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For those of you who graciously follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed an inordinate amount of tweets regarding Neopets. You might be concerned. (For those of you who don’t know, Neopets is a mini-games website for children.) While I understand and appreciate your concern for my grades, social life, and general well-being, I assure you that I am just fine.

In fact, there’s a reason why I’m on Neopets – blame it on the stress of school.

School is too close to home.

I live off campus, but I’m only a five-minute bus ride away from school. Few London residents actually live that close to the university, so I usually only see students. I really can’t emphasize this enough. There are students everywhere. While I find living off campus less stressful than living in residence, it’s not different enough. I’m always stressed about school, and school is everywhere. I need to get away sometimes. (And I’m too broke to afford a vacation.)

Happy thoughts.

I played Neopets when I was like, eight years old. Do you know what I did when I was eight years old? Almost nothing. My only responsibility was to hold my mom’s hand when I went out in public. The website reminds me of a time when I literally had nothing to worry about, and I welcome any break from my daily anxiety about school. Plus the fun games and flashy colors are a bonus.

nineties neopets meme

Clearing my mind.

Sometimes I edit my papers and read my arguments so often that I forget how to write in English. I know, it poses a bit of a problem. You know what gets your mind off of school like nothing else? Counting potatoes. It requires so much focus and yet it’s entirely useless. It’s a much-needed break. Otherwise, I would keep editing my paper without the capacity for English grammar, and nothing good can come of that.

We’re adults now, but that doesn’t mean that we always have to act like it. When your brain is stuck in “school mode”, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. We don’t produce our best work under heavy stress (regardless of what procrastinators sometimes claim), so give your brain – and your cortisol levels – a break.

How do you relieve the stress of school?