a note to student (employees)

listen to this while you read this:

 

Hi, fellow student.

I know, depending on your hemisphere, you’ve just started the new school year, or that you’re trying to crawl through the last three months of the university term. I know you’re busy, and I know you’re tired. I work a lot too – both in and out of school. My desk looks like that of the normal college student: messy, covered in loose sheets of paper and sticky notes and matches and medication. Under my ridiculously expensive textbooks, I have other textbooks, from 5th up until 12th grade. I’m a tutor, and I am a red-pen-stained-worksheet-making mess.

I work an easy 10 hours a week. Officially. Ten hours doesn’t seem like a lot, and it isn’t really. It’s doable. If I only worked those 10 hours, I’d be okay, but tutoring, like almost every other job, demands that it must eat into any and all time I thought I could mark as free time. I’m sure you can empathise. I know some of you work up to 25 hours a week, and I know that I can never feel the tired you feel, but I can feel proud of you – and I do.

I don’t think anyone’s better than anyone, but I do think that students who work while they study are extremely resilient. Yes, that’s most of us, but most of us are resilient. I think that the six hours you put in on a Saturday because you’re helping your parents pay your tuition, or because you’re paying your tuition yourself, or because you’re saving for a trip or a car, or because you just want some money, are six hours of phenomenal work. I think that you’re brave and powerful and strong. I think that you’re doing a great job.

Regardless of whether you work or not, drink a tall glass of water. Take three deep breaths, and remember that you’re doing okay. Don’t let the university monster eat you alive. I’m proud of you, and you’re doing great.

This is your reminder.

love and light,
shalom xo

bite, chew, chew, swallow

People used to say, (and they probably still do) “don’t bite off more than you can chew.” My genuine response to that for six years was, “don’t worry, I have a really big mouth.”

My mom had a way of teaching me to chew with my mouth closed: she’d tell me in a singsong way to “chew, chew; swallow, swallow.” I tried to sing the song while I ate. The food went everywhere and it was gross.

In high school, I wanted to take French and biology as extra subjects. They’d cost quite a bit of money to do outside of school, and my grade tutor warned me not to overwhelm myself. I wanted to tell her about this gif:

So far, this post has been full of stories of me trying to do the absolute most, and forgetting about the tiny human defect I have: being a human being. I forget that I am a person who is more than the number of things she couldn’t get done that day. I forget that forgetting to eat for two days isn’t really a good start to a semester. I forget that I get to take a step back and chew, then step down and swallow before I get back up again.

If I’m talking to you when I say what I’m about to say – and I am talking to you- listen. Take time to chew. If you’ve bitten off too much, chew slowly. Sing a song and let the food fall out of your mouth. Take care of yourself.

Keep eating. Drink some water.

I’m proud of you so far! (Spoiler alert: I always will be proud of you.)

Love and light,
shalom xo