Do graduation requirements cause more stress than good?

As a senior, I finally know what it means to have senioritis. It’s a crazy feeling of knowing that you have a few weeks of classes left with finals around the corner, but the timing feels like years in the making. Every day is a drag, but I have to continue to push through it. The last few weeks have me struggling to glimpse over all the notes throughout the semester while focusing on acing exams, turning in all assignments and aiming to do well on finals. Maybe it is just me overreacting with all of this, but then again, all of the requirements leading up to graduation are one heck of a stressful experience.

I realized that college is what you make out of it. You can be the relaxed student who does homework whenever you feel like it, the average student who does assignments but can slack off or the student who cares so much that it makes their mind spin from perfecting each task given from their professors. It’s safe to say that I am a student who tends to be a perfectionist. I remember every night when all I needed was to rest, but I continuously stayed up over-analyzing certain assignments, projects and exams. I didn’t want to appear as careless and later failed in the end.

We all have been through the stages of college. The first two years of school are definitely a breeze. The classes are so easy because it consists of the casual general education requirements; some of which had me question where my money was going with a class that I knew wouldn’t help me in my desired field. Junior year gets just a little bit more intense, but not too much because you are still getting a feel for your major classes. When it comes to senior year, the stress intensifies to a different level. There comes a time when you are so overwhelmed with the amount of assignments that it frustrates you because you aren’t able to fully grasp the capacity of it without stressing yourself out. This ultimately leads to many college students leaning toward barely passing a class in order to graduate.

Personally, my stress from college resulted in headaches from not being able to have a full eight hours of sleep. The constant mental feeling of knowing that I had something due at every point in time blew my mind and it caused me to overthink many times. I continued to remain passionate and kept the finish line in mind toward graduation despite it causing these headaches.

From juggling classes, full time jobs and life, it leads me to ask this question: Was college worth the stress?

The stress levels are definitely beyond me, but these last four years were joyful, frustrating, happy and crazy. I was able to dive into a new experience of broadcasting for the Quad Diversity and Weather Minutes along with writing for our very own Quad newspaper. I took some upper level classes that gave me insight on how to communicate effectively, advertise in the professional world and more. Some may say that I was insane to have six classes, being a reporter and staff writer this semester, but for me, doing all of the extracurricular activities counterbalanced my stress from school. The newspaper was an outlet to express my thoughts, while the minute segments for the TV were simply enjoyable and took my mind off of class assignments. So yes, to answer my question, college is definitely worth the stress, but it is something I won’t take up again until grad school. Like I said, college is what you make of it and I am glad that I chose to finish strong with some stress added.

Despite the stress, it’s a great feeling to know that I am receiving an undergraduate degree despite a decent amount of debt that comes with it. I anticipate to pay it all off within five years. To all of my college readers: freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors, I urge you to find an acceptable outlet to relieve your stress from the requirements of graduation. It will seriously help you to cope.

Next stop, graduation.

Yours Truly,

A Stressed Out Soon-to-Be College Graduate

Jennifer Odiatu is a fourth-year student majoring in communications studies with a minor in journalism. ✉ JO820471@wcupa.edu.

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