As I was sitting at my computer this past weekend trying to decide on a column topic, I couldn't help noticing that my brain was not completely focused on the task. Instead, it was running through a list of all the things I have to worry about at the moment: an upcoming psychology test, apartment details, pending midterms and a lack of cash flow to name a few. Not to mention the slight jitters from what I now see was a caffeine overdose. And then I realized that I cannot possibly be the only person on campus having this problem, and I most likely am not the only one being driven crazy by it.
College students are probably close to the most stressed-out population in the country. Academic expectations, lack of money, roommate issues, job and internship searches and social pressures all pushing down on one person at the same time are bound to be heavy. If that isn't bad enough, the consequences of this kind of stress, like headaches, insomnia, stomachaches and a weakened immune system, only add to the problem. How are you supposed to get anything done if you're sick from having too much to do?
I might add that every college has its own unique stress-inducers, and Geneseo is no different. Anyone on Northside who has returned to campus after 10 p.m. can tell you that parking is now officially a nightmare. The residents of Genesee and Ontario Halls will be glad to share what it's like to wake up at 7:30 a.m. to the melodic sounds of clanging metal and shouting as Seneca Hall materializes. Plus, there's nothing like an early morning hike up University Drive to really put you in the mood for the day.
It's no wonder that college alcohol consumption rates have gone up in recent years. It seems as though the transition between childhood and adulthood that college used to be has instead become a kick in the butt straight into the deep end of adulthood, one that many of us might not be ready for. In small college towns, the most accessible way to blow off steam after a long week is to head to parties or to the bars and let loose before you have to get back to the grind. Not that this is the best way of handling stress. Ever heard the phrase, "After college it's called alcoholism?" That's because the stress doesn't go away, and without appropriate ways of dealing with it, you're in trouble.
If I knew any good ways to deal with stress, I'd be happy to share, but sadly that is not the case. Maybe in 50 or 60 years I'll finally know what it's like to be relaxed; I'll be the one running wheelchair relays through the halls of the nursing home. Hey, it's something to look forward to.
Amanda Senft is a sophomore English major who doesn't condone alcoholism, but could really go for a cold one after all this column writing.