Don’t @ me: I am so tired of school, yet I still love it

The daily grind of dealing with student guilt

Ridin the waves of my student guilt one midterm at a time. Graphic Joanna Nakonieczna

I am so tired.

I am tired of midterms overtaking the majority of the semester, and of always stressing for the next assignment. Same goes for the now very familiar anxious guilt of feeling like I haven’t studied enough. 

Juggling all my student duties, an almost non-existent social life, and part-time work make it impossible to relax. Above all, I am tired of having this new normal perception of stress that anyone with some degree of sanity would deem insane. Being in perpetual motion is draining.

I am tired of the government and their scarce student relief funds, of seeing my non-student friends benefiting from Employment Insurance. Meanwhile, I have to bust my ass to make ends meet. The daily grind to support myself, of having to decide whether I should spend my remaining dollars on a coffee or a snack, is slowly depleting any energy still left in my body.

Having to decide between my overall health or decent academic results should not be a thing. I take care of myself by doing a sport I genuinely enjoy regularly, because it makes me happy. It also benefits my physical, mental, and emotional health. I find comfort in acting upon the little things over which I have some control, as I feel so powerless when it comes to my studies..

In spite of that, I often catch myself feeling guilty for doing the things I love, as the thought that I am wasting my time sneaks into my brain. That perpetual student guilt acts as a poison, like a growing voice in my mind reminding me of all the homework I could be doing instead of taking a few minutes to myself. It slowly, but surely, eradicates any fun from the few non-school related activities I have left.  

Studying should not monopolize every aspect of my life: it should enrich it. I have needs other than getting a 4.0 GPA, yet school makes me feel like I ought to ignore these needs to get grades surpassing mediocrity.

There is a silver lining in all this though. I still find myself getting up every morning. I make a point of going to class and to participate as much as I can. I see my friends on a somewhat regular basis, over a coffee or at the library. I make time to have dinner with my family once in a while.  

On the bright side, I am genuinely eager to keep learning. Of course, I have to continuously remind my exhausted brain that I actively choose to learn. I just can't let go of this imposed task that is school.

So yeah, I am tired of this boat that we as students are stuck on. We are hurtling through a maelstrom and no one knows how to sail. 

But hey, the sky is beautiful, the sea is full of surprises, and so is school. I guess I am just going to enjoy the ride until the sun comes up and dries the tears rolling down on my cheeks.