How College Students Protest Exhaustion: A Vicious Cycle

How College Students Protest Exhaustion: A Vicious Cycle

We have the power to change.
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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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22 New Things That I Want To Try Now That I'm 22

A bucket list for my 22nd year.

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"I don't know about you but I'm feelin' 22," I have waited 6 long years to sing that and actually be 22! Now 22 doesn't seem like a big deal to people because you can't do anything that you couldn't do before and you're still super young. But I'm determined to make my 22nd year a year filled with new adventures and new experiences. So here's to 22.

1. Go sky diving.

What's crazier than jumping out of a plane? (Although I'll probably try indoor skydiving first.)

2. Go cliff jumping/diving.

I must be the only Rhode Islander who hasn't gone to Jamestown and jumped off a cliff.

3. Ride in a hor air balloon.

Up, up and away.

4. Try out skiing.

Cash me in the next Olympics, how bout dat.

5. Try out snow boarding.

Shawn White, I'm coming for you.

6. Go bungee jumping.

Because at least this time I'll be attached to something.

7. Go to Portugal.

I mean I'm Portuguese so I have to go at some point, right?

8. Go to Cape Verde.

Once again, I'm Cape Verdean so I have to go.

9. Vist one of the seven wonders of the world.

I mean hey, Egypt's on, my bucket list.

10. Try out surfing.

It's only natural that somebody from the Ocean State knows how to surf.

11. Learn a new langauge.

Because my little bit of Portuguese, Spanish and Latin isn't cutting it anymore.

12. Travel to a state that I've never been to before.

Fun fact: I've only been to 17 of the 50 states.

13. Go paddle boarding.

Pretty boring but I've never done it.

14. Go scuba diving.

I'm from the Ocean State so I guess I should see the ocean up close and personal.

15. Learn how to line dance.

There's actually a barn in my state that does line dancing, so this one will definitely get crossed off.

16. Go kayaking.

All this water around me and I haven't done a lot of the water activites.

17. Stay the night in a haunted hotel room.

I bet if I got my friends to come with me, it would be like the Suite Life of Zach and Cody episode, minus the ghost coming out of the wall but you never know.

18. Get my palms read.

Because who doesn't want to know their future.

19. Go to a medium.

Like a medium that can communicate with people that have died.

20. Take a helicopter ride.

Air plane: check Helicopter:....

21. Sleep under the stars.

Because sleeping in a tent is more like glamping than camping

22. Just to try new things in my everyday life.

Whether it's trying a new restaurant, getting something different at my usual restaurants, changing my usual style, going on the scary rides at amusement parks, and bringing things I used to do back into my life now.

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I Have No Label

Labels aren't for everyone, and I'm one of them.

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There's a huge pressure from society for people to know things about themselves—what they want to do with their life, what career they want to be tethered to, where they plan on being five years from now—that we really shouldn't add more pressure by requiring people to know their sexual orientation and gender identity.

I've always been pretty comfortable with my gender, but my sexuality? I'm still figuring that one out. I grew up in a fairly conservative home, so I was never exposed to the LGBT+ community or anything similar to it. Straight was the only way to go, and I grew up completely fine with that. It's only now that I know I'm not, that I'm realizing some of the things I did, probably should have told me I wasn't sooner.

Thankfully, it was never a huge source of stress for me because I was OK with being straight. I was fine with the idea of only being into men because I mostly still am. It's just that "mostly" bit that has me thrown off.

If I'm not fully into just guys, does that make me bisexual? What's the full difference between them, anyway? What does "bi" really imply, anyway? Two? Which two? Does the "bi" aspect of the word "bisexual" even really matter?

Do people identify as "pansexual" because the distinction of "bi" is misleading since there are more than just two genders?

Speaking of genders, would I date someone whose gender identity doesn't conform to the binary? How about a transgender person? How can I really know this for a fact without dating someone like that?

All of these thoughts gave me countless headaches, and they still do if I think too hard about it. Since I'm still discovering myself, I'm not fully comfortable labeling my sexuality as anything other than "not straight."

That should be totally fine.

If anything, I think this should be encouraged. It puts way less stress on people who are already stressed beyond belief. It shouldn't be something that a person has to know immediately, and they shouldn't have to ever label themselves if they aren't comfortable with it.

Let people explore their sexuality and gender. If they find a label early, let them. They may change it later. They may not. As long as they're happy with it, what does it matter? Why tell them "no?" Even if you're their parent or caregiver, you should at least be fine with them exploring their own identity and figuring their life out.

It's healthy, and ultimately, it will make them a happier person to know they had support for the whole wild ride.

Respect people if they find nothing and choose to stay label-less.

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