Ben Konuch

Day 298: Responsibility Insecurities

The cast’s sophomore is Ben Konuch. Ben shares with us the many opportunities he has been given this year. But, these new responsibilities have brought back old insecurities. Through his vulnerability, Ben gives us an intimate look at how he is coping while trying to keep God at the center of it all.

The first few weeks of school have been made up of some pretty incredible opportunities and also some pretty intense struggles. Being the lead in The Giver has been a wonderful blessing from God, but it’s also taken an immense amount of time and emotional strain. It’s also brought back some struggles with insecurity and feelings of inadequacy, so trying to fight those lies from the Devil while also trying to learn from my director and the other really talented actors around me has been a struggle. With the show opening next week, I’ve been really stressed with whether or not I’ll be able to get to where I need to be for it, as well as the balance of trying to work on the play while still maintaining academics. School has had to take a temporary backseat with everything else going on right now, and I am a bit worried about how long I can sustain that.

I’ve also been given the opportunity to serve as MuKappa secretary this semester, and that has been another case of a blessing and a struggle at the same time. Being able to apply the skills I’ve been learning in my communication classes to something I’m passionate about – and something I can serve in – like MuKappa has been such an honor, but it’s also taken a lot out of my social battery. Learning how to navigate previous friendships while trying to build new ones, working on reaching out to freshmen while also feeling like I’m partly losing the bonds that I have with my other friends, and staying up until 2 AM to work on org emails that I sometimes feel like no one reads hasn’t been a very fun time at all.

On top of this, I’ve also tried to maintain working at Stinger and Tossed one day a week, but most of my work comes from writing for Cedars. This year I’ve been able to keep my job working for the A&E section of Cedars, which means I’ve been reviewing movies and shows for them and I’ve absolutely loved it. I’m really passionate about film and storytelling as well as writing, so being able to get some money saved towards tuition from something I really enjoy has made me eternally grateful.

Overall, God has been extremely generous and faithful through all the ups and downs so far this semester. He’s given me the opportunity to be able to make new friends, ones that I’m extremely thankful for and can’t wait to further. He’s also given so many fun times with old friends already, from spectacularly failing Mission Impossible with MuKappa pals to watching new episodes of fantasy shows with my incredible roommate. He’s helped me maintain grades in spite of the craziness. He’s provided energy despite my sleep schedule kind of imploding on itself. He’s given me more than enough, as He often does, but there’s been many days where it’s been hard to see it. There have been days full of loneliness, days full of overthinking and second-guessing, days when I just don’t have the energy to get out and do the things I need. For the sake of being real and being vulnerable, I’ve already had one slight mental breakdown this semester, and I do worry about how sustainable this schedule I’ve made for myself will be. 

But He is good, always. If I have to drop something, if I have to live with a lower grade than I was hoping for on that exam, if I have to let go of dinners with friends to be able to put more into rehearsal, then I will. God has given so many incredible opportunities and blessings this year, and I want to be able to steward them well in all that I do. 

Day 312: The Giver 

In this episode, Ben finds himself in between the two weekends of performances for The Giver. He describes what it’s like playing Jonas—the young boy who leads this emotion-filled story. But for Jonas to have emotion, Ben must provide it. This has caused a period of emotional drought that Ben is trying to recover from. Ben explores how this incredible opportunity is affecting his academics, social life, and relationship with Christ. 

It’s been a wild two weeks. The Giver opened last weekend and that has been a tremendous blessing, seeing how people have responded to this story that we’ve worked so hard on. Being able to convey this play and portray these characters in such a way to point to themes and values that have been so central to us has been such a fulfilling feeling. It’s our form of worship, and being able to serve God and point to Him through this has been a dream come true. I can’t wait for next weekend to close out this show with everything we have.

The show has also been an intense struggle. Giving up three or more hours every night in rehearsal has taken a toll on my social life, academics, and even my social group. I wouldn’t trade being in the play for anything in the world, but this last weekend has been exhausting in more than just sleep. I’ve found myself drained emotionally after doing five shows in three days, and it’s left a hollow, empty feeling that isn’t exactly sadness, but is something that’s been a struggle nonetheless.

