My Way To Keep Calm

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Five weeks into my senior year, my English teacher, Ms. C, asks everyone in the class, “What is your stress level on a scale to 1-10, 1 being the least stressed?’ I casually say, “1”. Most people in my room are smart individuals and were surprised since it was unofficial test week when every AP teacher in the school gives out a test or how Ms. C called it, a celebration of knowledge. Also, it was the September of senior year, meaning deadlines were close! But I didn’t feel “stressed” or “anxious. ” I was calm. After Ms. C asks that question, she follows up with the question- why is your stress level at that point? That is when I really started to think. I answer, “because I am done with my tests and stuff. ” However, after further introspection, I realized that I had a whole list in mind that could allegedly stress me out. But I was calm.

My main “stressor” would have been, something totally unrelated to school, my Green Card. If I don’t get my green card this year, I am going back to India. Unless I become a permanent resident, I won’t get admission into a college or be allowed live in the US. It has been 7 years since I have applied, and I have just been waiting for it to get approved. Studies have proven that increased waiting can lead to… actually nothing, but it is just frustrating. In the fictional show, Supernatural, Crowley, the king of Hell, his version of hell was for people to wait in a line, and when they reached the beginning; they just had to go right in the back of the line. His reasoning for that was, “Nobody likes waiting in a line. ” That is exactly how it feels, and I have been in this “line” for seven years. I have lost so much sleep over this issue, with countless interviews and documentation issues; this yielded no results. It is very frustrating to double-check eligibility requirements for applications to scholarships or competitions. Mostly the feeling of being an outsider that makes me shudder. Although I find this whole process of waiting difficult, none of this makes me stressed I remain calm. My parents always question me, “How are you so ‘calm’ right now?” and “What is wrong with kids these days; you should be worried about your future!” Of course, I agree with them, but this “calm” attitude is very necessary to work through complicated processes calmly. Millenials/Gen Z are often looked upon as generations are usually depressed and anxious, so they can’t concentrate.

Obviously, this is just a myth, but the reasoning is correct; if a person gets too overwhelmed by stress, he/she can’t think straight and focus. I am grateful for both cultures which show me the more serene pathway to conquer life. The acceptance from American culture made me understand the importance of valuing other cultures. Today’s globalization, caused by technology, requires people to be accepting of other cultures because the increase in globalization means an increase in dominant cultures. This cultural shift requires people to be respectful, and I have already experienced that shift since I belong to two countries with two polar opposite cultures. I have already learned how to adapt to difficult circumstances. From my Indian culture, I use the spiritual knowledge of the holy book of Hinduism, Bhagavad Gita, which puts emphasis on meditation and focusing thoughts and internal energy on God rather than “distractions”. This idea is what makes me a relaxed being; I am able to detach myself from reality and focus on my spiritual energy with meditation in Hindi and chanting of God. This is the main reason I don’t get consumed by the anxiousness and stress because I am calmly able to focus on solutions instead of becoming overwhelmed.

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