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The Glorification of Over-Exhaustion in Student Lifestyles

If you are a UCT student, you have most likely come across the @uctjustkidding Instagram account. Consequently, this account focuses on matters that affect students at UCT as well astheir lifestyles.

A common theme on this account is the use of the hashtag #uctjustdossing. It is usually posted on their story; showcasing students who sleep in various areas around campus or on the Jammie Shuttles. For this reason certain questions arose in my mind which I would like to explore in this article. The main purpose of this hashtag is to show their followers how over-exhausted students of UCT (and university students in general) are. Typically as a result of their work and study schedules. However, no one really takes offense to it – it’s entertaining and relatable.

Additionally, we often hear students relating about how tired they are, how much work they have to do for their various courses, and how they had to ‘pull an all-nighter’ to study or finish an assignment which is most likely the case for all university students. Yet, the vast prevalence of this theme of over exhaustion and its normalisation alludes to the glorification in student culture and the lifestyle thereof. 

Not having to work most of the day while going to classes and keeping up with a healthy and regular sleep schedule may be anomaly, especially when you’re a student. Some may even feel guilty and unproductive if they are able to maintain a balance between studies, sleep and a social life. However, students should strive to stay productive while being healthy instead of overworking themselves.

Besides, by having a balanced lifestyle, it can prevent students from feeling as if they are always ‘pressed for time’ in order to meet deadlines and attend to matters in their personal life. 

Thus we need to understand the importance of having a balanced lifestyle as well as itseffects on mental and physical health. For instance, overworking can lead to anxiety, depression, stress, a weak immune system and so forth. Similarly, we all know how it feels to have to function on three hours ‘worth’ of sleep; its draining to say the least!

The dangers of over-exhaustion (in student lifestyles) and the repercussions thereof have been scientifically studied and proven; it causes a decrease in our production levels and functions when prolonged. It is therefore recommended that people prioritise rest for longer-term benefits and health.

However, it is easier said than done! To start living a stress-free life in which we skip that all-nighter seems merely impossibly; regulating our sleeping routines requires a lot of discipline. Sometimes we need to pull that all-nighter; it could simply mean the difference between passing and failing. 

However, it becomes problematic when we start neglecting our health and reducing the amount of sleep that requires our mind and body to adequately function. For this reason, we need to prioritize self-care: eating healthier, exercising and a good night’s rest!

I am currently studying a BA degree, majoring in English and Media & writing,in my second year. My hobbies include writing poetry, reading and playing guitar. I am very passionate about literature and storytelling, and hope to one day be able to pursue a career in journalism. My interests include topics that cover mental health, the LGBTQ+ community and feminist issues.
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