School has also been a challenge with The Giver coming right before one of my first big exams for a class, which has come with its share of anxiety. Recognizing that I can’t put my all into everything all the time is something I’m still getting used to, and having grown up with a perfectionist attitude, that’s been hard to try and understand. I’m still trying my best with what I can, but I’ve also been learning that sometimes taking time to focus on my mental health and taking time to recharge when I need to is the best way to handle my responsibilities and steward what I’ve been given. So for the first time in a long time, I wasn’t able to pour everything that I wanted into a test I had to sit down and take, and I’ve had to understand that sometimes, that’s okay.

I’ve also been able to spend some great times with people I care about, whether it be watching fantasy tv shows with my roommate when I should really be sleeping or dressing up really fancily to go to Chuck’s with MuKappa friends for no real reason. I’ve been able to spend more time with people that are important to me, but I’ve also still felt a little distant from some and I’m not sure why. Part of me wonders if it’s with them or with me, but I feel like I’ve changed in the summer break between freshman year and sophomore year, and I don’t know if it’s been for the better. I know a lot of it has to do with being busy and overwhelmed, but part of me does really wonder what this year will have in store for me.

Day 326 – Recovering through Rest, Friendship, and Baseball

Now that The Giver has closed, Ben has focused on restoring himself. He has been able to rest more, give more energy to academics, and rekindle some friendships. He even describes how his love for baseball has rejuvenated him.

Over the last two weeks, we have been able to wrap our final shows of The Giver, and I’ve been able to get a lot of rest and recuperation. Finally having my evenings back for the first time since school has started has been such a bizarre – yet good – feeling. I’ve been able to reconnect more with my bro/sis, who I’ve missed a lot, and have been able to sink more into my MuKappa officer duties. I’ve also been able to spend more time in the Word, which has been wonderful and very much needed for my heart.

On a less serious note, being from Cleveland has made baseball an exciting postseason to watch. The Cleveland Guardians have made it to the postseason against all odds, and being able to keep up with them and follow the games alongside my mom who got me into baseball, despite our physical distance, has been a blessing and a fun connection point with my family. As of writing this, the Guardians are actually about to play the tiebreaker game of their series against the Yankees, so I’m a bit scared about how that’s going to go! Regardless, it’s been fun to watch and has helped me feel a little closer to home.

I’ve also been able to find some peace in my friendships, despite not all issues with social groups falling away. I’ve been able to spend much more time with friends since The Giver has ended, which has helped quench some of those fears of falling behind in my friend group. I’ve also surprisingly rekindled some old acquaintances from last year lately that have turned into unexpected and sweet friendships, which I’m extremely thankful to God for.

Overall, it’s been a very quiet and chill two weeks. I’m counting down the days until fall break, and while I’m a bit disappointed that I can’t go off campus with friends or visit family, I’m very grateful for the chance to just have a calm few days to rest and recover. I also know quite a few people who are staying on campus as well, so that is another blessing.

Overall, God has been good and has given me the rest and the strength I’ve needed after the show has ended. While post-show depression did hit hard, God lent me the strength I needed to keep going and gave me the people I needed to be around. He’s helped me get through tests and assignments, and even though I had an exam I really wish I did better on, I know God helped me through it and I wouldn’t even have been able to do as well as I did without Him. God is good, and through hard times or good ones, He keeps providing.

Day 340: Facing Burnout

Both fall break and Halloween were enjoyable times for Ben to rest with friends and take time to enjoy himself. He was even able to put substantial effort into a Halloween costume! But burnout continues to loom over Ben’s head as he joins another theatrical production. Even though he thrives on stage, Ben discusses the concerns he still has. 

Man, has it been a busy two weeks. Not a whole lot of note has happened, but a lot of little things have slowly been eating up all my free time. The push to fall break was pretty rough, with a few assignments and tests kicking me hard, but God was still in control and for the most part I did pretty well on things. Fall break itself was also a blessing, with days of sleeping in, some days of activity, some days of nothingness. On Friday, we actually went to my MuKappa friend’s house here in town and made gyoza and fried rice with him to celebrate his birthday, and then we watched Inception, so that was a pretty good day.

