When Your Pituitary Gland Gets Confused

I know that I have not posted barely anything on here in months. I actually haven’t really written much in months. Here is why:

Starting in July, I kept getting sick randomly. Headaches occurring more often than ever before, exhaustion constantly sweeping over me, and out-of-the-blue nausea and vomiting spells. The beginning of this coincided  with my summer internship that I had to drive 45 minutes to almost 7 days a week. Needless to say, it sucked, but I did what I could to make it work in between hospital and doctor visits. Fast forward to a couple of weeks later, the beginning of the fall semester of my senior year of college. I am living with my bestfriend in an apartment off campus and we are ready to have an amazing year. BAM, Friday afternoon one week I get a migraine that won’t go away no matter what. The following Thursday, after almost passing out in class, my roommate drove me to the ER where they found that my pituitary gland was enlarged. Cool, so now what? After bloodwork and an MRI, they found that my hormone levels were elevated. Yes, get your laughs in, my hormones are crazy! But really, it is a pretty frustrating thing. After some medication changes, I am starting to feel slightly normal again, so hopefully that was the cause of this ruckus.

What is the point of this story exactly? Honestly, probably the biggest cliche in existence; never give up. Typically, I am a very upbeat and happy person. Having a chronic illness for any period of time is exhausting, especially as a college student. My headaches were so bad that I could not study or write papers. I could not eat normally because I was constantly feeling sick. I could not hangout with my friends, except for on my couch, because I was always tired. I could not go to the gym or ride horses because of all of the above. I could not do any of the things that I needed or wanted to do as a college student, and it happened at the beginning of my senior year. I know, fun times. A few days ago, I finally hit the point of frustration. I was mad at the world for throwing this difficulty at me and I wanted nothing to do with being strong anymore. I was done. After taking a nap and waking up on a better side of the bed, I had an epiphany. I told myself to get over it. Yes, I am still frustrated, and yes, I am ready to be caught up in all of my classes, and yes, I hate feeling horrible just as much as anyone else does. But as always, life goes on.

One day, I will look back at this and laugh at the imperfect timing of my pituitary gland’s confusion, but for now, I will just keep moving forward.

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May the Odds Be Ever In Your Favor

Every college student has their own way of surviving finals. Sometimes our ways may be not-so-healthy, but it is only for a week or two, right? I have survived college final exam week 5 times (ew) and I am now entering into my 6th time. I wanted to share some of the things I do, stupid or not, to help me get through all of the studying.

 

ONE// Rewriting Notes

In my opinion, this is the easiest and most effective way of studying. Repetition is key.

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TWO// Music

I have to listen to music, especially during those 6 hour cram sessions. Even if it is just low, background noise, it helps keep me “less bored”. Pandora is literally my bestfriend. If you don’t listen to Pandora while studying, you should. My favorite stations are ‘NSync Radio and Glee Cast Radio.

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THREE// Snacks, Drinks, and Gum

Again, this helps keep me “less bored”. My go-to studying snack is chips, I know, unhealthy, but at this point in the semester I don’t care. Coffee, water and Gatorade are my typical study drinks. I would drink coffee endlessly if I could, but I prefer to not be dehydrated while I’m trying to learn stuff. Last, gum. It is self-explanatory but I just love gum.

FOUR// Drawing on White Boards

I get really tired of writing notes in notebooks or on my computer. Being a Biology major, I always have a lot of pictures, graphs, and biological cycles to remember. I draw them really big on white boards, in different colors, to help me go over and remember them.

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FIVE// Push-up and Burpee Breaks

A few years ago my friend started doing push-ups in the middle of our study session and told me that it really wakes you up and helps you focus. I didn’t believe her at first, but ever since then I do this all the time. It is good to get up, stretch, walk around, and maybe do some push-ups or jumping jacks. It gets your blood racing and gives you a little adrenaline push.

SIX// Group Sessions

My friends and I always get together to study. Even if we don’t say a word to each other for hours, it is nice to have company.

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SEVEN// Color

I love making things colorful. I highlight everything in different colors, color in pictures, use colored notecards, etc. I can’t just look at white paper and black pen for hours on end. Eventually, it all meshes together and just no.

