Making a change for the better

Have you ever want to sleep in for perhaps “five more minutes”? Have you ever just wanted to skip a day and but not been able to? Experiencing these symptoms have made you feel perhaps mad, irritated, and/or lazy? If so, don’t feel like you are the only one, I myself have experienced it as well.

A typical day starts like this, as soon as I hear my alarm, I immediately put it to snooze for like three to four times until I realize that if I don’t get up I will be late. As I decide to turn it off, I stretch my body out while still being in bed. Once I’m done I sit on my bed squinting my eyes, looking for my sandals. When I find them I put them on, turn on my room light, go to the restroom do my business, brush my teeth and hair. I get out the restroom and began looking for what to wear.

Realizing that I’m on a schedule, I turn around to look at my clock noticing that I have 10 minutes to catch the ROP bus at school. I run out of the house, grabbing a banana and a water on my way out, realizing half ways that I forgot to spray perfume, and my chromebook charger. I began to double think whether I should go back or continue walking. As I see my friends getting on the bus, I begin to run, trying to get closer to the school so the bus driver can see me and wait.

A big relief is trying to catch my breath sitting down, as the bus drives off to Mission Trails. When it arrives I get off, walking to my class feeling awake as I had a small run. Sitting down in my desk realizing I can’t do any work because I forgot my charger asking people if I can borrow their charger, getting responses of “I don’t have it.” or “I need to charge my chromebook too” drives me to be mad at myself for snoozing my alarm too much. Going onto my other classes relaxes me to some degree because I forget about the time and in less time than I know it, it’s time to go home.

Having to get home right away to do chores and drive my dad around due to him having vision problems, used to stress me during and before school. Sometimes having to get through my own responsibilities after school like four p.m. community hours at SVMH, Ciclovia meetings at five p.m., appointments to the doctor strongly stressed me out and doing large amounts of homework for my math and APUSH class causing me to not get a good night rest the day before due to staying up late doing homework, waking up in the worst mood and tiredness ever.

This was pretty much my life for the last two and a half years, until this February. My dad encouraged me to volunteer at the hospital because that is the career I want to pursue. I signed up and it was a two month process and I was accepted at Salinas Valley Memorial.

In April, the hospital recruited volunteers for the Summer Health Institute, which provides hands on experience, CPR certification, and a trip to Stanford to visit their medical school, and I got accepted because I was already a volunteer.

Deciding to get more engaged in my community helped me make a big change in my daily routine. Instead of staying up late, getting up late, and being stressed all the time, it has helped me cope with my stress. It has made me realize that as I add more stuff to my plate, I had to manage my time more wisely and get my work done. It helped me become a reliable person, gave me a purpose beyond school, and made me more determined to achieve my goals.

Ironically, the lesson here is when you have too much free time, it allows you to goof off and not stay focused. By adding more activities, especially things you’re interested in, it helps you manage your time better, which actually reduces your stress. Or at least re-channels your stress.

By Dulce Mendez