Spring 2019 Semester Vent: Panic Attacks and Other Drama

God.

I don’t even know where to start.

I guess the crippling panic attacks are a good start off?

So a little background information– after a huge hurricane decimated where I was living in 2017, I moved 2 hours away to move in with my dad. Life altering already, right? So I tried online classes since I obviously wasn’t going to school on campus anymore, and failed because I’m just not the online class type. I worked and worked and said I’d go back to school, but I was stuck in this bubble of fear, comfortable where I was. I didn’t want to go back to where I was living before. It was crazy, uncontrollable, and unstructured. I liked my peace and quiet working for $8/h at a coffee shop. I was engaged. Got a dog who I adore. I was happy.

Finally, a year and a half later, I found myself back at school because “it’s the right thing to do” and whatever. “It’ll be easy,” I thought, since I went there for 2 years already. *Record scratch* “Wow, I was fucking wrong,” I thought, 2 weeks later. Being in that hell hole away from the life I had started in my quiet little town was killing me. I was alone, stressed, and miserable. The only good thing about my dorm was that I didn’t have a roommate bothering me and I could decorate however I wanted to. I was taking 6 or 7 classes, wasn’t working so I didn’t have any money, and once again, was alone. I’m introverted and very picky, so reading this and being like, “Smh, dumb, why didn’t you just ~make friends~,” is pointless. I don’t wanna; that’s why.

So I think it was the first day of trigonometry that I got my first panic attack of the semester. I didn’t realize it at first because I thought my body was trying to make me faint, which in hindsight probably IS what was happening. Naturally, I called my mom: “Hey, I think I keep trying to faint. What do I do? Is that normal? I’m not dehydrated.” I don’t remember the whole conversation, but I ended up being fine, I think. Ah yes, I was shaken and called my old, local friend who I currently don’t speak to anymore, lol. So it was a great first day, right? It only got worse.

Pretty soon, I was textbook panic disorder. Emergency room with my heart rate at 150 in March, avoiding situations that would give me panic attacks (Sadly, class. *waves* Hi parents.), mild agoraphobia, etc. My first really bad panic attack happened in February and I was shaking– more like thrashing my body– uncontrollably and puking for three hours. I got extremely sick around April and my hypochondriac ass got panic attacks on top of that because obviously I’m fucking dying if I’m that sick. Not just sick, but sick and dying. For some reason I’m still avoiding therapy, too.

Flew to Vegas in the middle of this somehow, lol.

I don’t want to spill all the beans because I respect myself a liiittttttttle bit, but jeez I’m so stupid sometimes!!

Everybody: “No, Jaedyn.”

Jaedyn: *Loses hearing and judgement*

If it weren’t for my ONE friend, I probably would’ve died. I purposely have not looked up what the hell would’ve happened to me the day my heart rate was 150, but if I were truly all alone, truly friendless, maybe I would’ve died. I don’t know. I don’t wanna know. But- it’s a scary thought.

Usually I’m a straight-A student. Always have been, and I thought I always would be, but panic disorder has been one of the hardest blocks in my life so far. It’s truly crippling and terrifying. I bawl my eyes out in fear of it. I’m so scared to go back to school next semester. I’ve been crying more and more lately in preparation, I guess. Last semester I did alright, passed, but could’ve done better. “Hey at least you didn’t flunk out of school because of it,” yeah yeah but I have standards for myself. It’s hard to do amazing in a class when you avoid it.

Overall, this is a vent, a rant, and advice obviously doesn’t help me or I’d be fine. I guess I wanted to get this out for me, and also share this in case someone else with panic disorder reads this. It sucks, it really does, but I’m better than I was in the beginning.

Something that really helped me was joining the panic disorder subreddit. Knowing that there are other people that go through what I do, and that some of those people are almost “out” of it, made me feel less alone and more hopeful. If you’re going through this and need someone to relate to or, hopefully in the future lend advice, feel free to comment on this. According to a random Google search, panic disorder affects 2-3% of Americans. So while we’re few and far between, we should help each other when we can.

