I, like most other university students, survive off of coffee and expired redbulls. I wear the same makeup three days in a row and sometimes I forget to match my socks. I do (my best to do) my readings and my biggest fear is a surprise pop-quiz. Yet somehow, these years are supposed to be the best of my young life. As if in these next four to five years, I will have spent all of my time dancing with the girls while sipping on fancy drinks and consuming my body weight in beer and burritos. The pressure that students are put under on a daily basis often goes unrecognized. I am here to shed some light on the very real struggle faced by broke and broken post-secondary students.
- Showering: It is not a coincidence that every University student you encounter smells like road-kill and body spray near midterm season. We have priorities, and we would rather pass statistics than smell like daisies.
- Food: On any given day, I could have had nothing to eat until dinner time, or I could be neck-deep in a bucket of KFC. Sometimes things get so busy with classes, studying, cleaning my room or napping…that I completely forget that food is vital for survival. On the other hand, sometimes I cry over my plummeting GPA and bank account, while devouring fried foods. The freshman fifteen is a force to be reckoned with.
- Friends: One of the best things about university is the opportunity to meet people from all different walks of life. Conversely, one of the most difficult things to balance while being in school is a social life. Thirsty Thursdays, Sloppy Saturdays and even Margarita Mondays are tempting. It is so hard to make time to relax with your crew, without facing the urge to drop out.
- Money: My credit card and I are in an unhealthy relationship and tuition bills give me heart palpitations. Every university student can relate to the gut-wrenching feeling of having to collect quarters to pay rent and buy food. High school may have taught me how to find the slope of a line… but it did not prepare me for how expensive the real world is.
- Managing Stress: Stress is often referred to as a “silent killer” and increases the chances of heart failure by staggering amounts. Stress is also linked to the six leading causes of death in America : heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, liver cirrhosis, and suicide. However, every professor I have ever been taught by has insisted that stress is both “necessary” and “healthy.” Fun fact; stress is not healthy; it will not motivate you to do your best…in fact it may do exactly the opposite.
If for nothing else, I hope this post will help all of your struggling students to know that you are not alone. These anxieties and stresses you feel are real and they suck but with a good support system and a large double-double…you can and WILL get through it. Be the best that you can be, and lay off of the energy drinks.