I’ve also gotten into another play which has just started up, and I was looking forward to getting my free time back but with this new role I’m gonna stay pretty busy. Rest has been and still is a pretty big concern for me lately, and I’ve been feeling its effects on me pretty hard. I don’t really have time for myself lately, and I’m running out of time to sleep every night. I’m hoping I can keep burnout at bay but it is a pretty valid concern.

I also was able to make my first ever costume for Halloween this year, which was Nathan Drake from Uncharted. I’m really happy how it turned out, and the experience and satisfaction of putting together my own costume for the first time was super rewarding. Also, going to Waffle House with friends in costumes is a 10/10 experience.

All in all it’s been a busy time but not necessarily an all bad one. I’ve gone thrifting with friends, played video games with hallmates, had a costumed photoshoot, spent a couple evenings petting the hill cats with an awesome friend, and had some pretty cool quiet time moments. I just wish I had more time to recharge and rest.

Day 382:

What a strange two weeks it has been. The last two weeks have been the home stretch towards the end of the semester, and coming off the high of Thanksgiving break I felt refreshed and reenergized. Unfortunately, my hope of finishing strong in terms of mental state didn’t quite go according to plan. There’s been a lot going on, both things I’ve been involved with and things I’ve been on the sideline for, but it’s taken a lot of energy and emotions on top of the already stressful situation of finals.

I guess one of the biggest problems of this semester has been uncertainty, especially in terms of people. There’s constantly been uncertainty with relationships, uncertainty of how to navigate friendships and social groups, uncertainty about feelings, uncertainty about life in general and how to proceed. This has just been highlighted in these last two weeks, and while I have grown through a lot of this semester, I’ve realized how much uncertainty still truly remains.

I hate the feeling of not knowing where I fit with people or how I fit with a social group. I don’t like the feelings of anxiety when being around people that I care about. While I know God will show me how to be friends to the people He wants me to be with, the struggle has been very real this last half of the semester. Going into next semester, I know something needs to change, but I don’t know what.

Classes have wound up now and my finals week has been pretty chill, which I’m extremely grateful for. I’m looking forward to rest and time with God this break and hopefully time to think and discern what to do in certain situations. In short, God has grown me a lot through everything this semester, and while I wish certain things can be lifted from me, I recognize that God is still growing me and teaching me things through them.

Day 355: Shame and Success

The feelings of shame and doubt are never enjoyable. But unfortunately, Ben encounters them through a major decision that he shares with us. Ben also talks about his recent success with Cedars magazine.

Oh boy, these last few weeks have been weird. 

I had to make the decision to pull away from the play that I was so excited to be in, and that was such a weird and hard call to make. I really wanted to be involved in the production, but I realized that I was way more emotionally fatigued than I thought. After being involved for a week in the rehearsal process and feeling a lack of peace and building anxiety, I prayed a lot about it and had to make the decision to step away from the show.

It was definitely a hard decision to make, but I think it was the right call. My life has gotten a lot crazier with work and assignments, and I really don’t think I would have been able to get through it without a significant mental breakdown. God has been able to give me peace about the whole decision and strength to get through what I need to do in other responsibilities.

The last two weeks I’ve also been able to make time to spend with people despite the stress of work and responsibilities. I’ve been able to spend time with my hall and have some fun times with them, including going to see Wakanda Forever, which was AWESOME. I’ve also been able to catch up with old friends that I haven’t had much time with this semester, so that’s also been an unexpected blessing.

This week we also had Cedars’ print magazine come out, which was pretty exciting! It was the first time any of my writing has been physically published and being able to get a copy of my own and hold it was a very surreal experience. It was a bit of a major dream come true for my love of writing, and I’m so excited that I was able to reach it.

So in short, life’s busy, life’s hard, but life’s good. It’s all about what we focus on, and I’ve been trying to focus on the good that the Lord’s been providing.

Day 370: The Transition of Home

Ben discusses his hard work for a major communication project, movies with friends, and the new difficulties about going home for break. 

