requires this class as according to the Chapman catalog and my program evaluation. So if I don’t take this class I won’t be able to complete my minor or graduate. Unfortunately I have no other choice than to reach out to our academic advising center for help.
Luckily, I get a response from an advisor. They tell me to contact a different advisor. This advisor tells me to go to the registrar. Then the registrar tells me I need the department chair’s signature. When I go to get the signature I have to fill out a form get the other form signed (form inception). The next day I get an email saying that the form is signed. Then I go back to their office and pick up the form. Then I take that form back to the registrar.
And then, only then, did I get signed into the class. So final count of what I had to do: talk to 5 different people, send 10 emails and fill out 2 forms. Really Chapman? You have the hours and funds to manicure your fountains and make fake snow in the piazza, but you don’t have time to make registering a little easier on your students?
The trap that students fall into is thinking that the administration has all the power. but they don’t have a job without your tuition dollars. I’m not saying get carried away and protest your finals, but we should demand that we be a higher priority.
There is no reason anyone should be this stressed about registering.
Sure you might not get the exact section or time you want, but we should have academic advisors that are actually available and useful. On top of that, these stupid loops holes and getting signatures needs to be made simpler or just eliminated. Maybe this means hiring more academic advising staff to help or maybe it means finding a way to utilize the advisors we have now better.
I’m not sure of the solution, but when I have to spend hours, literally hours of my time to get signed into this class- something isn’t right. Getting that signature was 100% pointless and everyone, even the registrar, knew it was pointless (she even told me).
So Chapman, when you finish making your fake snow and redesigning your website maybe think about your students. Because they are freaking out over being able to sign up for classes that they paid all that money for.
-Noah John Mayer
Your loved ones are crowded around you and you realize that these are your final moments on earth. So now you think, what has my life been composed of? You don’t flash back to your career, your stacked résumé or an important test you took. So, what are you going to remember? Did you do everything you wanted to do? Did you enjoy it?
Steve Jobs had some great thoughts on this during a speech at Stanford University:
“Almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
For most, knowing there is an inevitable time limit can be disturbing and scary. Fortunately, there is a silver lining to this unavoidable truth- we have this time right now. Imagine- that in this vast space and all of the factors that play into us even being on this planet that we are even here. It’s pretty amazing you’re even sitting there reading this.
Growing up, I dealt with a fair amount of anxiety and fear, primarily fear of failure. I let these things hold me back. But in the end, am I going to care if I didn’t make the basketball team? Or, will I just remember that enduring feeling of not pursuing what I truly wanted or not taking that pivotal leap of faith? That is the question I don’t want to ask.
My golf coach always told me I needed to do things that made me uncomfortable. He would gather a group of people to watch me hit balls on the range to try and try to make me nervous. But his goal was not to torture me, but instead to show me my own capabilities.
It is so easy to get caught up in the issues that dominate our every day life and lose perspective. This generates stress and anxiety. But what I’ve found is that when I keep the brevity of life in mind, everything else seems less severe in contrast.
I used to always get frustrated playing golf. It was a huge part of my life- I played competitively, it was my favorite sport and it was the time I got to spend with my dad. Still I would smash my clubs into the ground, swear and want to give up if I wasn’t playing well. It got to the point where one day my dad said he wouldn’t play with me anymore if I didn’t change my attitude.
Looking back, I don’t even remember the round where I shot my lowest score. What I do remember is when my brother hit a brand new Mercedes and nearly had a panic attack. I remember my dad snap hooking a drive left into a house and having a guy walk out holding a baby over his head like Simba from the Lion King as if to say: “hey dude I have a fucking baby over here! Stop sucking at golf!”
It makes me feel a little out of place giving advice as a college student who has comparatively had few life experiences to many other people, but I can’t help it. I see so many people around me wasting time, and simply not enjoying their lives. Or even worse, not appreciating opportunities and not taking chances because they are afraid of failure.
When you’re faced with stress or anxiety take a step back and think about what Steve Jobs said:
“for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
-Noah John Mayer
Earn a living.
This is a commandment that has become a colloquial phrase in American culture. We hear it and know what it means. It means work hard to become successful. It means work hard to get the things you want in life. It means work hard to be happy. Right?
Without giving this phrase much consideration, we are perpetuating the idea that our only worth comes from our work. We are fulfilling the notion that work is the most significant aspect of who we are and that it should be the main part of our lives.
There is a degree to which I agree with the relevance of our work. Our work should be full of passion, excitement, progress and growth. Our work should be what we love and it should be fulfilling. Work certainly is important and provides us with opportunities for stability, experiences and relationships. Work can be a great tool for us to live out our life dream.
