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February 25, 2019 | by  | in Features |
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Tuakana Teina: Self Care Guide

Staring at the stars, I feel the wet grass soaking my grey sweatpants, creating a wet patch from my calf muscle to the top of my butt. My socks smell of the stagnant water that’s gone through the holes of my shoes, and there’s no way I can afford a new pair of either. I’m a 40-minute walk away from my flat, my battery is on 4% and my charger needs to bend at a right-angle for it to charge properly.

 

I had finally lost control.

 

I was convinced things were okay though, because I knew that in the end, I would end up with a job, a salary, and a support network full of friends and family that had my back.

Many us never had big brothers on campus, let alone at home.

 

Here’s some shit we learned the hard way.

 

Eat well
Putting petrol in your car makes it vroom. Putting water in yourself makes you vroom.

(It doesn’t work the other way around.)

 

A pie for breakfast, sausage roll for lunch, and chips for dinner won’t last you for the entire day. You’ve heard it a hundred times, but putting one piece of fruit in your daily diet will change how you bounce back from your 48-hour bender. It’s not all protein shakes and kale smoothies, but your body will thank you for the glass of water with an apple in the morning. Your body shows its gratitude by not ricocheting between shutdowns and manic episodes.

 

Your lectures cost money you can’t afford to waste

We took a course that cost $856 and had 12 two-hour lectures; 24 hours of teaching in total. At $71 a lecture ($35 an hour), we’ll never know why we felt bad for spending $50 on a night out.

 

It’s like buying four jugs of beer and five tequila shots, but then leaving them at the bar cos you couldn’t be fucked drinking them. That’s what it looks like when you miss a lecture. Don’t let your mates walk away from that bar; encourage them to go and pick up what they paid for.

 

Getting shitfaced doesn’t make you hotter

Losing control isn’t allg. Keep control of your drink and you’ll keep control of your night.

 

The invincible feeling too much alcohol gives you is a kick in the jaw when your body is pleading for water at 6 a.m. You can’t impress the boys by vomiting in the gutter, and if you couldn’t impress the girl of your dreams with your first traffic cone funnel, the third one won’t change the outcome.

No one has ever impressed anyone after 11 shots. No one will be impressed by your post-11 shot charm.

 

Have those yarns

“This one time—nah, never mind”—a common sentence in my all-boys flat at university.

Have your yarns, boys.

 

Following a solid kai after a good boogie with the boys, I saw my ex at El Horno with another dude. I lost my appetite after that and started shedding a few tears under my scarf, only because he was wearing better sweatpants than me. I didn’t wanna get roasted for admitting that I cried over a girl, though, so I kept it to myself.

We look back at that and laugh. That conversation would have probably saved me a few more tears, a lot of time, and about $231 on UberEats.

 

Relationships

Don’t stay in a relationship if it doesn’t fulfill your needs. That sounds really selfish if you read it out loud, but that’s because it is.

Emotional, physical, and financial abuse happen behind many doors.

You know it’s not cool to manipulate your mates.

You know it’s not cool to assault your mates.

You know it’s not cool to dictate how your mates spend their money.

 

Why would you do it to your partner?

That shit ain’t cool and no one deserves any form of abuse.

 

Self-care: I’m treating meeeeeeeeee good

More and more, we are asked to speak up. You hear it on podcasts and read it on social media: “Young men don’t talk about their mental health enough.” The term toxic masculinity gets hurled around like a boomerang, in and out of every conversation concerning mental health, and we’ve all heard the phrase “boys are bad at feelings”, and the assumptions of being a “closed book”.

 

I know, those articles about toxicity and “emotionless men” hurt us too, and in the end, we never feel encouraged to share anything. Don’t get lost in the deafening narrative around it all.

A diary isn’t girly, and self care isn’t masturbation and Domino’s pizza. Never feel pressured to share with someone who you don’t think will respect you.

 

Last but not least, Rest In Peace to Kereta Tatana. Dedicating this article to you, brother.

  • Love, Kii & the boys
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