As I write this, college students are in the midst of a crisis. Final exams and reports are coming right towards us and nobody is ever as prepared as they should be. As I am trying to maintain my sanity, I have noticed that I become the worst environmentally conscious person. I find myself not practicing what I preach because I am constantly in a rush, stuck on campus and simply desperate.
Most frequently, I find myself going to bed extremely late, rushing to class and in need of a coffee in order to avoid nodding off in the front of my professors. In that rush, I never think to grab a reusable coffee cup. I just order my drink in my single-use plastic cup and run. I'm not only guilty of using single-use plastics for coffee, but also as containers for fast food and utensils to feed my stressed self as I sit in the library for hours.
Additionally, during exam week I find myself cramming all of my self-care into one sitting. Showers are my favorite way to relax but also make me feel like I am not wasting time. Yet, I am wasting so much water. Your average shower pours out 2.5 gallons of water a minute. Needless to say, I go over a minute to decompress.
Lastly, any produce or fresh food that I have bought often goes to waste because I am not there. I always think that I will change the way I operate during exam week but it never happens, so I continue to waste food. I don't feel like I have the time to stand there and make food at all. All I feel like I can do is sit in front of the computer and work.
Yet, I know that I am not the only person who acts and feels this way. I see it everywhere and hear about it from all of my friends. During these times, our stress may make us feel like the world is ending but truly our life will go on. We need to make the effort to try to slow down during exam week, or really any time we feel a lot of pressure, and plan out our days more carefully. We need to realize that doing little things throughout your day to help relax you is not wasting your time, it's improving your capacity to perform since it allows you to think more clearly. By doing this, it will improve not only our mental health but also how we treat the environment, as the waste we create during this time can have long lasting effects into our future.