Why We Need To Change The Stress Culture At CMU

Why We Need To Change The Stress Culture At CMU

Has it finally eaten us alive?


Before coming to CMU, I never knew what “stress culture” was. I went to a public high school where I was a diligent, hardworking student, like every other person here. I took all AP classes, had a few extracurriculars, and boom – I was accepted to one of the hardest universities in the nation.

It was after my first semester here that I realized there was a severe problem. People prided themselves on all their hard classes and their extensive course load. I knew a person taking Concepts and 112 simultaneously, all because “he just had to” and “his floor mate did it too.” I didn’t understand. Why would you purposely put all that pressure on yourself? Was there a need to prove yourself? Heck, you had already done enough by coming here in the first place.

I didn’t come to brag about how little sleep I got or how many units I was taking this semester. In all honesty, who cares? CMU is not a place for competition. It is a place of academic excellence, and we are the brightest individuals both nationally and internationally. We should be bringing each other up, not pulling each other down. Imagine what we’d accomplish if we all helped one another.

A classmate was surprised when I told her I was spending my Monday night with a friend downtown rather than studying for our Matrices exam the next day. “Why on earth would you go to dinner and not review the practice exam?” she asked incredulously.

I replied, “I know what I know. Reviewing for another hour isn’t going to help me learn anything more.”

If there’s one thing I’ve learned at CMU, it’s to go with the flow. I am still that hard worker I was in high school. I care about my GPA and strive to do well on assignments, but pushing yourself to dangerous extents isn't healthy. It’s no surprise that prospective freshman gawk at the students in Gates and the zombies walking around campus. Maybe we can change that, and show these students how much fun we’re actually having. Yeah, the classes are hard. Yes, the homework is insane. But look at us, we’re a thriving community of intellectuals. We are fighters. We are academically gifted, but we have compassion for one another. We give back to the community. I came to college to learn, yes. But I also came to explore, to branch out, and to meet new people. I came to explore my passion. We need to realize that our calling isn’t “computer science” or “economics.” It’s how we use that degree that matters. Use your Carnegie Mellon degree to do good in the world.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Founders Of Color Q&A: Yarlap's MaryEllen Reider On Destigmatizing Women's Health

The father-daughter duo co-founded the brand and has since generated a passionate, dedicated community of women.

MaryEllen Reider

I was lucky enough to meet MaryEllen Reider over a decade ago as a fellow freshman in college. Since then, I had the luxury of being able to witness her evolution from the faithful companion I went to my first job fair with to the woman who is now a pioneer in destigmatizing the portrayal of women's reproductive health.

Keep Reading... Show less

My favorite Editor was feeling under the weather yesterday. All I wanted was to make her a vegan iced matcha latte. With distance forbidding it, I instead decided to write up this quick, easy recipe. I made it to be vegan and organic for optimal health benefits.

Matcha green tea is made from grounded green tea leaf and it comes with the most antioxidant boost ever.

Keep Reading... Show less

This coffee brand is USDA organic. Newman's Own Keurig coffee flavors are all organic. They have French Roast, Decaf, and a Special Blend. I'm in a committed relationship with the French Roast flavor. The smell alone from dispensing 1 cup of coffee sets a whole cafe jazz vibe.

I'm already relaxed when I smell the coffee all ready for dressing. The way I make my coffee is simple and sweet, literally. I add a spoon of organic brown sugar and a splash of organic almond vanilla milk. This cup of coffee has changed my life forever. I have never been so productive in my life and I truly believe it's because the coffee is organic.

Keep Reading... Show less

These organic, cruelty-free skincare products are great for hot, sweaty summers. I use them every day, so you will find my honest opinion about them all. I highly recommend using organic products because they are least likely to be harmful to your body.

This may seem like an extra step when it comes to your beauty routine, but it's really easy. These 5 products could be the start of your next beauty venture.

Keep Reading... Show less

These 5 Black Handbag Designers Should Be On Every Accessory Lover's Radar

With the push to support more Black-owned businesses, we've put together a list of Black owned handbag designers.

Ever since the current upheaval of societal silence happening in the country caused by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, there has been a bigger push for people to support Black-owned businesses.

Granted, there are a lot fo Black-owned businesses to support, it just takes time to find them. With that being said, fashion is a sector, just like any sector really, in a culture that still has people of color calling out for more diversity.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because Therapy Dogs Aren't Just Cute, They're Working

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

There are many different ways people overcome obstacles in their lives. Thankfully, the stigma surrounding therapy is slowly (but surely) slipping away and we're opening up about our problems and needs. For some, a good workout is just as relaxing. Others are learning how meditation can be a helpful tool in their mental health journey.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments