Communicating With Professors

College

Hey there, cuties!

Today was my first day of the semester– craziness! I only had one class but I loved it and I’m already really excited for this semester. For those who don’t know, I’m a junior in college majoring in songwriting (yes, it’s a real major, yes at a real college, yes my job prospects concern me).

I had my first conversation with a professor today and it made me want to share with you the two conversations I have at the beginning of the semester when I meet my professors.

Conversation 1: Attendance

I generally am really good about attending class. I don’t ever just not go for the sake of not going, however I do often have health issues that get in the way of me getting to go to class. However, this week the real conversation I’m having is just in regards to attendance as far as doctor’s visits are concerned.

My professor this morning only gives one “free” absence, so I made sure to ask him if doctor’s appointments counted against that. I don’t schedule any weekly appointments to conflict with my classes, but sometimes when I see a specialist I don’t have as much flexibility. For example, I made an intake appointment in September for next week, because that was the earliest I could get in. But now it conflicts with my school schedule and I can’t reschedule it now.

I find that being upfront makes it easier to miss class later because you have that line of communication open already.

Conversation 2: The “Imma Peace” Conversation

This is something I’ve stopped needing to do, but this was a conversation I had in high school a lot. The “Imma Peace” conversation is basically me warning teachers that sometimes I need to step out of class because of anxiety. This happened more when my anxiety was worse in high school, and now in college I can excuse myself without having to ask permission so I don’t really have this conversation with my teachers.

I call it the “Imma Peace” conversation because the signal I used in high school was a peace sign. I’d get my teacher’s attention and give them a peace sign and signal to the door, then leave. This worked because I had this in 504 plan– if you have a mental illness, chronic illness, or disability, look into getting a 504 plan. This is your way of getting accommodations!

These weren’t always easy conversations to have…

But the more I have them, the easier it is for me to do so. I generally know what I’m going to say, and I’ve literally never only had one teacher react poorly (and that was more because the issues arrived later in the semester and this was high school).

If you want any further advice about these conversations, let me know in the comments! Do you talk to your teachers at the beginning of the semester? Let me know!

xx

You Gotta Keep Your Head Up (Oh Oh)

Chronic Illness, Uncategorized

How I Stay Positive Chronically Cute Blog

Hey cuties!

No, you didn’t read that title wrong– that was an Andy Grammar reference. I wanted to write this post because I went to the dentist today (gross) and my hygienist (who is a saint) complimented my positivity in the face of all the things I’m dealing with. Fibromyalgia, IBS, and the shit storm of dental problems caused by low enamel, TMJ, and a lack of calcium in my saliva (who knew, right?).

But Here’s The Thing… I’m Not That Positive

This morning even I was quiet and withdrawn, dreading going to the dentist again (I went last week for a more emergent fix and they were like, oh, hey, you also have all the cavities despite your excellent dental hygiene). 2018 was the year of doctors for me, and since coming home for my winter break I’ve made the rounds to all my doctors here at home. Add in an ER visit, lots of not-so-encouraging news, and a few nights in the last week sleeping on the couch because of painsomnia, it’s not surprising I’m feeling worn down and a little discouraged. I’m tired of living my life in these conditions.

But that’s just the thing– I’m not tired of living my life period, because with all the bad there’s a shit ton of good. My cat, for example, is the light of my life (despite her tendency to seek out trouble). I also have writing, and blogging, and music, and, though it’s a source of stress, I have my college classes.

I’m struggling right now to accept how much pain and suckiness I’m having to deal with, and it’s getting me down. If I’m being honest, I’m about as far from positive as I can be right now.

So why did my dental hygienist think I seemed positive?

Maybe it was because even though getting my teeth cleaned hurt due to my genetically un-blessed teeth, I was polite and patient because that’s how my parents raised me. Maybe it’s because I tend to downplay my struggle. Or maybe it’s because I keep the frustration at an arm’s length. I do my best to feel it, acknowledge it, then let it go.

I do this by venting to friends, or journaling, or by singing some really angry songs in the car or shower. Sometimes I meditate, or try my best to draw even though I’m about as gifted artistically as a llama wearing a blindfold. As important as I think it is to feel these emotions, I think it’s equally important to let them go when I can. Harboring negative emotions takes up space for the positive ones.

Easier said than done– believe me, I know. I’ve broken down crying a few nights this week from the sheer overwhelming dread of waking up the next day in just as much pain as I was in today. But after crying, and journaling, and petting my cat for a little too long, I go to sleep feeling better. It also helps to think about the good things I get to do the next day: play feather with Abby, write a blog post, record a podcast, play piano.

How do you stay positive?

If you have any sage wisdom or tricks to staying positive, please let me know in the comments! And don’t forget to check out my new podcast, The Chronically Cute Podcast, currently available (as of January 8th, 2018) on Anchor here and on Stitcher here 🙂 Coming soon to other podcast platforms!