Increase Your Stress… NOW! – Bryan Chaput

I know very little about how to reduce stress. There are hundreds of books at your local bookstore full of tips and tricks for diminishing pressure, finding inner peace and generally becoming a better person. You won’t find one word of that on this page. Why, might you ask? Because if there is one thing I know how to do it’s INCREASE stress levels. College can be hard all on it’s own, but what can you do if you want to really drive yourself to the brink of madness? Here are my three tried and true rules for making your life (and as an added bonus the lives of those around you) a nightmare.
Rule #1: Take on too many responsibilities. Now this may seem very basic but it is the single most important concept in having your life become extremely unmanageable. Already pressed for time? Busy with a challenging semester? Don’t do what normal people do and practice time management. Instead, take on more. For example, if you have one job, get two! If you have finals around the corner, get a high maintenance pet. With so many people willing to shrink their responsibilities, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to do more.

Rule #2: Start a new relationship. Few things are as time consuming as the beginning of a romance. That budding passion is sure to take your mind off any actual work you have and place it squarely in the hands of someone that you have a less than average chance of ending up with. If you’re really feeling ambitious, start a second relationship! Who cares about that Stats midterm when you have multiple significant others vying for your limited attention. Bonus points if you can find a partner with issues severe enough to raise them to a stalker status.

And last but not least….

Rule #3: Party HARDER! Papers are due, group members are calling incessantly for your one page summary on trade agreements and you haven’t made it to a 10am class all semester. Bright side? Your beer pong game is better than it’s ever been! Why would anyone stay home on a Friday night (or a Wednesday morning) to do homework when a whole world of fun exists? Plus, you’ll ace the “How long can you do a kegstand” question the H.R. person is bound to ask during a job interview.

Although my “rules” may seem funny in their absurdity, it’s remarkable how many of us fall into these traps. I have seen friend after friend completely ready to yank their hair out trying to create a balance for things they should never have tried to juggle. Hopefully, if you’re about to apply any of these rules to your life, you will pause, take a minute, say to yourself, “What am I, an idiot?” and reconsider. Less stressed people commit far fewer violent crimes and are generally much more pleasant people to be around. But I wouldn’t know anything about that as I’m off to go feed the Siberian Tiger I promised my friend I’d watch during midterms. By the way, does anyone know of a store around campus where I can pick up a few wild boars?

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