Of Course I'm Stressed, I'm In College

tired student girl with glasses sleeping on the books in the library
tired student girl with glasses sleeping on the books in the library

Here's a quick look into a normal day for me:

Wake up, eat (maybe), drink coffee, go to class for a few hours. Maybe squeeze in an hour or two at my on-campus job or do some homework, and then grab a quick lunch and maybe some coffee before I got to job #2. Then I get to spend seven hours there, and when I get home I do homework until who knows when. The next day, I get to wake up tired and do it all over again. Or if I'm lucky and it's the weekend, I can grab an extra shift at work or catch up on the homework I didn't get a chance to do earlier in the week. Somewhere in there I usually try to find the time to spend a few minutes with my friends once or twice a week or at the very least watch some Netflix in order to preserve my sanity.

So when my eye started twitching fairly consistently for about week, I was annoyed. I can't be talking to customers or writing an essay if my eye won't stop twitching. The doctor's orders were to "Get more sleep, drink less caffeine, and alleviate stress."

I actually laughed out loud. How am I supposed to do any of those things? I could quit my job, but then I wouldn't be able to afford my car/gas which gets me to and from work and school. I could drop out, but then I'd need to move back home or work more hours so I could afford to stay in Missouri. And get more sleep? Maybe when they add more hours to the day.

And the thing is, I know very few college students who don't have schedules like mine. Even if they're fortunate enough to not have to work, our schedules are loaded with extracurriculars and internships -- anything to pad our resumes for after graduation. Of course we're Generation Stress. We have to be. Without the constant desire to better ourselves -- to make ourselves more competitive -- we graduate with a college degree and no job.

We've been brainwashed to compete. There were very few things I did in high school that I did just because I liked them and not because they would "boost my application." I was lured into every volunteer opportunity with, "It will look good on your resume!"

Do well in high school so you can do well in college so you can do well in the real world. And don't just do well, do better.

So of course I'm stressed. I'm busy for 16 hours a day. I feel like I have to be, or I'm falling behind. We don't celebrate the 20-somethings who move back home after college. We celebrate the ones who work three jobs and volunteer and go to the gym and are able to somehow balance all of those things, as well as some form of social life, without breaking a sweat.

I don't even know how to be not busy. Even when I'm doing nothing I'm worrying about what I should be doing. What would I even do with my free time?

Honestly, I'd probably sleep for a week.