If you think cramming that 25-page final paper that’s due tomorrow on four hours of sleep is bad, then imagine supervising six college boys on a trip to Louisville, Ky., programming a handful of freelance projects, and conducting the production of a magazine from a location 600 miles away while attending workshops and sessions at a national college media conference, maintaining communication with your co-op bosses, and dealing with PMS all at the same time. You may want to take advantage of your trip and see what this Southern city might have to offer, but it’s more likely that you’ll find yourself passed out on the floor with your feet sticking out from under the hotel’s unusually short doors. Lucky for me, that very stressful period has already passed. With this being the last issue of the quarter and the next issue not due for print until November 29, I can live the quiet life of a programmer and enjoy my weekends — for two weeks at least. Things are slowing down; and now that I’ve had time to unwind, I’ve realized that it isn’t as bad as I thought it was.
Looking back, I must have done something right. I didn’t get fired from my co-op; my staff is mostly intact; and, I’m still breathing. In fact, Reporter received two second place Associated Collegiate Press Photo Excellence Awards — for General News and Sports — and placed eighth in the magazine category of the conference’s “Best of Show” competition. And to top it all off, last week’s “Money Issue”, which is the issue we were working on remotely, went like hot cakes.
For most of you, finals are looming and the pressure is on. Stress is piling up; but just before you wake up in a cold sweat because anxiety has driven you to dream about a hard drive crash causing the loss of your final project, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Everything is going to be alright. You’ll be home soon enjoying that not-so-American apple pie while watching that not-so-American football game with your dad. (See “American Icons That Aren’t” on page 12.) Feel any better?
If you still feel the need to breathe into a paper bag, then this week’s features section has got you covered. (See “Burning Out” on page 16 and “Managing Your Stress” on page 20.) You won’t find the answers to your Biology midterm — you’re still going to have to face the music — but you will learn a little more about stress and find a few helpful tips to keep it from taking over your life. However, if that still doesn’t help you out, you can take a few pages from my book: ride a random painted horse in a faraway city, hit the current source of your frustrations with an inflatable bat, and eat a whole lot of ice cream and candy.