Alright, try not to judge me too harshly for this post.

Giada

Setting F’ing SMART Locke Goals

In my social psychology class my professor recently went over SMART goals. I’ve gone over them before in a university seminar, but I loved the way my psych. prof. explained it.

Setting f’ing smart goals sounds so much more empowering than setting measly smart goals. Why be smart when you could be f’ing smart?

This whole notion is based on Locke’s theory of goal setting and at the very bottom there are examples!


These are my actual notes from class:

  • F’ing—feedback
  • S—specific
  • M—measurable
  • A—achievable (7-8 range on the challenging scale)
  • R—relevant (why am I trying to do this?)
  • T—Time bound (have some kind of expiration or due date)
  • Set sub goals that get you incrementally to the top goal, because if you jump right to the top goal, you’ll probably fail.
  • Your work ethic definitely helps, but it is not a cure all. There are some things that no matter how much you try you just can’t. Life is about exploiting your strengths. Find what you like and what you’re good at and do that.

Here I’ll explain each section in detail:

Feedback

Getting feedback or having somebody to hold you accountable always helps people reach their goals. Why do you think diets instruct you to write down every little thing you eat? It’s a way to hold yourself accountable.

Specific

If your goal isn’t specific it gives you room for excuses. This is one of the most important steps for me because I love to make excuses for myself when I don’t want to do something. On your goal paper, write down EXACTLY WHAT you want to achieve. Answer the “Who what when where why how” questions.

Measurable

This is how you’ll be able to tell if you achieve your goal(s). You can measure weight loss with a scale, you can measure graduation with a degree, etc. How can you tell that you achieved your goal?

Achievable

You have to be able to achieve your goal with little to moderate effort. The key to this is to realistically set your goals, and lead up to big goals in small, achievable increments.

Relevant

Your goal has to pertain to your current life in a way that gives reason to your goal. This is your driving force, your “why”. Why does this goal matter to you? Is in close enough in the future that you won’t procrastinate or forget about it?

Time Bound

Goals that have a ticking time clock drive you to do them. You have to give yourself a schedule and basis of when this has to be completed by. Why do you think your professors give you a due date for your homework? So you’ll do it and know when you’re done!

Examples

Losing Weight

F: Writing down everything you eat, having someone spot you at the gym, get a personal trainer at the gym to hold you accountable.

S: I want to lose 10 pounds by March 30th, 2017 by working out at Planet Fitness with a personal trainer, eating healthy  with the 21 Day Fix and by drinking 1 Shakeology shake a day.

M: I will use the scale in my room to weigh myself once when I wake up every morning until March 30th. I will measure the food I eat in ounces and calories. I will measure success by losing the 10 pounds.

A: This is achievable for me because 10 pounds is not a lot of weight for me and I have done this before. It is obtainable because I do not have to spend a lot of money and I have access to a gym.

R: This is relevant to me because it is almost Spring Break and I’m going to the beach with my new boyfriend and I want to look thin.

T: I want to lose 10 pounds by March 30th, 2017.

Studying for an Exam

F: Studying with people I can concentrate around will allow me to receive feedback by them telling me if I’m right or wrong in mock-quizzes or flashcard drills.

S: I want to study for my Macroeconomics exam every day with my study group of Joe, Maria, and John for 1 hour at Starbucks on George Street by using flashcards, asking each other questions, rewriting my notes, and taking mock-quizzes for 1 week.

M: I will measure the completeness of this goal by making a chart with a check box next to each day that I will check if I studied for the whole hour. I will have my phone to measure the time at Starbucks.

A: This is achievable because I have people that want to study with me, I’m motivated to do well on my exam, and I have ample study materials.

R: This is relevant because my exam is in 1 week and I have to make a good grade or I’ll fail the class. I don’t want to retake it!