The last two weeks have been a flood of business and blessings. One of my communication classes has a final project where a partner and I imagine we’re working for a non-profit and have to launch a three week long PR campaign using the skills and project types we’ve learned about over the semester. That’s been a huge stressor, but it also has been an absolute thrill to be able to work on. Coordinating with my partner, learning about our cause, and slowly seeing what we’ve planned take shape has been a joy to see. It’s been the first taste of what a job in the communication profession would look like, and I’ve never been happier with my choice of major.

I also had Thanksgiving Break happen, just in the nick of time! I was feeling very close to a burnout in the week leading up to it, so the week of rest and recuperation was right when I needed it. I was able to fly down to Alabama, where my parents moved at the end of semester, and got to spend my break with my parents and brother who lives nearby. It was a very lowkey break, with lots of sleeping in, TV watching, and homework catching up. All in all I was grateful for the time and how I spent it, even if I did feel a little homesick down in Alabama when it really hit me that I didn’t know anyone in the entire state.

I’ve been able to find a lot of fun through movies and TV shows with people too. Before break I got to see The Menu for Cedars with two of my best friends, and that was an absolute ride of a film. I also got to rewatch a good chunk of Andor with my dad and brother, which has been one of my favorite pieces of Star Wars media, so it was exciting to show it with them. And I also got to watch some Death in Paradise with my mom, a BBC mystery series that I’ve watched with her on and off from as far back as when we were in the Philippines.

All in all, it’s been a good two weeks. I’ve been kept busy but it’s been the best kind of busy, and now that classes are back in full swing before finals, I feel like I’m a bit physically and mentally recharged. I’m hoping the last two weeks of the semester will be able to have a good ending.

Day 382: Uncertainty

Despite finals being somewhat simple, Ben finds himself doubting his relationships with the people around him. He speaks about attempting to find meaning in the hardships.

What a strange two weeks it has been. The last two weeks have been the home stretch towards the end of the semester, and coming off the high of Thanksgiving break I felt refreshed and reenergized. Unfortunately, my hope of finishing strong in terms of mental state didn’t quite go according to plan. There’s been a lot going on, both things I’ve been involved with and things I’ve been on the sideline for, but it’s taken a lot of energy and emotions on top of the already stressful situation of finals.

I guess one of the biggest problems of this semester has been uncertainty, especially in terms of people. There’s constantly been uncertainty with relationships, uncertainty of how to navigate friendships and social groups, uncertainty about feelings, uncertainty about life in general and how to proceed. This has just been highlighted in these last two weeks, and while I have grown through a lot of this semester, I’ve realized how much uncertainty still truly remains.

I hate the feeling of not knowing where I fit with people or how I fit with a social group. I don’t like the feelings of anxiety when being around people that I care about. While I know God will show me how to be friends to the people He wants me to be with, the struggle has been very real this last half of the semester. Going into next semester, I know something needs to change, but I don’t know what.

Classes have wound up now and my finals week has been pretty chill, which I’m extremely grateful for. I’m looking forward to rest and time with God this break and hopefully time to think and discern what to do in certain situations. In short, God has grown me a lot through everything this semester, and while I wish certain things can be lifted from me, I recognize that God is still growing me and teaching me things through them.

Day 419: Moving Forward

The start of Ben’s semester has been somewhat shaky. He shares a few details about winter break, and then speaks about how the repercussions of last semester’s social dilemmas are impacting him now. He also wants to make it very clear that everyone should watch The Last of Us.

So winter break has come and gone, and while my break wasn’t anything special, it was just what I needed. My parents came to school to pick me up and we went up to Cleveland for a week, and that was wonderful. I got to catch up with old friends and see family, and then for the rest of the break we went back down to Alabama. It’s still hard getting used to Alabama, but I was able to spend some good time with my family and great time resting.

Coming back to school was a mixed bag for me. I was excited to see people again, but the way last semester ended with my social dynamics, I was scared. The good news is that for the most part, everything has been okay so far. I’ve had a little bit of an ongoing struggle still, I’m remembering how to let go of my problems and my frustrations in order to give them to God and focus on being a good friend.

