My most recent posts have been quite different to what you may be used to if you have been following my blog and I think it’s been quite interesting to experiment with styles. My A2 exams (a pre-university qualification in the UK) will be finished by the end of June, and so I have planned to post more about Chinese culture etc in July 好吧? I’m actually quite excited because I have quite a few projects I’ve been waiting to work on once I leave college. With regards to this blog, I have a list of things I want to write about but I think it would be better to share them after I’m rid of the stress from exams. There are a few in particular I am quite keen on sharing so stay tuned~
When looking at my blog statistics there’s a trend I cannot fail to ignore, and this is the popularity for the post titled ‘Being busy and idioms to help’ Whilst I’m certainly pleased that so many of you have found it engaging, it’s also quite saddening to think that a majority of those who have read the post may be finding it difficult to cope with a busy schedule, as I can imply that you sought help from the title as it offers “idioms to help’’ (I had an English exam this morning as well so I am feeling particularly analytic today). 其实 I noticed the trend a while ago, but I delayed providing my advise because this has been a particularly stressful year for me myself, and also because I hope to offer something that will be meaningful.
There are a few ideologies I have created or adjusted which I refer to during stressful times to keep the bigger picture in sight. Of course, these will be based on my opinions so do be aware of that, but I think they could be helpful. 虽然我用了自己的看法和例子，但我明白每个人情况不同。
One of the thing’s I believe is that ‘everything happens for a reason’. We may not come to learn the reason or understand it immediately, but in times of stress I don’t see how it would necessarily improve how we feel towards a situation. What I take from the saying is that every action has its purpose, and this justifies events we may see as bad. For instance when something I perceive as bad has happened to me I may be frustrated, but eventually I realize that there is a purpose behind it and this makes even some of the bad or stressful situations we face have a degree of meaning.
Another famous saying I have stated in another post is ‘the glass is half full’, 杯子是半满 in Chinese. In essence this reminds me that it is often more fruitful to have an optimistic attitude towards an event rather than a pessimistic one. In practice, I try to outweigh the negatives of a situation with the positives. In doing so, you may feel a lot better towards a stressful situation as you may realize there’s not much to be stressed about because it’s not as bad as it seems.
Something else I think that is very important to remember is that you cannot change the past (regardless of what Jay Gats may believe). Whatever you may have done in the past (near or far) has already happened and you cannot undo that. But that does not mean you cannot learn from the situation or move on by preventing yourself from committing the same mistake in the future. I think that adopting this attitude will help you to get rid of feelings of regret, because each time you learn from your mistake you will be lessening the potential mistakes that will be committed in the future. I should add that the ‘mistake’ may not necessarily be one (由于subjectivism) so don’t be too hard on yourself especially because mistakes are in fact normal and necessary to life.
I almost left this point out, but I’m glad I suddenly remembered it. Something that may give you hope in general moments of stress or demotivation (in the simplest phrasing) is to think that there will always be someone who is worse than you, as well as someone who is better than you; and given the size of the human population, this is highly plausible. Let me illustrate this in terms of intellectual capacity. A student who may feel demotivated for an exam should point out to themselves that there is someone in the large world that we live in who has less knowledge than themselves. The comparison provides reassurance and comfort that the student does in fact have knowledge, which even surpasses someone else who exists. However, the student should also recognise that there also exists a person who has greater knowledge than they do, as this will prevent them from becoming complacent and motivate them to work harder to reach a new goal.
You may notice that my ideologies have a common theme, but I think that life is centered around happiness. Whilst some may dismiss this as naive, my future career aspirations are not based around money but happiness because I think that’s a better guarantor for long-term satisfaction. It’s subjective to each person and not necessarily identified by a smile, but happiness is a feeling of content that only you can identify within yourself. Generally speaking, I think it’s good to do things that make you happy, but do not bring harm to yourself or conflict with the safety and happiness of others. I guess that’s a bit philosophical though, so moving swiftly on. Something else I realized regarding happiness is that it’s a state you choose to be in. When something bad has happened to us, it’s natural to feel sad etc, but it is essentially our choice to remain sad for the sake of it that will determine our happiness. It’s fairly commonsensical when you read it like that, but sometimes its more comforting to go with the former (of choosing to stay sad). Therefore sometimes when you feel stressed out, don’t repress your feelings (talk to someone, engage in a hobby etc) but remember that it is also your choice to stay on the path of happiness.
Lastly, the ‘ideology’, which I ironically misspelt as ‘dieology’ (…it will make sense in a few seconds) that is most meaningful to me is the one that ‘people are dying’, because I think it’s completely my own original thought this time, as I think the previous example of a person existing who is better and worse than you yourself was too (–you heard it here first). The statement that ‘people are dying’ is by no means something that I find comforting because of it’s literal meaning. In stating that ‘people are dying’ I put my grievances in better perspective because my problems will seem less significant in comparison to people who are facing the ultimate trials of death. Not to say that all of our problems are insignificant, but comparing them to the struggles of human suffering reminds us to be grateful for the good things we have in our lives. Moreover in comparison to something as extreme as human suffering, we may realize that we are taking a problem out of proportion or that it really isn’t worth the stress. For instance comparing something as small as not receiving mail in time to someone who faces imminent death may highlight our selfish tendencies and remind us to be grateful for our situations that may seem bleak, but are full of hope.
Initially I had written this post by including tips to help decrease exam stress, but I decided it would be better to distinguish the general life advice I wanted to convey to you, from the exam stress relief that I can pass on another time. There are several reasons for this, but most importantly because exams only occupy a small portion of our lives, so it is more important to understand how to maintain general happiness before battling exam stress or other stressful situations you may be experiencing. 虽然考试在我们的生活中占有很重要的地位，但是除了考试压力以外我们还有很多其他的生活压力。
You may also be wondering about the peculiar picture at the start. Earlier this week a teacher from Brighton came to my college to help my Chinese class with the Literature element of our Cultural exam. I won’t disclose too much, but his Chinese name is 高老师。I also went to Eton college for a few hours yesterday for a similar session (and was at awe in the presence of their impressive collection of Chinese literature!). The picture at the start is of a certificate 高老师 awarded me and my classmates at the end of our lesson…we even had to bow (and he was more than happy for me to include the certificate in a post). The purpose of the certificate is to reward the efforts of deserving students of Chinese, who have the “warrior spirit” as they have survived the ongoing quest for knowledge of Chinese. 真的不断。
Although the ‘warrior spirit’ was explained as recognition of academic resilience, the concept can metaphorically be applied to having a strong will in times of adversity, which is something I hope you can take away from this post. As a follow up of course, I will still share with you the ‘tips’ I have to help you with exam stress for the next academic year (which you may follow if it is of relevance to you).
I hope this post has unlocked the warrior spirit within you, or has caused you to realize that you have a better grip on the things that may be stressing you out than you had imagined. This took me longer to write than usual because I genuinely wanted to be able to share meaningful advice, with the hopes that you can take some ideas away as applicable advice to your own situations. I shared a lot of my personal viewpoints and tried my best to explain my own philosophical ideologies so do let me know what you think, and I hope this was helpful 一起加油.
If you are coping with stress, good luck 世界。
从欣妍 – From Xinyan.