COLUMN: The stages of life can cause anxiety

Rob Le Cates

Katja Benz is a senior English major and can be reached at 581-2912 or [email protected].

Katja Benz, Columnist

There are four and a half weeks until the end of the school year. Crazy I know. I personally have been super stressed, between five classes, averaging twenty hours of work a week, and doing homework.  

I know that all of us can finish strong (we got this!), but that does not mean that we should not take a break every once in a while. Despite being really overwhelmed with everything I have going on, I still manage to take a break.

Even if those breaks are getting food, making my bed or doing laundry, as long as I am not doing homework for hours on end, it is a break. 

You know, as much as I want say I am ready to graduate- I really do not think I am. I will tell people that I had senioritis as a freshman, which was true, but I did not really think it would come this fast.

That is coming from someone who started college in 2018, took a gap year the COVID, and spent the last two years at Eastern before I graduate in May. 

I did not think that these past two years would fly by this fast. I have a lot of vivid memories of Eastern, from first night to Panther Bash to all of the homecoming events that University Board hosts, and I will truly miss all of this.  

As the semester and my time at Eastern, is wrapping up, I think that it becomes important to reflect, whatever that means to you. I am personally reflecting on what I have to do in terms of schoolwork and getting things in order for grad school.

This is while also reflecting on the experiences I had at Eastern and what to look forward to in my next stage of life.  

For me, just thinking about leaving the state is scary. Most of my family lives in Illinois, but I know that where I am headed for graduate school is the best fit for me and will give me a wide range of experiences where I can build on the skills that I gained at Eastern. 

If you cannot tell, thinking about this next chapter also makes me anxious. I will miss all of the people and friends I made here and I will cherish the memories I made here. But that does not mean that I should stay somewhere because I am uncomfortable going elsewhere.  

If I have learned anything about myself in the past two years, it is that I crave feeling uncomfortable. I do not mean that I purposefully try to make others uncomfortable, just that I like getting out of my comfort zone, trying new things, and doing things to better myself and my life.

Even if it means that I am doing something I am scared of or nervous to try for the first time.   

 As you reflect, I suggest you do the same. Getting out of your comfort zone is not as scary as one might think. You got this; I know you do.  

Katja Benz is a senior English major. She can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.