Interviews About How to Manage Stress- Jenny Weng

 

 

Jenny Weng Haven-Wesley House Class of 2015

 

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Extracurricular: Undergraduate research in Professor Carrie Reed’s chemistry lab and I run experiments each week and have a weekly meeting with the professor and the other three students in the lab. I have been working there since last semester.  I also am Haven-Wesley’s house treasurer and the tech director for WOZQ, which involves weekly board meetings. I work with Nat Fortune doing work to develop a course. I have weekly meetings with him also.

Academic Interests: Chemistry and I am very interested in having a broad liberal arts education.

H: What are some things that are stressing you out?

J: I need to find an advisor. Something that stressed me out way more last year was “What major should I pick? And if I pick this major then oh I will only be prepared for so many jobs and when I am picking my major I am picking the rest of my life”.  It’s not a problem anymore because the way I see it now it’s more about the skills I need to acquire more than any set curricular pathway. I am picking a chemistry major because it seems at this point in my life to be the best possible option that aligns with my interests and abilities.

(Side note: People’s majors in college rarely correlate directly with the career they later have.)

H: What are some ways you deal with stress?

J: I try to exercise and that usually helps me out. Even for 30 minutes, but a lot of times I just don’t have time to do that, so stress levels build and build and build and once it passes a threshold, I start feeling it in my shoulders and face tightening up and when I get like that I have absurd laughter. Something mildly funny can make me go into manic laughter and I can’t stop. I also talk to myself more often because when I am stressed out I am more alone because I have to be alone to stay focused. Inner dialogue becomes outer dialogue. I probably come off as totally strange. Sometimes I meditate. I don’t do it regularly but it’s a luck thing. I don’t know if it’s going to work or not but I wake up an hour earlier and just sit still and when I wake up early the whole world is asleep, no cars passing on the street and things are very quiet.  You can just let things be. If you can get to that state where you forget all the shit you have to do, after that you can attempt to do it. It’s like carving out a time to do nothing.  The world is not doing anything and neither are you.

H: Does talking to people about stress help you?

J: Yeah because it’s a way for me to acknowledge it and externalize it. In that way stress is an emotion.  A lot of stress has to do with an overwhelming feeling. Talking to somebody- the ideal is that you will accept your stress as something that just is and you can move on and not just blindly panic.  Conversation can help with that. 

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