Over the MLK weekend, MuKappa took a trip up to Michigan for a MuKappa International retreat. This wasn’t just our school, but contained other branches from several other colleges in the area, so it was really cool to be able to meet and get to know the other international students from our brother and sister chapters. The sessions were really great too. We talked about grief, unpacking past trauma and hardships that we’ve never dealt with, and even those that are causing lasting problems still today.

And on a silly note, my favorite story of all time has been adapted from a game to a show, and it absolutely rocks. So this is my PSA for everyone to watch The Last of Us. It’s been really sweet to see how many friends of mine have given the show a go and have gotten into it because of my suggestion and how much it means to me.

Day 433: Acknowledging Idols

With MuKappa Assassins starting up, Ben’s friendships have an added element of importance. But still realizing his uncertainty about his relationships, Ben admits to one of the biggest idols in his life. 

These last two weeks have been marked by extreme busyness. My classes have ramped up their intensity, and going on a MuKappa retreat took a lot of organization and planning and was pretty intense with my officer responsibilities. On top of that, I’ve been able to start a new position as a DJ for Resound Radio, which has been absolutely awesome so far but it’s also been another time commitment as well. On top of that, I’ve been pretty sick the last few days so it’s been a rough week.

Despite the craziness, God has been very very good to me. I’ve been able to make some awesome new friends, and have worked hard at being able to strengthen the ones that I have now. Despite the busyness God has consistently helped me get done what I need done and has given me the rest when I need it. 

I’ve also been reminded these last two weeks at the importance of walking by faith and not by sight. We had a chapel speaker mention it once, and that message just really hit me hard. I’m someone who is ruled by a fear of uncertainty, whether that’s uncertainty about the future, uncertainty about a homework assignment, uncertainty about what my friends think about me, or uncertainty about if the person I have feelings for feels the same way. I’m the kind of person that just wants to know the answers one way or another and can deal with them then, but I’ve been reminded lately that we’re not supposed to live like that. If we saw everything and knew everything, there would be no reason to trust God. But instead I’ve been challenged to walk by faith, to continually rely on Him when I can’t see what’s ahead, and I’m so glad that I know I can trust Him even in the moments where my selfishness doesn’t want to.

Day 448: Slowing Down

Ben is clicking well with friends, doing well in academics, and enjoying the recent campus worship. By having these good things, Ben is learning how to slow down to enjoy them as much as possible.

This has been a pretty interesting last two weeks. In terms of friendships and social dynamics it’s probably been some of the best weeks in a while. I’ve been able to get closer with friends and MuKappa, been able to be more involved in groups, and have been able to invest so much more into my hall. Even simple things like watching through a TV show with my roommate every night has been a real solid encouragement. 

Unfortunately, this week specifically has been immensely busy. Homework and assignments from classes have taken up most of my time and the overarching big assignments coming up that require constant work have taken so much of my mental health and stress. I don’t do well with long-term assignments, and I prefer short-term work that I can do in a day or two instead of having three weeks to work on a huge paper or speech. But two of my classes this year mostly revolve around these kinds of projects so I’m trying to stay afloat.

Part of this reason is that due to my busy schedule I have been getting by on a day-by-day basis for homework, not really able to do much in advance other than maybe a day before it’s due. Then last Tuesday, I had to go to the ER for something that isn’t a huge problem, but that knocked me off target. Then, a cousin visiting over the weekend dealing with things kept me further behind. I’m glad I’ve been able to be there for people, but I’m starting to feel the weight of work very heavily.

However, God has still been moving. Seeing the effects of the recent “revival” was an incredible reminder that God is present in every moment, not just the big moments in chapel. I’ve been able to have more gospel-centered conversations and God has helped me realize areas of my life to work on more, and so in spite of the busyness and stress, I know God is still growing me.

Day 461: Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Despite struggling with more friendships, Ben’s past experiences have prepared him to react in a healthier way. He explains how it’s beneficial to have faith in all things and not just when he’s spending time with God.