T: This is time-bound because the exam is in one week. I also dedicate 1 hour a day to studying so I’ll be more likely to actually study, opposed to setting out 5 hours to not study.


If you have any questions about F’ing SMART goal setting; comment on this post, comment on my Facebook, or message me on Facebook!

-Jade


This post contains links to product pages, but I was not compensated in any way for them. The header photo is not mine.

2 Years in: How I Finally Learned to Study

My who, what, where, when, why, and how of studying.


When I came to college I was like, “Lol what’s a study?” But after seeing the consequences (not preforming to the best of my ability) I decided that it was time to learn how.

I guess it started my second semester and really clicked in my third.

WHO

I have to either be alone, or with someone who’s not completely annoying/distracting. I’m not going to name names or anything…

Bring somebody that will hold you accountable for fucking around and not actually doing anything. If I stop working for a while, my boyfriend usually gets on me about it.

WHAT

I have to have literally everything I need or could possibly want, because if I end up needing/wanting something and don’t have it, that drives me nuts.

I also have to make sure that I’m comfortable, which usually means no makeup and an outfit that doesn’t make me cringe despite the cuteness. I always change from my contacts to my glasses as well, just in case my contacts dry out.

WHERE

I realized that I have to be in an area conducive to studying for ME, not for someone else or a “normal” place like in my room.

Places I like studying

  • Starbucks
  • A certain chair at work
  • The far chair at the dining room table at my mom’s house
  • A particular chair at the kitchen table at my dad’s house

See how they’re kind of random? It’s because I started paying attention to where I was able to retain the most information and focus the best.

WHEN

I have to be awake–like really awake.

When I like to study

  • 9/10 in the morning (if I’ve been awake and I’m in my room)
  • 6:30-8:00 PM (if I’m at Starbucks)

As you can see, being okay with my pickiness allows me to successfully study.

WHY

I have to have some sort of motivation, so I usually try to make myself really believe that I REALLY need to study. I’ll look at things I know I don’t understand, or say out loud in some kind of way that I have no clue what I’m doing.

It also helps me to be really blunt with myself, so keeping a note in sight about why I need to focus and study helps me as well.

HOW

I go to the right place at the right time and knock everything out that I can. I can’t just “study” at look at terms or something; it needs to be a task. So doing Quizlet tests or filling out a practice sheet help me. Watching interactive videos that I already know I like (Crash Course) helps me if I need someone to explain it to me.

I also have to give myself breaks whenever I feel burnt-out or I’ve done a lot. This one takes a lot of willpower to not get carried away with, but it helps a lot.


This photo is not mine. It is from Florida Tech.

Relieve Anxiety: Don’t Forget These First-Day Essentials!

Uh-oh. School is starting again. Props to to the excited ones *rolls eyes*.

I’m sort of kidding, I am excited, but there’s some weirdness going on with my classes so I’m not holding my breath.

Anyways, I was just about to pack my bag for tomorrow and figured I should write a blog post about what to bring to your first day of classes!

Continue reading “Relieve Anxiety: Don’t Forget These First-Day Essentials!”

Day 1: Southeast Texas Paws 4 Love Therapy Animals

Mission Statement: “To help people through beneficial contacts with companion, therapy animals and deliver quality animal-assisted activity and therapy programs, to unite people who have mental and physical disabilities and patients in healthcare facilities with professionally trained animals to help improve their health and to promote education as well as encouraging a responsible relationship between people and pets.”

Continue reading “Day 1: Southeast Texas Paws 4 Love Therapy Animals”

Learning About Boundaries: Your Garden

Your life is a garden, and you choose who goes through the gate.

Imagine your garden is a circle. You are in the middle, the gardener, and there are rings of different crops or plants surrounding you, the most favored being closer to you. On the very edge of your garden, there is a cute fence, keeping out all of the things you don’t want in your amazing garden that you take care of.

