Stress. Is anyone else feeling the slightest bit overwhelmed lately?
Personally, I’m getting very well acquainted with this unholy demon. I do realize that stress is a normal part of life, especially in the United States. I don’t think that there is an American alive who is not trying to fit 48 hours into a 24 hour period, and still feels that nothing is getting accomplished.
One week into this semester I already felt as if I were two weeks behind in my work, and the passage of time has only increased my blood pressure. And I know I’m not alone. Everyone I talk to is running around trying to make sure that everything gets done, and in some cases the tasks that are finally accomplished are not being done to the best of our ability. We’re just happy that we can finally cross one more thing off of our list. For about five minutes. Then the phone rings and we’re reminded about four other things we had forgotten.
The old saying that “ nothing worth having ever comes easy” is very true, and rightly so. College is supposed to be challenging, so that after graduation we are better prepared to compete in the working world. Unfortunately, I, and many others, are already in the working world, and in college at the same time. Many bosses simply don’t care that we have to go to class or study and can’t work whenever they want us there. Many professors either don’t realize or care that some of us have no choice but to hold down a job because we don’t want to sleep on a bench and have unfortunately become addicted to eating on a daily basis.
We aren’t alone though. The professors I’ve talked to are in the same boat. They’ve got lessons to prepare and papers to grade, conferences to attend, bosses to answer to, and student organizations to oversee. And like us, they also have lives outside the confines of UTM, and I’ll bet that they’d occasionally like to see their families, if only to remember what their faces look like.
The average working American gets about two weeks of vacation time per year, compared with the average European, who gets between five and six weeks. Many of us who work at low-paying jobs don’t get any time off at all. But we are getting results. We now have frenetic schedules with cell phones growing out of our ears, couples who rarely see each other, singles who don’t have time to meet anyone, plus all of the hidden work that comes with the modern convenience of computer technology, and, oh yes, high blood pressure, sleepless nights, fatigue, and more accidents and injuries.
To borrow a phrase from a well know journalist, “Give me a break!”