As we get ready for spring break, I’ve been very stressed with some huge midterm exams as well as some big papers that have creeped up on me recently. Between classes, assignments, and org obligations that have taken up a huge chunk of my time lately, my sleep schedule and social life have taken a pretty big hit because of it. In addition, some developing issues with a friendship have been draining me of my emotional capacity and wellbeing, and I realized that it’s gotten to the point where it’s been unhealthy. So now I’m trying to put my boundaries back into place while picking myself up emotionally and enabling myself to be able to give those emotions and energy to the things I need, like academics or healthier friendships.

Spring break is hopefully going to be a welcome rest away from college social life and stressors as well as assignments, as I’m going on a trip with some of my close MuKappa friends for a week. I’m excited to be able to just unwind and recharge, and give my mind some rest. God is good through it all, it’s just that break couldn’t have come at a better time.

Day 496: An Eventful April

The final stretch of the school year involves many assignments and exams. Unfortunately for Ben, he is not exempt from this. However, he is excited for Easter break, the start of the new baseball season, and his future within MuKappa.

These last two weeks have been pretty busy yet somehow uneventful. I’ve had a lot of assignments for classes that I’ve had to work on, so a lot of my time has been spent working on projects or studying in the library – sometimes with friends or most of the time by myself. I’ve had some cool opportunities to hang out with friends, such as my bro-sis picnic that happened last Sunday or a spontaneous trip to see the Dungeons & Dragons movie with an unexpected group of friends.

I’ve also been pretty tired. It’s that point in the semester when everything hits, and the weight of grades and future assignments and finals all hit like a rapid-fire machine gun. I know I’ll be okay, and I know I’ll get through it, but I’m starting to feel overwhelmed, overworked, and drained. I’ve been looking forward to Easter break to give me a little rest, but now with some new information about assignments and projects that are due soon, I don’t know how much rest I’ll actually be able to get.

In silly news that doesn’t really matter much, the baseball season has started up again! One of my newer friends was gracious enough to let me log into his MLB account so that I can actually watch the games if I ever have time. A nice comfort in between homework assignments has been the chance to watch a few innings of my hometown team play my favorite sport. Unfortunately, it does just make me miss my mom who got me into the sport all the more.

Day 643 : Welcome to Junior Year

Ben has entered his junior year with many aspirations. He makes it clear that he wants to avoid the constant turmoil with relationships and mental health that plagued him last year. But with his schedule quickly becoming the busiest it’s ever been, Josiah guides Ben through a reality check. Will Ben be able to maintain his schedule and satisfy his relational needs? 

So, it’s the start of my junior year. A lot has changed looking back to where I started as a freshman, but in the same way, a lot has strangely stayed the same. I still have a lot of the same friends in MuKappa that I made freshman year. I’m still in the same hall with the bro sis friends that I’m proud to call my own, not to mention my great roommate who has stuck it out with me for 3 years in a row. I’m busier now, with classes picking up in difficulty. I’ve started a new job working for Cedarville public relations, and while it’s been exciting, it’s also been extremely stressful and overwhelming at times. Like every semester, I tell myself that this one’s going to be different and that I’m not going to overextend or over book myself, only to immediately realize that I’ve already failed.

I’m only a weekend in and I’m feeling like maybe I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. God’s given me some incredible opportunities and I feel like it would be bad stewardship if I didn’t at least try them. So for now, I’ll stick it out with some rough classes (like biology at 8 AM) and an extremely busy schedule, while still trying to fit room for friends and a social life in the meantime. Maybe this is what I need though, as I’ve talked last year extensively about how maybe friendships and social situations have become a little too important for me. Perhaps God has intentionally slowed me down, forcing me to take things a day at a time and making the most of every small opportunity that I have with friends instead of constantly trying to be around them every part of every day.

So this year, I hope for peace and contentment in my circumstances. I’m hoping that it won’t get too frustrating as more of my friends get into relationships while I don’t. I’m hoping to make new friends and deepen the friendships that I do have with some people from last year, and although that might be more difficult now that I have such a busy schedule, I’m praying that God will provide a way. I’m getting my first tattoo which is scary and crazy and exciting, as it’s one that has a very deep message for me in my past struggles as well as God and his perseverance in them. And all in all, junior year is a lot like freshman year in the way where I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing, and at any time I might implode. 