Think of it as Plants VS Zombies.

Continue reading “Learning About Boundaries: Your Garden”

A Guide on How I Chose the Right College for Me (And How You Can Too)

Deciding what college to go to is a very hard decision. In this post I shared the method I used to choose colleges to apply to. This should take some stress off of your shoulders!Continue reading “A Guide on How I Chose the Right College for Me (And How You Can Too)”

90 Ways to Beat the Boredom this Summer

One of the main thoughts I have during the summer is, “Wow, I’m so bored.” Being stuck in the house most of the summer will do that to you.

I’ve been combating this constant boredom
with a huge list of things I came up with to do around the house. So the next time you’re bored, check out this list! Some are super cliche, but others may take you out of your comfort zone!Continue reading “90 Ways to Beat the Boredom this Summer”

8 Lessons I Learned About Drama in College

This is a repost of my Odyssey article, which you can see here! (Please look because I get paid based on views, lol)

Something I learned: People are not who they seem to be- especially when you are a scared, little freshman.


This year I got pushed around and trampled all over by people who I thought were my friends. My biggest mistake was trusting people who I barely knew just because I was in a new environment and wanted to fit in.

At the beginning of the year the girls on my floor hosted “girls’ nights” and we all gathered around and did what girls do best- gossiped. We all gossiped about ourselves, because we had nothing to say about the people we didn’t know yet. Gossiping about yourself is so much worse than gossiping about other people. Girls Night turned into “never have I ever” and “tell me your life story”. The next day it was, “She’s a slut,” and, “Wow, I hate her,” and the cliques were formed; all because of things that we confessed to people whojust wanted gossip.

Source: Giphy.com

I got caught up in fake, dramatic people’s trouble all year and let it run my life instead of focusing on what I was really in college for- academics.


Something I learned: You do not have to settle for people you don’t want to be friends with just to have someone to hang out with.


How to Spot These People in Conversations (and what to say back)

1. They straight off the bat ask your opinion about people.

You know- “Heyyyy… So what do you think about Shelia? She’s kind of mean, huh?”

Say, “I don’t know her that well, so I don’t have an opinion on her.” If you say anything even remotelynegative, they will tell people.

Source: Giphy

2. They talk about people who you thought were their friends.

“You will not believe what -enter “best friend”‘s name- did last night.”

Most likely that best friend didn’t want anybody to know. So, what you say is, “I don’t think that is any of my business, and ‘m sure she wouldn’t want other people to know either.”

Source: Giphy

3. They’re always “here for you”- but only when you’re upset.

*Pats your back* “Oh, honey, it’s okay, I’m here for you.” *Posts dirt on Twitter to start more drama*.

Do not give them the details, and kindly tell them that you will be okay and just need some alone time.

Source: Giphy

4. They randomly get mad at you and make a big deal out of it.

For example, you think everything is fine and dandy until they randomly block you on everything and say passive aggressive things about you. This one happened to me a lot this year.

With this one you have options based on what you seem fit. What I usually do is talk to them directly about it so there is no telephone game style confusion. Plus, by asking other people what her problem is, drama spreads more.Source: Giphy.com

5. Also, I have noticed that these types of people in college do not really care about academics, and are more focused on their friend group.

Source: Giphy


How to Protect Yourself in These Situations:

1. Do not talk about your personal life to people who are really still strangers (less than 3-4 months of friendship)

Source: Giphy

2. Make it seem like you’re always doing fine; don’t talk about the problems you’re having.

Source: Giphy

3. Try to distance yourself socially and mentally from people you do not know or like (Side note: by all means, be social, but not with people who display the character traits listed above)

Source: Giphy

4. Do not feed into drama. This means: don’t respond to salty Twitter posts, turn the other cheek, don’t talk about anyone in any way, and focus on yourself.

