Editorial: How to be too-blessed-to-be-stressed

College students across the country are no strangers to stress, but the degree to which stress should influence their lives is questionable. How much stress is a necessary evil, and when does it become too much?

University students often balance many different academic, extracurricular, and social commitments. However, from both a mental health perspective and the perspective of a potential employer, it is generally better to be deeply involved with a few clubs or organizations instead of spreading yourself too thin across numerous obligations.

The feeling of being “stressed” is sometimes confused with being “busy.” Students often declare their levels of stress, when in reality they are just busy participating in their committed activities. The activities students enjoy may not even be major stressors; rather, they simply occupy time.

On the contrary, it is common for first-year students on campus to become concerned with a lack of involvement. Before students settle into the University and find activities they are passionate about, it is easy for them to feel overwhelmed with “free time.” If classes and assignments do not take up a solid seven-hour chunk of the day, students can even experience stress as a result of too much downtime.

It is both helpful and essential for students to find a balance between their academic schedule, extracurricular activities, social life, and potentially a campus job. This is where the controversial concept of “work hard, play hard” comes into the equation. It’s fair to say that there is pressure on University students to lead an active social life. One’s choice to live by this motto is completely based on the individual, as evidenced by the assortment of social groups the campus offers.

As students, if we conflate the terms “stressed” and “busy,” we may end up causing ourselves unnecessary anxiety in the long run. There’s nothing wrong with being busy, and a certain degree of stress is inevitable, especially at a rigorous university. When stress becomes a constant state of being, it might be time to reconsider one’s commitments and priorities.

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