Setting boundaries can seem both necessary and impossible at the same time. Trying to balance 18 units with a 20-hours-a-week job and social events can easily become exhausting.
When one thing gets out of balance, it is just a matter of time before a domino effect begins, resulting into chaos when not handled properly.
With the millennial generation being the most stressed generation, students have a tendency to take on more than they can handle. Stress is the first factor in the domino effect.
“Day to day I tell myself I have to get so much school work done until I can go hang out with friends,” said Lauren Canby, junior liberal studies major. “When I don’t get school work accomplished, I find myself stressing out when hanging out with my friends because I know I have to stay up late and finish it because I made a bad decision in the first place.”
Stress leads to a lack of sleep. Many college students push off important deadlines and papers and end up pulling multiple all-nighters throughout the semester. However, sleepiness tends to be a negative effect of pulling those all-nighters.
When sleep is lacking, performance in school is likely to drop, too. Lack of sleep can cause drowsiness and an inability to pay attention in class. Stress, its symptoms and effects can cause the body to act in ways that it should not.
“When I have a lot of work it affects me physically and mentally,” said Tayler Qualls, junior nursing major. “Physically, it takes a toll on my body because I stay up doing homework and studying. Mentally, I feel as if it will never end, and I stress myself out when, in actuality, it’s not that bad.”
Qualls said she reached her breaking point while studying for the entry test to get into the nursing program. She found herself choosing between “things and people.” It was then that she realized the importance of prioritizing and setting limits.
“Some of the boundaries I set include trying to do the work in sections so I don’t have to do it all at once, allowing me time so that it wouldn’t be crammed,” she said.
Taking on too much during the school year can be an easy thing to do. Most students do not realize they are in over their heads until it is too late. But with the right mindset and foreknowledge of the consequences, students can evaluate their limits and set boundaries to alleviate their stress.
One does not have to stress when their focus is intact with their priorites.