Keys to College Success: Find Your Stress Relief

Bella (left) and Mollie (right) watch Cinderella with me on a Saturday night. This is how we spend most Saturday nights and we're all okay with that. Photo credit: Stephanie Kawula.

Bella (left) and Mollie (right) watch Cinderella with me on a Saturday night. This is how we spend most Saturday nights and we’re all okay with that. Photo credit: Stephanie Kawula.

If you didn’t already know from my post last semester regarding all the things I learned while being an first semester “RA,” I love guinea pigs. While they haven’t been life saves, I’m glad that I’ve had them in my life this year. I’ve found out that they calm me down when things get rough (and last semester they were rough). I’ve also found that they are the best stress relief method for me.

 

 

This is Buster taking a nap. He's the guinea pig that my aunt got and wanted until she found out his sex. Photo credit: Stephanie Kawula.

This is Buster taking a nap. He’s the guinea pig that my aunt got and wanted until she found out his sex. Photo credit: Stephanie Kawula.

I understand everyone is different. Some people might not like guinea pigs or rodents or even animals. (I’m not sure if these people actually exist, but in theory they could.) The point of this blog is that in college, things are going to hit the fan and it’s going to be how you handle them that matters. Because I had such a hard time last semester I may have become the crazy guinea pig lady…but I’m okay with that because now I can spread my love amongst six different piggies. (Note: It wasn’t intentional to have six guinea pigs. Originally, I bought two from a breeder in Canada and then found out that one of them was pregnant with three pups, which put me at five piggies. The last piggy I got was because my aunt got two girls [allegedly] from a breeder in Michigan but one of them was a boy. My aunt didn’t want the boy so I took him and gave him the best home ever!)

This is Penny (one of my two original guinea pigs) with her three babies. The one at the top is Bella. The one in the food dish is Mollie and the one next to the proud momma is Logan. Photo credit: Stephanie Kawula.

This is Penny (one of my two original guinea pigs) with her three babies. The one at the top is Bella. The one in the food dish is Mollie and the one next to the proud momma is Logan. Photo credit: Stephanie Kawula.

Anyway, back to the point. The sooner you find out what calms you down, the better. When I was a freshman I used to think that taking pictures calmed me down….then I figured out that, while I do like taking pictures, there’s not much that I like to take pictures of around Columbia. So, then I was in limbo for two years….a very long two years….until I found out that guinea pigs were the cutest thing EVER. I know. You’re probably thinking “okay, what is this chick’s obsession with guinea pigs? They’re cute and all but they’re not that great.” My response: to each his own. You’ll know when you find your stress reliever when you can get this excited about it. If I had more time, it might be reading. If I could stay awake for an entire movie (watching it by myself) that would probably be another thing). And you know what the great thing about all this was? I didn’t really try to find out what was going to calm me down. I kind of just fell into it when my aunt said she went to a guinea pig show (yes, like a dog show) and got 10 guinea pigs. I think that’s the best part about it. I know I’m not just picking something for the moment and going through a phase. Animals have always been a love of mine and I took that into consideration but I really just fell in love with guinea pigs. Okay…that sounds like a cliché line in a romantic comedy. But, it’s kind of true. And now, without further to do, below is a video I recorded after Penny gave birth to her babies.

Video credit: potc4ev (YouTube)

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