If anyone were to walk around the University of Wyoming, they might agree that most students seem robotic. It is almost as if students could be a part of the video game, The Sims, and are being controlled by remotes.
Students are rushing to class and drinking coffee, maybe even discussing homework and their plans for the day. But there is also something else happening that is being overlooked.
Around this campus, students are not just carrying intense schedules and their ambitions around. They are also carrying frowns.
There seems to be more of a common depressed state among college students today than in the past, but the question is why?
Could it be the cold weather that is bringing these UW students down? Or is there something else going on here?
“I am fed up with not having any fun during the weekdays, and I am constantly worried,” said Erica Sanchez, studying elementary education at UW.
About 30 students were interviewed at UW about how they manage time and more than half responded with similar answers to how they cope with their time in a day.
Too stressed to smile
Students are constantly running around, not smiling, and glancing at their watches with worried looks on their faces.
Everything seems to be about time and where they are rushing off to next.
“I hate time. I never have enough of it. I need at least 28 hour days to get everything done,” said Jenny Heath, a pre-med student at UW. She stated that a precise schedule and a planner is the only way to survive each day. “School takes over everything. My days are full of to-do lists and I do not have a social life.”
Most of the students stated that managing time is very crucial to their schedules and if things do not get done, then worry, stress and anxiety begin to take over.
“I spend most of my time with work and school in a day. I live off of my planner and reminders in my phone. If I don’t, things get piled up and I get serious anxiety. I probably get physically ill three times a semester because I am not capable of keeping up with everything,” said Tyrell Kirchhefer, a junior at UW studying psychology.
Nearly all students responded with, “I do not have enough of it,” when they were asked what they thought of the time they spend each day doing something they enjoy.
So you might ask why a student wouldn’t simply set aside more time toward doing things they actually enjoy. Or is it true that in today’s world there is no time for students to have fun?
“It just seems like I can’t do a lot of what I want in a day or spend time with people I like. My mind is always wrapped around my homework that is due. I have got to get a head start in today’s competitive job world. I think I sit down and have a meal with people I enjoy about once a week,” said Elizabeth Schaffer, a microbiology student at UW.
Time is driving students crazy
According to a Washington survey by NBC news, one in five undergraduates is constantly stressed and about one in ten had thoughts about suicide.
Obviously stress and managing time is a big issue for college students throughout the U.S.
If stress and time is such a big deal for these students, maybe this could be causing a rippling effect of sadness across campus.
“Time is a made up presentation to make people work. It is insignificant until we invented time. Time has the capability to make people happy or miserable. Everyone would be happier without it,” said Craig Johnson, majoring in civil engineering.
This leads one to wonder if students are getting so trapped in their daily schedules and glancing at their watches that they end up becoming overloaded and annoyed.
In fact, many students feel as though their days are redundant and task oriented rather than enjoyable.
“My schedule is always redundant. I wake up, eat, go to school, do homework, eat, sleep, and then wake up and do it all over again. The worst part is that I am so stressed and do not even know what I want to earn my degree in. I feel so stressed for being so young and I get a little discouraged about myself,” said student Rachael Shahi.
So what is it about time and managing it that makes students’ daily lives more frazzled?
Are most students so caught up in managing time and schedules that they forget what is truly important to them and what makes them happy?
Students are so worried about time, they seem to not be able to hang out, go on dates, make friends and enjoy their hobbies. Time management with school and work seem to be taking students away from what they love to do.
According to the Utah Counseling and Mental Health Center, CMHC, students that are typically stressed all the time are more likely to drink alcohol, become depressed and think negatively about themselves and their future.
Also, a majority of students stress symptoms include trouble concentrating, sleeping and finding motivation. This can also lead to students finding little motivation to do what they want and, in severe cases, lead to depression.
All but five out of the thirty students stated that they wish they were spending their time doing something else rather than what they are currently doing.
The up side
Even though many UW students seem a little annoyed with their time, not all of the students stated that they were miserable because of school and work.
A lot of students said that even though the stress is very intense with their daily lives, they know it will be worth it when they have a career that will support them.
“Even though my classes get to be irritating, I know they are helping me in the end. No matter what, I spend time during the day doing things I love to do. What is the point of life if I am not doing things and studying stuff I like? I always try to spend time how I want to spend it,” said Tyler Balsted, botany major at UW.
Many students also remind themselves to stay positive and not let worrying bring them down. A lot of students stated that they realize how much they do accomplish in a day instead of what they do not.
Some also stated that they use techniques with their friends to make sure they are having fun.
“My friend is very outgoing so I try to go out with her as much as possible. We make a goal to meet two people a week and we also try to watch a good movie every night before bed,” said Leighton Perea, studying music at UW.
In this ocean of campus anxiety, students are still managing to not let stress and time take over them. Many students stated that they admire the activities that UW provides along with concerts and sports the university offers.
“I really do love college. I am enjoying my time here. I just wish I had more time to enjoy my fun side rather than my grown up side,” said student June Leonhart.
*photo credit of the University of Wyoming
*photo credit of huffingtonpost.com