Sometimes the only real pressure is the pressure we put on ourselves

By Sarah Stubbs

Now that we have all moved in and settled into our dorms or rented homes and the first week of classes is coming to a close, I can’t help but feel excitement of the new semester quickly fade and start to be replaced with the fear, pressure, and stress the academic year can bring.

All summer I craved a productive, rewarding routine. School is something I’ve always been good at and when I am at The University of Findlay and in my routine of class, work, and extra curricular commitments I truly feel on-top-of-the-world and like my best self.

I spent my entire summer at home in Akron, Ohio waitressing 50 hours a week and writing for a local arts and culture magazine, The Devil Strip, on my days off. The plan was to make as much money as possible, write as much as possible, and prepare myself as much as possible for the responsibilities I will have these next two years as editor of the Pulse.

Well, that kind of happened. But it mostly didn’t.

With money as my motivator, I worked so many hours that my plans of writing and researching all summer were no longer in the forefront. Writing for The Devil Strip was rewarding in two ways: it was an escape from work and it allowed me to fall in love with my hometown for the first time ever. However, it wasn’t necessarily a Pulse-preparing experience, nor was it news-focused.

I didn’t read all of the newspaper-y books that I bought and planned on studying, I didn’t keep up with my blog, and I never sat down to plan an entire new layout design like I thought I needed to do.

Since I am entering my junior year, I haven’t had the chance to take certain classes yet in my journalism major that most editors should probably have under their belt like news editing or newspaper design. So the fear of inadequacy became extremely prevalent. I put a lot of pressure on myself to try to learn everything there is to learn about newspapers this summer when I knew that was not a realistic goal to have.

And now as I am sitting in this quiet Pulse office after a full day of lectures and assigned readings and am putting the final touches on the first official issue of the Pulse for the 2015-2016 academic year, I am suddenly overwhelmed with a wave of confidence.

With a full plate this semester: 18 credit hours, waitressing at Waldo Pepper’s, tutoring in the Writing Center, editing the Pulse and participating in UFTV, Lambda Pi Eta, and Arisitos Eklektos, I am extremely nervous about how I am going to do it all and when I am going to sleep.

But then my phone buzzes. My roommate Emily Pfahler texted me and asked if I was hungry and if she could bring me anything while I was working. Abbey Nickel, my predecessor and one of my best friends, just left after checking in on me after her long day of work at the Courier. Shelby Weems, last year’s design editor, texted me earlier in the day urging me to keep her updated and let her know if I needed her help. Jake Miller and Hannah Dunbar randomly just brought me a cheese quesadilla from Taco Bell. I look around and I am sitting in a clean office – recently upgraded with a TV for watching the news while we work – with ready-to-go content thanks to my eager faculty adviser, Amy Rogan.

My friends and roommates always ask if I’m doing everything by myself because of the hours I have put into the Welcome Weekend issue and this first issue over the last couple of weeks but I always reply and assure them that I am so far from being alone. Do I wish the Pulse and UF’s communication department had more manpower? Of course I do. But the presence of my driven classmates and loyal friends reminds me that everything is exactly as it should be.

A wise man once said, “Start before you’re ready.”

I think he was right.

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