The problem comes into play when work is the defining factor of our value as human beings and when our work is not motivated by passion, but by material desires. We are trained to believe that work comes first- before family, friends, leisure, and health.
When work becomes our sole purpose, what kind of life are we living?
If we take a step back from the structure of our society, there are clear issues. Perhaps one problem is that we fail to recognize and appreciate the value of differences. Yet we insist on putting all people through the same rigid system. How is it possible that there is one model of success and one way to lead a happy life?
Unfortunately, we are too in the system to realize it might not be working.
Robert Frost said, “By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day.”
We are consistently working for the future, the next step, working to progress in the business world. Our mindset is that if we get promoted or get a raise we will be successful and if we are successful, we will surely be happy.
Happiness and success have become synonymous.
This is an unfortunate truth that is having detrimental impacts on us. We are rarely present or mindful of the current moment we are in. We are always striving for future success instead of being grateful for what we have right now. We are so far off the path of our souls, that we do not even know what makes us happy or why we are valuable outside of the workplace.
We need time with our loved ones to enjoy carefree adventures. We need days spent outside of an office. We need time to eat without the distraction of getting back to work as quickly as possible. We need to pursue hobbies and spend time reading, writing, hiking, camping and just being present.
My thought is that you don’t need to earn a life. You already have a life. So make the most of it.
There are a few (quite a few) unspoken rules to texting. Everyone currently in college or high school knows them and not very many of them, including myself, wish to disclose them because they sound so stupid when you actually write them down and actually look at them. But for the older generations and for those of you who have managed to avoid excessive texting- here are just a few.
- Don’t send 2 texts in a row
- Don’t have read receipts
- Don’t start your text with a capital letter (just don’t use capital letters)
- Don’t use exclamation or question marks
- Always have the other person send the last text in the conversation (power move)
- Spell words in ways you would never say them (ye, fosh, drank)
- The amount of unread texts you have directly correspond to how cool you are
- One Emoji is enough
- A text past midnight is desperate and pathetic
- The less words you use, the cooler you are
I think you get it…These look idiotic don’t they? I would say that every one of these is incredibly stupid yet I know I abide by nearly every one. The 10 commandments of texting or you will be smited.
So what’s the point of all of this you ask?
Over the years texting has evolved. Remember the days texting on your Razr flip phone? Texts were like letters, one at a time and you wouldn’t be able to see the whole conversation in front of you at once (and then you have that one friend that had an iPhone and they would just blast you with one text message after another until your Razr was about to implode- you know who you are).
Although this evolution has made texting more convenient, a strange sub-culture has emerged from it that is actually somewhat disturbing. Texting has become a means to control other people. Control and manipulation now rules over listening and compassion. In short- texting has deteriorated the quality of relationships between all people.
Here is a quick example.
You want to hang out with someone, so you text them just asking how they are. They don’t reply for several hours, maybe even the next day. What does this say to you? This person is either a bad texter or they are just choosing to ignore you and when they do finally respond to you it’s a one or two word response that couldn’t have taken them more than 5 seconds to send. Now to give the other person the benefit of the doubt sometimes is completely fine, but how is the other person supposed to know why they took so long to respond?
After a while, if it keeps happening, the assumption that this person is just a shitty friend will most likely take hold, and what happens next isn’t pretty. A game of power and control sets in. This is where the possibility for genuine interaction goes out the window and the 10 commandments come in.
At this point the only purpose of texting is to gain control of the person through ignoring and demeaning them in any way possible. Sure, this isn’t how every person with a cell phone operates but it is a vicious cycle that effects many- myself included. A key to all of this being that vicious cycle because once it starts it is not easy to stop.
I never thought of texting as a “game” until I came to college. Texting was just another, more convenient, mode of communication that allowed me to reach my friends at a moments notice, but it is so much more than this now. It is deceit, lying, manipulation and, frankly, a poison that is stripping away the basic decency people should give to one another.
I know what you’re saying “ok Noah John Mayer, if that is your real name (it is), how can something like texting really be this bad, you must be exaggerating a little bit”. The answer is yes and no.
No, at its heart texting is not this evil beast, dead set on destroying everything good about human connection. To quote Happy Gilmore “Guns don’t kill people, I kill people”. Meaning, texting is only a vehicle for this erosion of genuine connection, it is the people using it that make it into this negative entity.
I have a simple fix for this problem too- are you ready?
When you are texting, pretend like you are actually having a conversation with this person. You want to use (somewhat) proper English, ask how their day is and so forth. But what it really comes down to is you need to treat the other person like a human being. That’s it. If you’re really friends with this person then is ignoring and demeaning really necessary? Now you don’t need to sit attentive by your phone at all hours but just have respect, unless you don’t in real life- then fuck it.
But a little decency could go a long way in this texting game.
-Noah John Mayer