The faster you live, the sooner you die
// Marco Ferreira

High-stress shouldn't be an accepted mental state for students. It shouldn't be acceptable for anyone, as it comes with a myriad of health implications, some of them dangerous with long-term implications. As the Canadian unemployment rate rises and the job market gets shittier, most young people are guaranteed a hard climb to success, if success ever comes. So why do we keep at it? Is it worth it to juggle so many obligations at the expense of our personal lives? No, it isn't.

To take advantage of an easier living situation, students still living with their parents are encouraged to take as many courses as possible, usually four or five. Because of high tuition fees, many students living at home also work a parttime job. For those who have moved out and are still attending college, the high cost of living in Vancouver makes financial assistance necessary. To receive a student loan you must be a full-time student. Being a full-time student constitutes taking a minimum of three classes. A student loan will cover tuition and some living expenses but not all, so a part-time job is still a must. Teachers normally assign about an hour of homework for every hour of class time, so succeeding at school becomes a test of time management, one that affords little leeway for taking the night off to relax, let alone tending to other human needs.

No matter how diligent a student you are, it's a natural progression for most of us to begin the term organized, slip-up, procrastinate, and end up having to flash-write essays or cram study in the early hours of the morning. This stress will be, for many of us, the reality of the rest of our lives. S

upposedly if you work hard enough in school, you'll get a good job that you like, affording you a comfortable, rewarding life as a young adult. However, if you like your job, odds are that you will want to hold on to it. A study released by the Toronto-based Centre for Addiction and Mental Health last year reported that those who were more invested in their work, especially those in managerial or professional positions, experienced higher levels of work stress. Adversely, the study showed that if you were under the age of 25, were a single male and worked in a small business, your stress levels were lower. There are few university degree programs that promise an illustrious career as a retail clerk at a mom and pop shop, however this seems to be a healthier way to live.

The less we do, the more time we are afforded to find out who we really are. If time is not set aside to discover yourself, your life is simply toiled away doing what other people want you to do, rather than what is right for you and makes you happy. This isn't as much a rally against the confines of society, but more a criticism of the pace at which we encourage each other to live away what little time we have.

➽ Physical symptoms include headaches; muscle tension or other physical pain or discomfort; stomach problems or nausea, diarrhea or vomiting; loss of sex drive; rapid heart rate; high blood pressure; and fatigue.

➽ Cognitive symptoms include difficulty concentrating or thinking, memory problems, negativity or lack of self-confidence, constant worry and difficulty making decisions.

➽ Emotional symptoms include moodiness; low morale; irritability; feeling hopeless or helpless; feeling apprehensive, anxious or nervous; feeling depressed, unhappy or guilty; and feeling agitated and unable to relax. Stress can also trigger manic depression and other mental illness.

➽ Behavioural symptoms include changes in eating or sleeping patterns; social withdrawal; nervous habits such as nail biting, teeth grinding or foot tapping; increased use of caffeine, cigarettes, alcohol or other drugs; and neglecting family or work responsibilities, or experiencing a decline in performance or productivity.

Source: the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
// Marco Ferreira, Opinions Editor
// Illustration by JJ Brewis

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