How College Students Protest Exhaustion: A Vicious Cycle

How College Students Protest Exhaustion: A Vicious Cycle

We have the power to change.

As I sit here and think about the homework assignments I have not done, the test that I have not studied for, and the essays I have not written, I can’t help but blame myself.

Just last night I had a solid two hours to do homework, plus another two hours of time where I would be half asleep but could still get something done. Instead, I watched Netflix and sat with my computer on my lap, maybe writing a total of one page for a paper over the course of three hours. Then this morning I realized I am my own worst enemy.

Yes, the idea of the exhausted college student is romanticized, and I agree that needs to stop because we are all exhausted. But half of the problem is us. And by that I most certainly mean me.

When did it become cool to not do the reading? When did it become cool to do all the homework at the end of the semester, or as close to the due date as we could? When did it become cool to submit papers quite literally minutes before the cut off? I think it happens somewhere between the first day of class and the end of freshman year. That is when college students realize that everyone else waits, everyone else procrastinates, so they may as well too.

Granted, there will always be that week or two in the semester when everything is due and everything gets submitted barely on time because it is barely done because it was all just too much. But what about the other 12 weeks? Why did we stop caring about the other 12 weeks when we could get everything in on time and we could read for class and do the homework?

I think a part of the reason is that we, as college students, have accepted being exhausted. We think that being in college means never sleeping, and barely getting the homework in on time. So that is what we do. It’s a vicious cycle.

Everyone nowadays complains about stereotypes and how much that can hurt because they are never entirely accurate. But what about the stereotype of the exhausted college student that everyone seems to want to fit into? This needs to end as well.

Even if it is my senior year in college, I intend to make a change. As ingrained as habits can be, and as much as we all deserve a night to watch Netflix for hours, I think it is more than plausible to find the time to get all of the schoolwork that needs done completed on time, and done well.

Because quite honestly I deserve that, and so does every college student. Every student deserves to get the most out of their education, they deserve to learn something, and enjoy learning it without being exhausted the entire time.
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High School VS. College Friends

New friends, old faces.

When you come to college often times you are required to make a whole new set of friends because all your friends from high school are in different places.

For those who are outgoing, it is easy to make friends since everyone is new to this environment and they are all looking for people to be their friend. Even though both sets are your friends there are many differences between them.

High school friends know everything about you and have been with you for much longer. They've watched you grow up and now all the small details about your life that even you find insignificant.

As you go through high school your pool of friends becomes smaller and smaller until you really get to your core people who you want to keep in your life forever. These friends are harder to let go and you'll often find yourself forgiving them for things you don't forgive others for.

College friends are a whole other beast. Especially freshman year! These are the people who watch you experience your first blackout. They are going to stand by you as you start to discover who you want to be as an adult.

These people are going to shape who you become as a person way more than you could ever imagine. You are going to look back at these times when your old and think of them as the best times of your life. That being said, you haven't known your college friends for that long.

They are so much easier to lose, and you can have too many of them. I highly doubt that the people you start college with will be the exact same group of people you choose to end college with and that okay. People grow and change just remember no matter what college is like you'll, always have your ride or die highschool friends.

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Chang Duong on Unsplash

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Just Try Your Best And Go For It

Take a deep breath and reach for the stars.

Have you ever wanted to be president of a club or try out for a musical but were too afraid? Honestly, I don't blame you. When I first got to college, I was terrified to try out for anything or even apply for that matter. It took me about a year and a half to step out of my comfort zone.

My sophomore year of college, I knew that I wanted to take on some more leadership roles. I decided to take on an editing role for Odyssey, which wasn't something ever on my radar. I was scared that I wasn't going to be good enough to do it. There was something in my mind telling me to just go for it.

Just go for it. What does that sentence mean to you? Does it mean going for the guy or girl of your dreams even if they turn you down? Does it mean writing a speech and actually delivering that? Does it mean advocating for something you believe in knowing other people might disagree?

Whatever your "just go for it" means to you, just know that it matters. We all have different things we want out of life, and we all have a different path. There will be times where you won't get a job or won't become president of a club, but you have to try. If you don't try, you will never know if you ever had a chance.

I took my own advice in the past couple of weeks and ended up running for two co-chairs. I remember my voice was trembling when I was speaking to a whole group of people I barely knew. I knew that there were many other people in that room wanting to take on these leadership positions. I decided to be honest with the people in the room, and it ended up turning out well for me. However, I had to realize that even if it hadn't turned out well, I did my best.

What is so beautiful about being in the world is that we have the freedom to try different things. All of these opportunities we are applying for or actually doing mean something. These opportunities are helping us grow into the person we are meant to be. It's okay to be shy, but just remember that you are amazing and you can do it.

I'm so glad that I ended up taking on various positions in the organizations I am in. I know that I am strong enough to do all of it and it has honestly made me so much more organized and professional. Everything that we do is a big lesson, and I hope to bring this new knowledge to my classroom when I end up teaching. We need to encourage each other to try out for things because it's an amazing opportunity to grow. Just do it, go for it.

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