As I sit down to write this article, stress seems to be the only word in my vocabulary. All witty banter and artistic flourish has been drained from my brain and channeled into over 40 pages of papers. Normal human interaction has become difficult, after spending hours on the computer or buried in books. I try to type, my hands shaking from the stress and caffeine, after double-fisting free cups of coffee at Lower.
I know I am not the only one that feels this way. It is finals after all. During exam period, we turn into mere shells of our former selves. We wonder around the library like sleep-deprived zombies. The worst of it all? We make a competition out of being stressed. As if we should be proud of our twitching, shaking, and irritability. I know I am! Not. Students are walking around in an anxiety-induced haze, listing the assignments they have to do and how little sleep they have gotten, as if these are accomplishments. Even worse, we are trying to one-up each other with our stress.
Student 1: I have three papers and two exams next week. I am so stressed out!
Student 2: Oh you are so lucky! I wish my life was that easy. I have 4 papers and three exams next week. I also have to babysit, work 15 hours this week, and cure an incurable disease on the way to the soup kitchen.
It is no secret that Boston College is filled with competitive students. But leave it to us to turn stress in to a veritable competition. The NCAA should be renamed the National Collegiate Anxiety Association. Boston College would undoubtedly win the National Championship, with or without a coach like Jerry.
We seem to have confused stress with productivity. We have made ourselves believe that being stressed is synonymous with being a good and hard-working student. In our attempts to be on top of the stress competition, we are unwittingly making our friends feel guilty that they are not as stressed. How many times have you gotten evil glares from your roommates when you say you don’t have any work? Students, we need to re-evaluate this competitive drive for stressing superiority. Since when does 3 hours of sleep and manic behavior warrant a prize. Congratulations you are the MVP , the most volatile person during finals. What does that get you? Besides dark circles, high blood pressure, and angry friends, nothing.
So, Collegiettes, stop the hair pulling and nail biting and take a breath. Even better take a break, and try not to stress. It is not a competition worth winning.