We seem to live in a generation where everyone wants to go to college.
It is nice to see that people want to invest in their education, but at what expense? It's easy to commit to a school, and it is even easier to get yourself and your parents into thousands of dollars of debt because you're "living your best life."
To me, it's pathetic if you're over the age of eighteen and you don't have some sort of income or responsibilities outside of homework and attendance. The old excuse, "I want to focus on school," is no longer valid. You can get all A's while having a job, and that has nothing to do with intelligence, but rather your will to succeed. "I don't have time for a job/internship," translates to, "I'm really lazy,".
You don't need to overextend yourself and work forty hours a week, but you should at least work summers or weekends. Any job is a good job. Whether you babysit, walk dogs, work retail, serve tables or have an internship. You need to do something.
"My major is too hard," is not an excuse either. If you can go out on the weekends, you can work.
The rigor of your major should not determine whether or not you decide to contribute to your education. If the name on your credit card does not match the name on your birth certificate, then you really need to re-evaluate your priorities.
Working hard in school does not compensate for having any sense of responsibility.
I understand that not everyone has the same level of time management skills, but if you truly can't work during the school year, you need to be working over the summer and during your breaks. The money you make should not exclusively be for spending; you should be putting it towards books, loans, or housing.
Internships are important too, paid or not.
In my opinion, if you chose not to work for income, you should be working for experience. Your resume includes your degree, but your degree does not include your resume. Experience is important, and internships provide experience. A person working an unpaid internship deserves the same credit as a student working full/part-time.
Though they are not bringing in income for their education, they are gaining experience, and opening up potential opportunities for themselves.
If you go to college just to go to class and do nothing else, then you don't deserve to be there. College is so much more than just turning in assignments, it is a place for mental and academic growth. You need to contribute to your education, whether it is through working for income or working for knowledge or experience.
There's no doubt that college is taxing on most student's mental health. You get to the point where you feel stressed about even breathing. I have hit the point where I feel like I'm permanently affected by the stress that I've dealt with this semester.
I used to have so much free time. Even in my other semesters, I had time to hang out with my friends, work, and even be lazy when I wanted to be.
I was still a good student, I got all my assignments done on time and I worked hard on them, but I never really had an overwhelming workload.
That is, until this semester. I got to a point where work was overwhelming, I was working longer hours than I was used to, and having to spend every second that I wasn't in class or at work doing homework, whether it was just lengthy math problems or writing multiple essays or scripts.
After months of being in this habit, when my workload from both work and school died down and I actually had free time, I didn't know what to do with myself.
When my friends were busy and I just wanted a relaxing day at home, since I felt like I deserved it, I would try to just lay down and rest, either reading a good book or catching up on all the shows that my stress had caused me to miss.
But there was always a voice in the back of my head reminding me of every upcoming assignment. I would start thinking about the essay due the next week, or a test that I could be studying for ahead of time.
That voice kept telling me I was being unproductive and wasting my time if I wasn't getting ahead on school work when I finally had the time.
And so I'm still in a position, at the end of the semester, where I feel like I'm wasting my time every time I lay down and just want to take a nap because I'm exhausted from running between work and school. I'm trying to fight myself and tell myself that I am allowed to be lazy for at least a little bit, and I don't need to be constantly working.
Hopefully, that voice wins over, especially with summer coming up. With all of the free time, I'll have since I won't have to stress about school, hopefully, I'll be able to better balance my busy days with my lazy days.
I know this is probably an issue for many college students who are overwhelmed with everything that they have to do. Hopefully, summer break is a nice break for all of us and it gives us the chance to get the free time that we all deserve for surviving this semester, and the school year overall.