College students are known to be tired. In the past two years, I've noticed that my go-to response to "How are you?" is "tired." Then I typically get something along the lines of, "You're young, you shouldn't be tired." And they're right. I shouldn't be, but I am. Most days I have just enough energy to get me through my classes and work, but little more. That shouldn't be the case. It should not be common or accepted that college students are half-asleep or exhausted during their time at a university. Would you like to know why we're always tired?
We take around 15 credit hours a semester. That may not seem like much until you add in all of the papers and assignments. Then, there's the dreaded group project that no one seems to want to work on. Trying to find a time that everyone can meet is like pulling teeth, and chances are at least one person isn't going to do their part. I'd say for every credit hour, we put in around three extra hours a week doing homework and such. And that's for the lower level classes.
That's also not taking into account that all of the professors seem to assign you piles of homework at the same time. Everything is due on one day. That makes things a little difficult. This is where all-nighters come in, because there are literally not enough hours in the day for us to write a ten page paper, finish a research report, make a brochure, and sleep. It's just not happening.
We're tired because we have to work while taking classes. Granted, this is not the case all time. However, those who work typically do so at least 10 hours a week. Then there are those who are working three jobs just to make sure they can afford the expensive education we're receiving. Either way, these work hours are not always at fantastic times. Some start at five in the morning, others don't end until two the next morning. After that, we can sleep, assuming we have all of our work done that is due that week.
We're tired because we're trying to figure out who we are and how to be adults. This is when we start paying for our own things and experimenting with our beliefs. For some, this means partying all night. For others, it's driving to Steak 'n' Shake at 2 a.m. for the milkshake happy hour. We're trying to figure out who we are and who we want to be. It takes time and some crazy nights for that to happen.
We're tired because you have the choice of good grades, a social life, extracurriculars, a job, hobbies, and sleep. The problem is, you can only do two, maybe three well. The rest take a back seat to our other needs. We want to have it all but whenever we try, we end up running ourselves to the point of extreme exhaustion and irritability.
That's why we're always tired. These aren't all the reasons, there are a few more. So next time a college kid tells you they're tired, don't just tell us that we're young and we shouldn't be. Understand that we have a lot to do and encourage us. Maybe even try to convince us that prioritizing sleep every now and then is beneficial.