That feeling you get right before a test? When you are staring down every single word that you need to memorize, reciting each sentence in your head, begging the world for a grade decent enough for you to pass? That sinking, drowning feeling, like you cannot breathe. Where you are afraid to- in fear that when you inhale, it may be your last? So you take short little breaths, because that is all you can do. In the back of your brain, you can remember advice to breathe in slow. Hold it for one. Two. Three. And then let it out. But all of your papers are in front of you, the notes that you mechanically jot down, not really paying attention. And your back begins to tense, head pounding, and you wish for anything to make it stop. Is this stress?
Or is stress when you are sitting surrounded by friends or family, and someone asks you what you plan to do after school. After? When you are just trying to make it through now? And you panic because you have been told all your life how hard it is to get a job. How competitive. Knowing that you desperately need one because student loans are piling up around you and the only work you have ever done is seating someone at a table, ringing them up, cleaning up after. There is so much out there, but would you even be qualified? Your chest aches- pain where your heart is, like a hand is clutching it tight. And you know you can plan all you want, can study your hardest, but all of this is in your head. Its just plans after all, not real, not concrete. What if you never go anywhere in life?


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