For some reason, our generation seems to glorify studying hard. All-nighters, caffeine, and cramming for that quiz right before class. Sound familiar? Well, if it does and you find yourself dozing off to the lecture about Maxwell-Boltzmann distributions, let me tell you something: you’re being too hard on yourself. Not only are you exhausting your brain and your own physical health, but you are also doing no help to your academic performance by overworking yourself.
College is a time of changes, challenges, and character building. However, it’s also a time of pressure and profound self-development. Believe it or not, there’s no trophy for people who last longer in high pressure situations. You should never test your sense of mental health. It’s just too risky. Simply put, you shouldn’t compromise your mental health for the sake of your grades. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), around 80% of college students feel daily stress, an alarmingly high number. Anxiety is not to be taken lightly, as it is a taxing mental situation.
Now, I’m not saying that your grades are unimportant. What I mean is that you are your first priority. If you’re not feeling like yourself, take a break from everything. Kant can wait; you come first. Remember to establish a grounded support system to rely on. Don’t be afraid to reach out if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Especially with counseling services, QuestBridge Scholar Networks, and on-campus resources, you are never truly alone. Mental health goes hand in hand with good performance in academics, extracurricular activities, and your social life. So yes, get that good night’s sleep and be ready for tomorrow.
– Yeju Hwang, University of Chicago ’19