Source:: Photo by Serhat Beyazkaya on Unsplash

 

It’s 5 past 11 (pm, not am) and you’ve only just reached home. You’ve been up for long enough to see the sun crack through the night’s sky to swap shifts with the stars and moon, long enough to see it sink back into the horizon, leaving streaks of pinks and oranges during its final hour.  Most of your day has been spent in a routine. You wake up a bit later than you should have and so you end up speeding through the rest of your steps.

You skip breakfast, prioritising only filling up your water bottle and grabbing a packet of oat crackers (you don’t really know how long it’s been there) before chucking it into your bag full of scrap paper and plastic wrappers- how long has that been accumulating for? Why can’t you find your one and only functioning pen? Where did you put your house keys? Regardless, you head out the door but not before reentering your home after noticing that your car keys weren’t in either of your clenched fists.
Now you know that quote, “You receive the energy that you give out”? Well, be prepared for some horrible drivers to make your day worse (for some reason, they’re always around the SS15 and the roundabout area near Sri KL). Though maybe you deserve it for abandoning your own driving ethics the moment you zoomed past the first red light of your day. God knows why you’re gonna get stuck in a jam anyways.
Then you finally reach Monash after engaging in a fierce battle of “Give Me That Goddamn Parking Spot” with another student…..or two…..or three…..
So maybe getting parking at Monash isn’t the easiest task.
Then you go to a lecture and another one and then maybe a tutorial while you’re at it, not like you have much of a say over your schedule. You take out your phone to check the time, noticing the reflection of the darkening sky on your phone screen,
“5 pm.”
Time to go home to another jam.
You lie in bed, staring at the ceiling after a couple of hours of working on your assignments. You aren’t sure of how much progress you’ve actually made; you kept moving from one corner of the house to another, unable to shake off the restlessness out of your system.
Thinking about it, why were you so exhausted? You did the exact same thing every weekday so shouldn’t you have gotten used to it by now? And you had your weekends to yourself…..sort of….not exactly…
But it wasn’t like you were doing too much. You weren’t a part of 5 different clubs, you weren’t in any committees and you never had to deal with the people at Finance whenever your school was planning an event. You didn’t do sports either so you weren’t committed to weekly practices nor were you obligated to stay in shape. Moreover, you weren’t losing 6 hours of much-needed sleep every night, a sacrifice a lot of other students you knew would make for the sake of maintaining their grades.
In no shape or form were you overexerting yourself so it made no sense for you to feel this exhausted.
Are you doing enough? No.
You’re doing too much. You don’t have to have back to back schedules with no breaks in between for you to feel worn out. You don’t have to spread yourself so thin to the point of blacking out. There is no rule in the nonexistent book of life that says, “Thou shall not relax”. Waking up is tiring, driving drains your energy, university is mentally exhausting, heck, deciding on a place to eat can feel like a ginormous obstacle. So why not take a step back, fix yourself a cup of Milo (or matcha if you’re about that life) and just breathe. I can assure you that you are pushing yourself beyond your own limits and that your exhaustion should not be measured by the number of things you manage to do in a day.
Cut yourself some slack because,
“Thou Shall Relax.”
                                – Me
Adrian Foh
Anthea Ong

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