OPINION: stress isn’t always worth the work it creates

Sometimes, a missed assignment is worth a nick to grades; letting go of projects that are more painful than they’re worth is better for the boost to your quality of life.


Through high school and into college, students are conditioned to believe stress is a necessity and a staple for academic success. Often, assignments intrude into students’ lives beyond a healthy point, eating up any semblance of free time.


Edwardsville is a beautiful place to explore and experience, with bike trails and its proximity to St. Louis. The problem is most weekends are consumed by homework and assignments for students living in an exciting new place.


The seemingly modern value of excessive work for meager benefit isn’t an international ideology, let alone one that our education system should continue to perpetuate. Stressed students can’t realize their full potential over the course of four plus years of headache-inducing work.


A general rule-of-thumb at SIUE cited by academic advisors is to dedicate at least two hours per credit hour every week. For many students, that turns out as at least 24 hours of study time every week, which is not exactly reasonable for most, especially if they’re employed.


European schools generally weigh depth against the U.S. focus on academic variety. For example, in Britain, students are evaluated mostly on their final exam scores, without a large number of filler assignments through semesters — essentially the polar opposite of most U.S. schools.


Many equally-developed countries have also kept their higher education free for citizens, or moderately priced. In the US, students not only often have a larger load of homework, but have to worry about tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt, for which they cannot even file for bankruptcy.


Students need to remember that despite numerous weekly deadlines, their artificial stress is not necessary to be successful in college or elsewhere. The old adage ‘Cs get degrees’ has stuck around for a reason. Getting 100’s or even 90's in every class isn’t worth the four years of life sacrificed to destructive amounts of homework and brain-racking.


According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, the employers hiring college graduates frequently seek students that have internships and employment during school on their resumes. GPA is mentioned at number 7 on that list — even less important than extracurricular activities.



If higher education students pay huge amounts to participate in this intensive work culture, their hard work and countless late nights should not be met with large amounts of loan debt or stress-related illnesses.


Decent grades are better than straight As if students are able to more fully experience college and the new places they have been exposed to. Students often forget: missing a homework deadline is usually OK — everything is going to be fine.


The fact that students have gotten this far — high GPAs or not — should mean something in and of itself.


Students should be encouraged by their academic institution to study, though in a healthy manner that prioritizes mental health. No one should feel pressured by a system that often pushes students to the breaking point; school work should rarely come in conflict with anyone’s well being.

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