Photo Credit: Lindsay Smith
We have barely entered the fourth week of school and I already feel it weighing down my fellow classmates and me.
During a night of classic procrastination, I wondered why this term in particular has proven to be so stressful at such an early stage. My workload is not as time-consuming as previous semesters and I’m interested in what I’m studying, yet there is something about it that feels debilitating.
Discussing this with other students and friends, I see that school-related stress may be getting worse amongst the masses.
Putting off responsibilities is something most of us do at some point in our lives, yet I think we all come to a point where enough is enough. However, an all-nighter here and there doesn’t seem to teach me the lesson that it may have in years past.
I feel a universal degree of distress that seems to come with finishing even the simplest assignments, which leads me to wonder if we are all simply burnt out.
While I think that waiting until the last minute to take care of school work is a common theme among anyone who balances college and life, I feel that it is easy for bad habits to consume us.
I should point out that I do not necessarily think that procrastination is born from laziness. It’s easy to avoid responsibilities and have fun instead, but I’ve had my fair share of 3 a.m. freakouts over schoolwork that should have been completed hours earlier to know that it is more than simply being passive about school.
When stress begins to eat at you, it is easy to reach a point of no return. We eat too much too late, our backs begin to hurt, we reach level 72 of Candy Crush. Pretty soon we may find ourselves delving into the lesser-known tracks of ABBA’s full discography to avoid addressing the elephant that is life.
Perhaps it’s the immediate fear of not being good enough, or thinking that our talents could be utilized elsewhere that creep inside of our minds late at night and distract us from studying. Or maybe it’s the exhaustion of a long day catching up with us.
Either way, I am of the opinion that small joys can provide us the comfort we need in times of stress, even if they won’t necessarily help us get our work done.
Listening to your favorite album while gazing off into space, eating your favorite food at two in the morning, doing the tiny yet important things that make you feel whole again. These moments, while short-lived, can make all the difference in the face of a consuming week.
No matter what university-related issue comes my way, I try to remind myself of the things that invigorate me. The simplest things can help me wind down; watching 1930s musicals, reading favorite my poems, pretending to get really into crafts for a couple of days, whatever works.
Another important component to keeping it together during school is not to single yourself out as a terrible person. I’ve met people who seemed to walk on air, only to find out that their lives were just as hectic as any other person’s. I was once told by a classmate that I looked very put together. Of course I laughed in their face due to the tornado that was my mind at the time. We all have messiness that we must deal with in some way or another, and addressing it head-on can lead to good things.
I don’t have any solutions for procrastination, nor do I have any theories for making life easier, but I know that none of us are lazy even if we refer to ourselves as such. The upside of this is that we can all relate to one another as we go through similar circumstances. In the event we lose our minds, I’m happy to do it with all of you.