Sadie Says

Dear Sadie,

I haven’t felt like myself lately. I feel stressed out all the time, moody, I snap at my friends, and I really don’t like myself as of late. I don’t want to talk to any of my friends about it because I’m normally super bubbly and talkative, and I don’t think my parents would understand. I just need something relaxing to do, I think, to help balance classes and worrying about getting interviews for co-op. Any ideas or ways you could help?

Down Donna

Dear Donna,

Oh, I wish I could give you a hug right now. You’re definitely right to think that you should probably do something relaxing — take up drawing or journaling and let your ideas flow for a bit, or do something you enjoy that you haven’t done in a while. Give yourself a break; you need to recuperate from the stresses of student life. If you find your classes overwhelming, I’d encourage you to talk to your academic adviser about possibly tweaking your course load. While it may be too late to do anything about this quarter, some preventative scheduling can go a long way in making sure that your life next quarter is less stressed than this one.

That said, I am concerned by your saying that you don’t like yourself lately. You say that you feel stressed out all the time, but this sounds like it could be something else. I highly encourage you to talk to someone — anyone, really. If you can’t go to your friends or family, I’d encourage you to see one of the counselors on campus at the Drexel Counseling Center — they’re there to listen, they aren’t judgmental, and everything you say to them is confidential, so you can feel free to talk it out. I hope you feel better soon!

All my best,

Sadie

 Dear Sadie,

I hate interviewing, and co-op interviews are coming up! My resume looks pretty sharp, and I’m usually great with people, but for whatever reason, when I get into an interview setting, I clam up and start knocking things over (it’s happened, and no, I did not get that job). Any tips on calming my nerves?

Nervous Nelly

Dear Nelly,

Don’t stress! Plenty of people find interviews nerve-wracking, including myself — you definitely aren’t alone there. The one thing that I can recommend over anything else is practice.

Get a friend (preferably one who’s had a number of interviews before and can be serious) to dress up like a potential employer, and you dress up in an outfit you’d wear to an interview. Have copies of your resume ready, and have your friend interview you as if you were actually applying for a real job. Get comfortable with the interview setting, and when you actually sit down for those A-round interviews (good luck, by the way!), you’ll be much more at ease.

Another thing to do is to know your resume back and forth, but don’t rehearse it. Rehearsing it might cause you to fumble when an interviewer asks you something you didn’t expect (i.e., you were expecting to talk about how your job at McDonald’s makes you great at customer service, but a potential employer asks you how it affected your leadership and team-building abilities). Instead, treat your resume like a story — you’re the main character, and it’s all the professional things you’ve done. Get creative in the ways you think about it.

Speaking of getting creative, treat your interview like you would a conversation with a professor or someone else in authority. You said that you’re great with people so long as you’re not interviewing, so try altering the way you view the interview process and see if it works. That said, do remain professional!

In reference to knocking things over: Take deep breaths when you feel worked up. If you feel yourself shaking or feeling a bit out of control, feel free to take a second or two to collect yourself. Something that works for me when feeling nervous is to take the tension away from the bottom up — that is, relax your toes, then your feet, then your calves, all the way up to your head (but don’t slouch if you’re in the interview!) — you’ll instantly feel calmer and ready to take on any question thrown at you. You’ll do just fine; I know it.

All my Best,

Sadie