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.
Cover Image Credit: http://www.quantumprep.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/demotivated-students.gif

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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Adulthood Is Approaching And It Will Be The Weirdest Thing You've Ever Known

Becoming an adult is the most surreal thing I have ever experienced.

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Imagine it's Tuesday. There is nothing special about this Tuesday. You wake up, do your morning routine, go to work, attend class, eat lunch, and suddenly you are on your way to lease a house with three of your closest friends. Caution: adulthood approaching, and apparently at an exponential speed.

It is one of those things you don't even realize is coming until it hits you like a brick wall. Talking to the realtor made me wish my father was with me. I had no clue what questions to ask, whether to ask for a lower rent or even what to bring to sign a lease. Moreover, does it really make a difference whether the washing machine and dryer are upstairs or in the slightly creepy cement basement that looks like it came straight out of "Extracts from Gosschen's Diary"?

The pressure of relying on someone else (in my case, my three closest friends) is terrifying. I can barely trust myself not to trip on nothing, and now I am sharing the responsibility of an entire house with people. Who will be in charge of washing the dishes? Vacuuming (a task my dog hates as vehemently as I do)? Making sure everyone chips in for the utility bill?

These are all things I have never had to worry about before. I knew what I was supposed to do and did it. Now I find myself wondering how taxes actually work and how many hours I will have to work to be able to pay for my house. School does not always prepare you to face the real world. The quadratic formula in no way helped me figure out what a W-2 was or how to fill it out.

Adulthood is scary and approaching faster than I would like to admit, and I easily ignore it by dancing on the weekends and studying hard on the weekdays. But the concept glares in the back of my mind like an annoying tapping noise. It becomes clear that I am at college to prepare for a future career and to enter a world in which leases, money, and taxes will fill my thoughts.

So to all my young people out there: adulthood is approaching, and it will come faster than you think. Go out, have fun, and take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. Make friends and love every minute of it; later you may find yourself leasing a house with them. I am thrilled to start my journey into adulthood with the best people in the world at my side, yet the concept of such responsibility is daunting.

Cheers to the last of my teenage months, to leasing a house, to my friends, to my family, and to the taxes I will eventually learn how to do.

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