It’s that time of year again, the time when we spend all of our free time in the library surrounded by three empty cups of Starbucks, multiple open books and roughly 20 tabs open on our laptops. Finals week is quickly approaching.
Some people may think that the above statement is an exaggeration, that college students can’t possibly be that stressed out.
Nope, we’re just this stressed.
College, however, is a time for stress and hard work as students prepare themselves for the adult world of career life, bills and taxes.
Every college student is stressed in his or her own way whether they want it to be or not. And a lot of what students hear in college is that they have to learn to juggle all of their responsibilities while also taking on new tasks and exploring different opportunities to become invaluable, well-rounded members of society.
But there’s just not enough time in the day to eat three meals, get a solid eight hours of sleep, exercise, complete all assigned homework and still be able to actively participate in clubs, sports and social lives.
Take a recent week in my college life, for example. I’ve had a total of four meetings, three essays due and three big projects and research papers that have a couple weeks left until their final due dates. I also attended a conference and found time to hang out with friends, all while running on a solid four or five hours of sleep a night.
I’ve resorted to making three to-do lists with multi-colored pens while binge-eating Publix chocolate chip cookies.
According to a study done by Chaplan State University’s Behavior Intervention Team, more than 40 percent of college students in campuses across the country have felt more stress than the average amount for college students in the past 12 months. More than 80 percent of college students reported they felt overwhelmed by all of the things they had to do.
Stress, by definition, is “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.”
Too much negative stress can lead to various health problems or increased anxiety.
Students are responsible for part of their stress thanks to this little thing called procrastination. We do sometimes push our work to the last minute, and our social lives do sometimes win over homework.
We also sometimes bite off more than we can chew and start joining clubs and sports without realizing how much effort we need to put into each one.
Stress levels can be saved though with a few small tips and tricks.
Keeping a planner is often handy with managing busy lives and multiple responsibilities, and prioritizing homework and social lives works wonders.
Not everything has to be joined or done at once either; space things out a bit and some of the pressure should dissolve.
The most important advice for college students is to take deep breaths and to remember that coffee doesn’t solve all problems.
Some students exaggerate the extremities of their to-do-lists, but the fact remains that college students are more stressed than they should be. But I guess not all of us pull all-nighters in the library with three Starbucks cups.
Sometimes we have four.