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Updated by Dakota Duncan on Sep 28, 2018
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10 Great Things to Keep Me From Folding

A few things that keep me from dropping out of college to manage a department store. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) Maybe they can help you with your existential dread too :)

1

Is This Level of Anxiety Normal?

Is This Level of Anxiety Normal?

Sometimes when I experience existential dread about whether anything I do really matters, it helps to remember that doing anything else that "adults" have to do will make me feel a lot better than letting it stew and come to a boil.

If you're experiencing existential dread about washing the dishes, you should probably just wash the dishes. The dread often goes away if you just start. And take all the time you need!

2

Take Some Advice from Mr. Seal

Take Some Advice from Mr. Seal

What makes this image funny? Partly the fact that we all have a nagging tendency to want to reduce our problems and the things that trouble us daily to something we only "occasionally" struggle with. For instance, if I said, "I occasionally struggle with abandonment trauma and obsessive perfectionism," I'd be a lot like Mr. Seal here. (Even though he's adorable! And yes, I know that's actually snow. Work with me, people.)

Strive to embrace the fact you aren't a perfect person, and that's ok. You got problems, and gosh darn it, you're working on them! That's all that matters.

3

Pay No Attention to Mt. Laundry on My Couch

Pay No Attention to Mt. Laundry on My Couch

When I despair that the sink is full of dishes, the dirty towels are piled twice as a high as the towel bucket, and you left the cherry tomatoes out on the counter... remember: yeah, your life is a mess. But it's because you're busy growing.

Construction sites are muddy because somebody's building something there.

4

Hey, Self. You Know What You're Made Of?

Hey, Self. You Know What You're Made Of?

Relationship anxiety is a staple of a lot of people's lives. It's maybe 1000% of mine. This meme gets a laugh because it sorta reminds me that despite your worst fears, you are relationship material.

Whether you're in one and worried about it, or not in one and worried about it, you've got this.
(Future self, please read this 12 times.)

5

You Don't Have to Get There Today

You Don't Have to Get There Today

Every day I'm a little anxious to land a lifetime job, a PhD, and the husband on my dreams.
And I'm almost 22 years old. Time is running out!

(Yeah ok, maybe not. Chill, Dakota. Chill.)

6

Are Ya Gonna Get It?

Are Ya Gonna Get It?

Job interviews, applications, resume-building, and grad applications may have me worried about whether I measure up to the competition and whether I'll be able to get anywhere at all.

But remember: you worked darn hard to put yourself ahead of the pack, and you'll find a place for yourself, somewhere.

7

Maintain a Calm, Realistic Candor

Maintain a Calm, Realistic Candor

A little turbulence is likely to hit all of us mid-flight. Be sure to greet it with perfect candor. Thinking of the worst case scenario will help you discover the most realistic one. Then you can proceed through that "turbulence" and be on your way.

So are the people on this plane really going to die? Probably. But hey, doesn't greeting it with candor make it all better?

Exactly.

8

Life Sciences

Life Sciences

This pupper has no idea what he's doing with that beaker and Peanuts mug, nor does he comprehend any of the equipment on the table. At all. Well, he may realize he can drink water from the mug. Point is, at some point in your professional life, you won't know what you're doing. Know that that's okay.

You can learn in time through experience and from your fellow humans. And if nobody knows what they're doing, congrats! You can be the first. Trial and failure are the best life sciences.

9

Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog

Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog

This Romantic painting from 1818 by German artist Caspar David Friedrich is my all-time favorite. Why? Because it implies that there are things beyond our comprehension. Only from his vantage point on the peak can this hiker see and understand that, in the grand scheme of things, he is tiny, and his understanding is incredibly small.

This should come as a comfort to us. It helps shrink our troubles to their appropriate size, and also helps us absorb the grandeur that surrounds us.

10

A World of Other Wanderers

A World of Other Wanderers

When you're feeling lonesome and isolated, remember there are billions of other people on this planet with problems much like yours. Take every opportunity to connect with them and share the load. You'll find that rather than taking on their burden, your own becomes lighter.