Thursday, November 02, 2006

College: The Best Time Of Our Lives?
By Bianca Busketta

Stress- Can’t live with it, can’t live without it. This should be the new motto for every college student of this generation. While predecessors have talked of college as a fun and carefree atmosphere filled with parties and campuses, the new generation of college student is dealing more with stress. Most college students are trying to afford to pay for expensive college tuition on their own, dealing with the AIDS epidemic, lack of well paying jobs, and soaring prices of textbooks and food. We are also scrounging to afford their party lifestyle, along with gaining a degree. All this responsibility thrown at a student at once is what is leading to excessive amounts of stress. So, while we are still proclaiming these are the best years of our lives, let’s look at the harm this stressful lifestyle is doing.

According to the University of Florida Counseling Center, excessive amounts of stress can lead to physical, emotional, and cognitive side effects. These symptoms include some of the following: muscular tension, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, and forgetfulness. This is only to name a few. The UFCC says not to fear and that there are ways to balance out levels of stress. Balancing levels of sleep, exercise, food, work, school, and recreation is what a college student needs to lead a healthy life without these possible side effects.

When I think about these words of wisdom, is it really possible to balance all of these options in our lives? May be it’s the excessive amounts of stress that keep us going, our hearts beating fast, and allows us to get all our responsibilities plus more out of the way. In all honesty, a college student cannot balance all of these things without feeling overwhelmed. And with our lifestyles, maybe stress is integrated with having the time of our lives in college. We as college students should have an unbalanced lifestyle with stress for as long as we can before we have to settle down with a job and a family.

When I think of a college student being told to get a balanced, good night’s sleep it makes me laugh. Think of a situation in this context - would you rather hang out with friends until four in the morning to wakeup for a 10 a.m. class the next day? Or go to bed early to balance out your stress level? I’m sure most would pick the first option. It may be lead to more stress with waking up early, but I would take stress over missed college memories.

College life is an excuse to lead unbalanced lives. It is a way to learn to be the biggest procrastinators in the world, or to stay up studying until 6 a.m. for an exam at 7. It is our last chance for rebellion before we have to become adults. If I had to choose between dealing a stressful life, or leading a boring “balanced” existence my answer would be to bring on the ulcers, indigestion, and forgetfulness. Anyways, this is the time of our lives.

No comments: