Your 10-step plan for a successful nervous breakdownThe Badger Herald

Step 1: Prepare for an outage

Always make sure to sign up for at least 15 credit hours per semester to ensure optimal overlap in class schedules for a nervous breakdown. With 3 quizzes, an exam, and a collaborative group project all scheduled for the same week, it’s easy to think of the space for a blackout. It also helps if you also have a job or two to add. Ten hour shifts on Saturdays during soccer games will increase your FOMO and get you straight to the soft, soft breaking point.

Step 2: everything comes to an abrupt end

It’s Sunday night, you’ve been working all weekend, and you’re studying for an exam the next morning and writing a primary source analysis paper. Suddenly you realize that you also need to meet your group for an oral presentation before noon the next day, which is clearly not going to happen. Your mind is restless and, functioning with limited sleep, it has now reached the optimum state for a breakdown.

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Step 3: Ungroup

Now that you have accumulated all of your obligations at once, it is time to ignore them all and step back from reality. Start checking your group chats and add witty comments about your friend’s coffee date into the conversation. Watch endless playlists of slime-making YouTube videos and neglect your open Google Docs tabs. This moment of zen, although fleeting, is crucial for a good breakdown.


Step 4: cry very hard

Finally, the sobs locked inside you during this moment of zen erupt. To the uninformed, this may seem like the first stage of a mental collapse, but the previous stages are always the basis of this inevitable demise. Everyone approaches crying differently, but a throaty moan is always a good option. When loud crying isn’t appropriate where you are when your depression flares up, quiet, soft sobs are a nonchalant way to release your tears until you can lock yourself in a toilet stall. When your friends or teachers notice that you are crying and ask what is wrong, be sure to respond in the least specific way possible. Solving your problems is not high on the priority list right now.

Step 5: Call on parents to discuss dropping out

Tears at this point are optional, as your passionate advocacy may or may not need it. You’ve sunk into such a big hole that giving up seems like the only logical solution. Fortunately, your parents are successful in telling you not to drop out of school 66% of the time. Their reassuring words give you extra motivation to kick the ass out of this breakdown.

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Step 6: Make a to-do list of what you need to do without actually doing it

This step allows you to see all the work necessary to put an end to the blackout while still living in the misery of it. This allows you to soak up the great sadness of your procrastination one last time, while procrastinating in the process!

Step 7: Actually Start Labor

The easiest step to describe and the most difficult to perform.


Step 8: Take a snack break

Mozzarella cheese rests for no weary soul. Microwave some nachos for a respite from your sleepless night. I recommend cooking this cheese in the microwave on a bed of crispy corn tortillas for thirty seconds to make “stress nachos”. The flavor combo whets your appetite and creates brain fuel for what is sure to be one of the most intense study sessions of your life.

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Step 9: Complete Everything You Were Supposed To Do

Maybe it was sheer madness, but somehow you finished whatever was stressing you out and causing that mental breakdown in the first place. Now is the time to sigh, relax and get the time of sleep you have planned in your schedule.

Step 10: start all over again

Expect these mental breakdowns to happen every two months until finals week. Try to plan ahead to avoid them, but honestly, resistance is futile.

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