College is the place where you can create your own experience. From internships to research studies or even making your own music videos, the world is your oyster and the possibilities are endless. But there is a select amount of students that do it all, every single day with no breaks. Taking on clubs and maybe multiple e-board positions while dealing with a full matriculated schedule and potentially a job is not for the faint of heart.
Why do we as individuals do this to ourselves? Maybe it’s for financial reasons or people enjoy always being on the go. But there’s one common denominator that I have noticed within most of the individuals I’ve met who decide to continue with the burden of dealing with a large plate— anxiety.
Why are we so anxious?
College students and anxiety are two things that go hand and hand. According to Harvard Health Blog Contributors Nicole J. LeBlanc, MA, and Luana Marques, Ph.D.,
According to the American College Health Association Fall 2018 National College Health Assessment, 63% of college students in the US felt overwhelming anxiety in the past year. In the same survey, 23% reported being diagnosed or treated by a mental health professional for anxiety in the past year.
Mental health is something we take seriously within university, but that does not mean it can’t be affected in other ways. Faculty and staff members have drilled into our heads that in order have the best chance to receive a good-paying job and do well after college students need to have experience and a diverse portfolio.
Every aspect of doing well and making yourself well-known on campus requires a level of sacrifice and discipline in prioritizing what’s important to you. This discipline is not bad, however, it can worsen over time if you’re comparing yourself to other students around you. Allowing yourself to become overly involved in school can trigger your anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed about life after school. Burnout is real and that’s the path you will continue to go down when there is no balance.
Overextension + Anxiety?
This causes us as students to overextend ourselves for what we want, not necessarily need. This stems from the fact that the average student feels behind not only due to imposter syndrome but never feeling ready for the real world “post-grad.”
This is why every year after spring break students are scrambling to find internships and coveted positions for the summer time. While they are important, these same ambitious students do these same tasks every day on their own college campuses.
Being involved in university is not a bad thing, but overextending yourself to become this “ideal” all-around college student comes with time and patience. We’ve all been there and the dreams we’ve set out for ourselves as students will come true. But why forfeit the experience of being a well-rounded student (in moderation) for the stress and anxiety of being “the girl who does it all?”
So the next time you’re offered that e-board position or extra credit hours for the class you’re doing well in already ask yourself “is this opportunity going to help further your goal in the long run while still fulfilling your purpose?”
Let us know your thoughts on what it means to be an ideal college student and the pressures associated with it by tweeting us @VALLEYmag.