Being A Student: Stressors

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I wonder how many people have tuned into The Bold Type either on Showmax where you can find every episode up to season 4 or Netflix just the first season. I am not spoiling, just explaining one scene in the first episode when the girls are so frustrated with all that is going on that the only thing to make them feel better is going to the train (subway station) and screaming their lungs out as a train passes by. I guess being in NYC, it might be the best place to do that. Some people prefer climbing to the top of a mountain to scream it all out.

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Guess it depends what sort of thing you are into and the type of environment you have that might allow you the space to release all that frustration.

As students, we have many frustrating and stressful moments. The type of moments that make us want to scream even if our voices were to go away, we would still be screaming. We are going through the most all day, every day. Sometimes it feels like challenge after challenge, attack after attack, stressor after stressor with no room for a break or some sort of breather to recover and get back on our feet again. The most logical thing to do feels like, maybe we should just scream and maybe then we will be heard.

Student stressors range from academics, to external pressure, to financial well being, to trying to live a balanced and successful life, the list could go on and on. Before we can actually consider academics, it starts with firstly being able to register and have a residence to stay in that does not provide expired food. Quite unfortunate that especially as returning and academically eligible students, recent events such as these are what we need to be worrying and protesting about. For clarity sake, readers/listeners who are not South African, the current struggle is that students in various universities across the country are being financially excluded/denied registration on the bases that fees have not been paid/will not be paid by a government student financial aid scheme. Furthermore, on the note of not having a place to stay, university accommodation was overbooked leaving many without a residence. Maybe that was some sort of saving grace for a short period because those that did return to residence or placed somewhere, had to quarantine for 7 days, but in that period were either not receiving meals on time or it was expired leading to food poisoning. Wild right?! To think that a student’s main concern should be getting that degree, but how does that happen when the students can’t even get in or be treated right when in?

Other recurring stressors include financials. There is this recurring joke to say that people keep saying that “we are young, we should live our best lives” but the concept of what a “best life” is for a student is actually quite expensive.

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With a sense of humour, you’ll find this quite funny especially if you like nice things but you have a long list of responsibilities such as rent, groceries petrol (if you have a car), travel to and from places etc. There are ways to earn a bit of cash, I have learned that most students do try to earn from any side hustle that they can find, tutoring, vac work, waiter(ess) jobs, student jobs within varsity etc. which is great and wonderful, however, most of that extra cash is sent home to help or to pay off debt or something along those lines, making it more difficult to live a “best life.” However, nobody wants to leave uni feeling as though life has just passed them by.

Then there are the external stressors that have to be dealt with such as family pressuring you to study something that you might not even like. You must be that neurologist, be that lawyer, do business management so that you can take over the company blah blah. No art, no rest, no fun. In addition, there is very little motivation when you look at the unemployment rate creeping in at just above 30%. I sometimes ask myself “Do I even stand a chance?”

We all want and seek success and I think that that is stressful in itself because it can be a scary thought to not see ourselves “making it in life.” A few years ago I saw this quote on a wall that said

“I have no choice but to be successful because I like nice things”

— Unknown

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I am sure many can relate because luxury is expensive. Trying to break a poverty cycle is expensive. But remaining sane should not have to be expensive because if we do not take care of ourselves in the process to success then that it will also become expensive. The point is that we need to take care of our wellbeing. I am reminded of the Dalai Lama life and health quote.

dalai lama quote // | Dalai lama quotes, Money quotes, Dalai lama
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I am of the belief that all stressors can be positive if managed well (starting to sound like a Life Orientation lesson here) but it is very true. Go ahead and scream! Once you are done, sit down and start with your plan of action. Compare notes with someone you look up to. Adjust accordingly. Then go on to live your best life with positive stressors. Some things will inevitably be out of your control, such as the university administration but remain in hope that situations will be resolved as they hear you the louder your voice is raised without backing down from what you know to be right.

Mention other stressors not mentioned here in the comments section. What have you had to go through in your student years? I know I only touched on a few. Thank you for reading!

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2 thoughts on “Being A Student: Stressors

Add yours

  1. Another stressor is mental health which is paramount in a student’s life, unfortunately it can make or break you. I know that some factors are inevitable and that’s totally okay – what’s important is to try and focus on those things that you can change.

    Liked by 2 people

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