But God is good, and He’s gotten me through freshman year and sophomore year and so many more years of my life where I was just as foolish as I am now, so I’m trusting that out of 20 years of life, this won’t be the one that for whatever reason he decides to leave me alone in. I know He’s by my side, so I’ll trust in him and try my best to group into junior year with energy, excitement, and earnestness.

Day 657 : Time is Currency

Not much has changed since Ben’s last episode aside from understanding more about his schedule. With his current jobs requiring more of him than he realized, Ben struggles to find a balance between work, academics, and social relationships.

It’s been a pretty low-key yet hectic two weeks. School has gotten crazier, and my job responsibilities have only gotten worse. It’s been enjoyable, I’ve stayed busy and have mostly kept my head afloat, but the concerns that I mentioned in my last journal entry are still there and they’ve only gotten bigger. I have very little time in the day for spending time with friends, like grabbing meals with people, and with such little free time in the evening as well as homework, it can be hard to try to have the space for everyone I want to continue friendships with. I feel like junior year is constantly forcing me to make decisions, and I hate that my free time is more and more becoming a currency that I have to gamble with.

The two biggest stressors right now are my PR job, which I actually do really enjoy, it just takes a lot of time out of me, and being in bio class. If I had one or the other this semester it would be all right, but with both of them, I feel like it’s taking up so much time. PR work takes at least 10 hours a week, plus coordinating emails and interviews and all that. Bio, on the other hand, is 8:00 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so on top of already struggling with rest it demands constant busy work but I feel like I can’t meet and also goes wasted.

On the other hand, things as a MuKappa officer have been pretty easy so far. This week we’re gearing up for Barn Party, the first big event of the semester and yet it seems to have gone pretty smoothly and I’ve had a lot less direct interference and responsibility. The social dynamics there are a little more complicated this semester though, but I’m not sure if that’s because things themselves are changing or if it’s just because the lack of time recently has made me look at relationships and interactions in a new lens.

Day 673 : September 29

Being completely honest, the last two weeks have been full of incredible highs and unbelievable lows. The busyness of the semester reached a breaking point about a week and a half ago, and I realized I was doing too much and something had to give. Not wanting that something to be my mental health or my physical health, I realized I have to let something go, even though there was no clear option as to what that was. Prayer, I realize that my biggest stresses from this semester we’re coming from the fact that my new job was asking way more of me than I could give, and so after a lot of anxiety and prayer, I was able to have a discussion with my boss and ended up having my work reduced. It’s not a perfect solution by any means, but it’s already noticeable how different my week has looked and how I’ve been able to get other work done.

Some of the good has been in moments with growing friendships in my hours of free time, being able to catch up on rest and recovering health, and feelings that have been developing that I now know are mutual. There’s a lot of uncertainty left in the semester and I understand that there always will be, but I’ve been able to see God’s blessings more clearly in the midst of the chaos.

Day 685: October 11

A new month has come, and with it has come a lot of new developments. I still feel very stressed with lots of things in life, but I’m starting to think that maybe the stress is coming from me. I stress a lot, maybe too much. Life has honestly gotten better in terms of stressors. My job has reduced my hours now and is now much more manageable, and I’m really able to enjoy it again. I’m getting through classes and really started leaning into the bulk of my work as a comm major and I’ve been loving it. I’m also trying some new things, like being involved in an acting scene for a student’s directing class project, which should be a fun way to get some acting in without a whole lot of time commitment. I’m looking forward to fall break as well as a time to rest and recharge, while also hoping to answer some questions about the future like classes and possible internships.

The biggest new development that October has brought, however, is that I’m happy to share that I am now in a relationship. I know I hinted at some elements last time we recorded but now things have been official as of the end of last week, so I can now talk about it. Honestly this has been an answer to many prayers and the entire situation has been the opposite of so many hurtful scenarios from the last few years. She’s been a good friend since freshman year and I realized I had feelings by the very end of last year, so I’ve been grateful for the opportunity to have gotten to know her before we even expressed interest. It’s come with a lot of new anxieties and new concerns, but has been such a blessing.