By Jalena Francis
How do you eat an elephant? When my drama teacher first asked me that question I thought she had completely lost her mind. I just finished pouring my heart out to her about how I felt stretched too thin and my work wasn’t good enough; I felt like I was barely keeping my head above the water and didn’t know how long I could keep kicking. Between my various academic, extracurricular, familial, and social responsibilities, I just didn’t know if I could keep up.
After I stared at her confusedly, my drama teacher asked me again, “How do you eat an elephant? Just one bite at a time.” She explained to me no matter how daunting a task felt, if I just focused on one task at a time instead of worrying about my elephant sized problem I could accomplish anything. Life is complicated and difficult at times for everyone and, if you don’t stop to catch your breath, it can feel like you’re drowning beneath the weight of your responsibilities and expectations. However, problems pass and a good coping mechanism to stay focused and keep from being overwhelmed with stress is to take life one problem at a time.
My drama teacher’s advice was invaluable, it helped calm my panic and kept me centered. With patience, I conquered that elephant and continued to thrive. Since that day, I’ve eaten many elephants and discovered some problems look like elephants when they’re really only mice. When you take your time and focus, any task, any trial, any drama, and any elephant can be conquered as long as you always remember to take one bite at a time.