Source: Giphy


My boyfriend says something sad (but true) about me and the people I befriend; I have a “2 month rule”. After 2 months I get rid of my new friends or we have a big fight and end up hating each other. Honestly, it’s true. My problem is that I trust these random people and hope that their heart is as good as mine- which rarely happens. In the rare circumstance that I find one of these people, we are friends for longer than 2 months. My best friends and I have been friends all freshman year, because we did not immediately trust one another and talk about each other behind our backs. Find people that you truly get along with and like, and make them your friends. I wish I had been friendless for a few months rather than having 8 different close friends in a few months.

Take home message: Do not divulge your personal life into people you just met. Wait until you have been friends with them at least for more than two months. You don’t need to make your life harder with unnecessary drama.

How to Utilize the “Growth Mindset” to Get Better Grades, Become a Better Teacher, and Efficiently Criticize

Hey everyone,

I don’t know if you all have heard of the phenomenon of the “Growth Mindset” by Carol Dweck,  but it’s basically a how-to in changing your words and mentality to become more successful in life. I plan to use this “Growth Mindset” approach in my tutoring and self-criticism. 

Before you decide this is a crunchy-hippie-doesn’t-actually-work-thing, check out the actual research done in order to prove it works:

  1. Here’s one of the academic journals: A social-cognitive approach to motivation and personality.
  2. A recently published book by her on the topic: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success )

The opposite of the growth mindset is the fixed mindset which believes you are born with a certain amount of smartness. People with the fixed mindset are less likely to take challenges and runs away in the face of effort. Here’s a comparison chart: difference

I’m going to cut to the chase with my own ideas of how to implement this genius technique into your lives:


When you are Self-Criticizing (especially in school work): 

  1. Do not think that just because you are struggling in classes and have to work harder than others that makes you generally stupid or less intelligent than anybody else.
  2. Believe you can succeed! Do not just give up.
  3. Failure is okay- just make sure you stand up after you fall. 
  4. It is totally okay to get help, and that does not make you less intelligent. If anything, it makes you more intelligent than sitting around not understanding something. 

Fun thing to do: Make a reminder poster with how to change your thoughts! 


 

When you are Tutoring or Teaching:  

  • Rephrase what you want to say, for example, instead of saying “You made a mistake” try saying “You haven’t grasped this concept yet. Let me explain this another way.” Because this lets the student know that they aren’t a failure- they made a mistake, but it’s not as final as they believe it to be- they just don’t understand YET, rather than not at all.

Some more examples are:

  1. Instead of, “You are so smart!” say, “You are working very hard- I can tell!” It inspires the student to keep doing well instead of excepting that they have reached their goal and can stop now.
  2. Instead of saying, “You always get good grades; that makes me happy.” Say, “When you put forth effort, your grades show it! You should be proud of yourself for working hard. I am proud of you!” The first phrase makes the student think that it’s just the grade itself that makes you happy, while the second phrase makes the student think that you appreciate their hard work and that’s what makes you happy, inspiring them to keep working hard.
  3. Instead of telling a student, “Yes, you got the answer correct, you are just so smart.” Say, “Wow, it looks like you have been studying! Good job!” This lets them know that they study for a reason, and they will be rewarded for it.

As a reminder to everyone, make a bulletin in your work-space or classroom! The chart below has some good examples to use.

Also, when you hear your students talking negatively about themselves, help them turn their mindset around!: developing growth mindset

 


 

When Critiquing: 

  1. Compliment their hard work, not their intelligence. (“Wow, this poster looks great! I bet you worked super hard on it!”)  So that if somebody doesn’t like it, they do not correlate that with them being stupid. 
  2. Don not name call, degrade, or attack the person because you do not like them or because you are mad at them.
  3. Instead of saying, “You made a mistake right here,” Try saying, “Hey, I think you overlooked this area- it is supposed to be __ in stead of ___.” This lets the person know that you are not trying to insult them, but rather show them the right way.

You can use the same basis of the tutoring or teaching style section, since they have the same goal. 

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