The big question: is a degree worth this much pain?

Stress is something that builds on itself. Missing a paper means spending nights without sleep doing that paper. Sleepless nights kill productivity, which lead to more missed papers and sleepless nights. A normal week becomes a struggle just to get past the next day. The stress piles up until it consumes everything. It’s so overwhelming that the only thing some people can do ignore it and let it pile up more. Letting things go seems like the only option.

I think we’ve all been told an education is valuable. I was told an education is worth having because it’s something not everyone can do. Anything worth doing is hard, right? Maybe, but someone’s merit shouldn’t necessarily come from the suffering of others. I get that not everyone is expected to excel, but it feels like the system creates failures out of good people.

I’m not trying to bring down a merit based education system, not yet anyways, but I just want people to know how much suffering there is this time of year. I went looking for stories about pressure and stress, I didn’t have to go far. People are dropping out of classes, others are praying for summer vacation. Ask any student on campus.

“The stress is completely overwhelming to say it lightly. Not only is deadlines and grades stressful, but when you have no money, and you have to worry about bills, groceries, and you work isn’t providing you with more than four hours a week, you start to think stress isn’t the word for it,” said Nathalie Sturgeon. “I have even considered dropping out because of financial and academic stresses”

I know STU wants to address student stress, and I think professors are helpful. But I don’t think the school is putting enough into it. I don’t know what the school can do, I can barely write this column with all the work I’ve got to do. Everybody suffers when the students can’t cope anymore. Enrollment is low. The school should be obsessed with keeping people here.

The suffering is real.

“This level of stress starts to physically hurt as well. I have a bad back, and so all my stress knots up in there causing constant aching as well as frequent headaches,” said Mandy Leper.

“I just kind of feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders, having to worry about grades, money and whether or not I’ll get a job. I find it’s this time of year that makes me wonder if getting a degree is even worth this much trouble.”

People are going to start to wonder if an education is worth the stress and suffering they’re going through. I think the day is coming soon when a lot of students are going to say “No.”

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