EIGHT// Goodbye Cell Phone

This is the hardest one, but I try to put my phone on silent. Even if I don’t touch it for a half an hour, that’s better than getting distracted every minute.

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 Hopefully this gave you some easy and maybe stupid ideas to make all of that studying just a little more bearable! Happy finals everyone!

Inside the Mind of the Driver

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Today I made the 250 mile drive from my college in Massachusetts to my home in Pennsylvania for Spring Break. For me, driving for hours alone consists of eating (junk food mostly), making an idiot out of myself jamming out to any song that comes on, and thinking. Today I thought about everything going on in my life and all of the amazing experiences I’ve had in the past few months. Honestly, I am so overwhelmingly happy with my life right now. I have so many amazing friends, coworkers, bosses, and role models surrounding me everyday. With the help of the influence of these individuals, I began to find myself again. I truly believe that college is about finding yourself over and over again.

People are constantly asking me what it is like to go to school hours away from home. I always say, “I have two completely different worlds that I live in”. Being away from my animals is probably the most difficult part. Of course I miss my human family members, but I can talk to them on the phone unlike my animal family members. So of course, it is always refreshing to come home to everyone on breaks, but I also miss my college friends while I am away. In college, your friends become your family. We eat meals together, go shopping together, study together, advise one another on life choices, comfort each other, take care of each other whether we are sick or not, etc. That bond is irreplaceable. Whether I am overtired, grumpy, silly, stressed out, upset, way too happy, or what have you, my friends are there and deal with it all. Even on the days that we want to kill each other, or can’t see the others’ side, nothing seems to change. As my friends see the end of out junior year approaching, we are constantly talking about what’s next. There are the more immediate thoughts about finding our apartment for our senior year, what classes we still have to take before graduating, and all of that fun stuff. Then there are the more nauseating thoughts about after graduating, which is coming faster than any of us had anticipated. Although it is terrifying, it is great knowing that the bond between us isn’t going to be broken and we will figure it out together. By this I mean, we will choose our next state to reside in together, and that is so exciting.

In conclusion, these are some of my random thoughts from my nice long drive today.

5 Reasons Why College Students Hit Snooze

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College students juggle a million things everyday. Class, work, studying, friends, clubs, and sports, just to name a few, fall into the “everyday tasks” category. On top of all of this, people expect us to squeeze in time to shower and maybe eat a few meals every day. I don’t think I can put into words how important that extra 5 (or 55… but who is counting?) minutes of sleep is. Honestly, I don’t think we should feel guilty about sleeping a little longer occasionally, but I do. In an everlasting attempt to justify hitting the snooze button, I argue with myself every morning. Here are some of my typical morning arguments, which I find to be legitimate and common amongst college students. FYI, I always win.

1. Physical Necessity for More Sleep

“Yeah I studied an extra hour last night (or I drank a little too much) so I actually need to sleep longer, for my health of course.”

2. The Temperature Difference Between My Bed and My Room

“My room is approximately 5 degrees and my bed is approximately 80 degrees. If I get out of bed, I am going to be forced to sprint around my room throwing cloths on to avoid hypothermia. Also, I just like being cuddly and warm. Why give up a good thing?”

3. That Can Easily Be Skipped

“What can I avoid this morning that will give me a little more sleep? My hair? Yeah I will just throw it up. I can just do my make-up quickly… Am I wearing jeans today? Nope, screw jeans, yogas it is. I really should eat breakfast though. Okay well I can probably eat enough in five minutes. It’s settled, back to sleep.”

4. Fear of Sleeping in Class

“If I get up at this moment, I will be too tired to stay awake in class, so I will inevitably fall asleep resulting in my professor hating me.”

5. Sleeping on a Twin-Sized College Bed (MOST IMPORTANT)

“It took me over an hour, which consisted of rolling around, loosing my pillows/covers/stuffed animals, fixing my covers, having my feet/arms hang off, fixing my constantly moving mattress pad, and trying to tune out the constant deafening squeaking that occurs every time I move slightly to finally fall asleep in this damn twin sized college bed. I DESERVE to stay asleep as long as I want!”