Big Kid Convos: Feeling out of control

Photo by ShoanaDean via Pixabay

At the present moment, we’re all feeling a bit out of control. When there is something that is affecting a lot of people, just as this virus is, we feel that there’s nothing we can do about it. It is all anyone is talking about; it surrounds us. It is as if we are drowning and there is no one around to help. This is especially common around people our age. Those of us in college are in an atmosphere that encourages this feeling inherently. In an average time, we are being pushed and pulled, constantly unsure of ourselves. It is almost as if, instead of making choices for the outcome of our lives, our lives are happening to us.

            In this uncontrollable era of our lives, we are now being faced with this national pandemic that we, again, feel like we have no control over. While thinking about this, I talked to one of my friends from West Chester University. 

Although she feels that there are certain things we can take control of, “Most of our lives are out of our control. We cannot control where we come from, what kinds of things our body may fall ill to, how the chemicals in our brain function.” The presence of circumstance is shown greatly with the pandemic. “[It] demonstrates how dependent we are on many facets of society. We rely on grocery stores to have food, we rely on pharmacies to have the medications we need. We rely on the government to protect us.” We agreed that there is a lot that we do in order to take control of our lives, so it is frustrating when we discover that there are some things that we cannot control. “We feel trapped in these circumstances sometimes.”

            So, what are we supposed to do? We feel like there’s nothing we can do, this is a question I have struggled with especially. When I asked her, my friend told me that, “When I feel like I’m starting to spiral out of control, I cling to the things I can control. When social distancing began, I did a deep cleanse of my bedroom; reorganizing and cleaning my surroundings helps me feel like I can control at least one aspect of my life.” From our conversation, I found something that was helping me personally feel like I was more in control. I have a self-care list that I do when I wake up and before I go to bed. Completing this list not only makes me feel better because I am taking care of myself, but it makes me hold myself accountable, ensuring I complete every item on that list. It is a small way that allows me to create a sense of agency and keeps me busy and feeling productive.

            Feeling like you have no control is a completely understandable, valid feeling. I have found that, despite it being an isolating feeling, it is something that we all feel. Therefore, we need to connect with each other over these feelings. Even though sometimes it feels useless, it will help us feel closer together and work things out. My friend told me, “I don’t know the best way to deal with feeling out of control, but I think working to understand complex emotions and focusing on what you can control is important.” We need to stay on top of what we can and stay connected. That will help us get through this current moment in society, and through the tumultuousness of life.  

Hannah Barras is a third-year student majoring communications and minoring in journalism. hb888984@wcupa.edu

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