I recognize that nothing I say here will be new. But there are few unique insights into university student life that I would like to share, so I will do my best (at least) to make this interesting.
You know when you're little? And you want to carry 30 things, but you have these tiny hands, and LORD knows you're not taking more than one trip (we're just prepping for when we have to take the groceries in from the car). What do you do? You make a pocket out of your shirt and start placing all your toys in there. You're a damn genius right? RIGHT?! Wrong. Your mom is upset that your shirt is all stretched out, and as you're using one hand to hold up your shirt pocket, your second hand is trying to fit everything in there. And when you bend down to pick something up you keep dropping a stuffed toy or doll or action figure. This is university.
Every university student is a toddler trying to carry everything in their shirt. Or at least it feels like it. We keep piling things on. It starts with classes. Right now I'm taking 5. For three years now I've taken 5 or 6 classes every term which is a pretty dense course load (sit down engineering students, we get it). So five classes, and in sciences that means 10 midterms. If a term is only 13 weeks and count three at the beginning and three at the end that should be "midterm empty", that's about seven weeks for all 10 midterms. Not including assignments, papers or other wonderful bullshit that may rear its head throughout the term.
Of course, I want to blow off some steam after a long day of classes, so I start going out with my friends. Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays are bar nights - not all three every week, I have a liver. I grab a group of friends and shed some sorrows with a gin and tonic, the drink of champions. But here is problem #2: bars are expensive (all of Vancouver is expensive). Even if it's just coffee with your friends, Starbucks is eating my money left, right and center.
So it's time for me to get a job to replace the money I'm spending doing fun things. I try to pick up as many shifts as possible, but I'm still supposed to be studying because it's my friend's birthday on Friday and I have two midterms next week and a paper due Friday afternoon so I haven't got the chance to study yet.
All of this means you spend a lot of time sitting down, sitting at work, sitting in class and sitting in the library. So you try to get up to Whistler maybe once in a while, go for a walk here, and a yoga class there. Just to make sure you don't have a heart palpitation at 24 and can make it to graduation. (Let's be honest, this is usually last priority).
And then you have things that you just like to do. I'm in a sorority, so we have chapter meeting and mandatory events. It's not that big a hassle, because I get to hang out with my friends. But it still steals a little bit of time out of my day.
So now, along with eating, sleeping and fitting in a shower now and again, I'm studying, being social, working, attempting to work out and going to sorority stuff. I'm also writing music, booking shows and managing social media (and writing this post). So what do I do? I make a shirt pocket, a quick fix. I cut back on sleep this week. But when I empty my shirt out, it's stretched out and looks like garbage. And as I was stacking things up in my shirt I didn't realize that I dropped something trying to pick something else up (I dropped "exercise", it's always exercise).
Being in university is 4 years of "quick-fixes". Not always intelligent or helpful at all. We all try to fit all this stuff into our life-"shirt pocket". Stacking the resume, making the best of being young, but my lord we need more than 24hrs in a day. And this is just my schedule. I have friends who have taken on more than I have or reallocated space in their lives in ways that I've chosen not to. Take 3 classes and get a 2nd job. Don't be social and get better grades, but feel like crap because they're locked in a library.
Being a university student is super fun, but it's also super stressful. So if you have a university student in your life, give them a hug. Grab them a coffee (they need it). Tell them that they're doing well. They could stand to hear it every once in a while.
From me, with love, to you,