I think my fever broke. That – or I’m just so generally warmed up from drinking tea that I can’t tell at the moment.

I never get sick. Like, I might get the sniffles for a couple days then it will bounce off my jolly green vegan immune system and back into the sparkling November air. Don’t worry, this isn’t even comparable to last semester’s finals week throat infection that knocked me out cold for a week.

Anyway, as a student activist born of hippie parents – I drink tea when I’m sick. Lots of it. And I love Yogi tea, not just because the tea itself is delicious (doesn’t really need sweetener at all), but because each tea bag has a little tag printed with a reassuring truism. Tonight’s second cup read “Uplift everybody and uplift yourself.”

Uplift yourself. The phrase struck me as I stood in front of the beloved hot water machine in Burger King. Any other day I would’ve interpreted that little proverb as “in working for the common good you will find your own needs met.” But tonight I realised that it could also mean that we should care for others, but remember to take care of you, too.

November has been a whirlwind month: Women’s and Gender Studies Student Association (WGSSA) kicked it off in grand style with Reproductive Rights Week, which culminated in a protest at the state capitol against House Bill 1595. The next week was Human Rights Week, sponsored and organized by University of Oklahoma Student Association (UOSA, the student government) – Students for a Democratic Society’s (SDS) interactive display “Make ____ Not War” took place on a beautiful Tuesday. It featured music, hugs, free speech, debate, literature, condoms, and birdfeeders. Wednesday was Take Back the Night (co-sponsored by WGSSA), the annual feminist tradition of marching through your campus and community demanding that women be able to live without fear of sexual or domestic violence. And finally this week, SDS put on a bake sale fundraiser (organised by yours truly, with lots of help from others).

So, basically, this month I’ve been up until two or three in the morning hanging flyers, painting banners, going to lectures, chanting at the capitol, printing literature, engaging in rousing debate, and baking cupcakes – on top of schoolwork, and organising a panel on LGBATQI [lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, transgendered, queer, and intersexed] students’ experiences for my Resident Advisor training class.

And now, as deeply moved as I am by the courage of those who shared their stories at Take Back the Night, as impassioned as I am about reproductive freedom, as excited as I am about making everything but war (including pastries!), and as impressed as I am with the class dialogue on gay and transgender experience – I am tired, and it’s time to rest.

Of course, I have a lengthy paper due this week and an even longer one due in a month, and a million other things I could be doing – my body is screaming that it needs some time to recoup. Some of you seniors out there are about to launch into the wildest semester of high school, but as electrifying and intense as that is – remember to uplift yourself.

Happy Holidays!

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