What Not to Do as a College Student

I pace around my private room I received after becoming a resident assistant (RA) this semester. Both sides are decorated, but one side is clearly more lived in than the other. My bed is messy from me sleeping in it for a quick nap since I can’t sleep like a normal person, or a regular college student with a full 15-hour course work. My laptop sits on my desk, surrounded by books from different literature classes that are wide open to different passages but remain neglected. I stop my pacing to stare at my computer screen, which is glowing brightly in the dim lighting of my room and showing me that I still have nothing for my essay.

The blinds to my window may be closed, but I know it’s dark outside, and I should be going to bed soon like everyone else in the dorm. However, not only is the first four pages of this rough draft due tomorrow morning for my Shakespeare class, but I’m not even tired and it’s almost 2 a.m. Thousands of possible opening sentences for my introduction are bumping around in my head along with the million-and-one things I have to do before I can even think about sleeping. I also have to take a shower and study for my American Literature class’s “exam 2,” even though it should be a normal test for the past three to four weeks of work we’ve gone over in class. In other words, the one day we meet per week to go over what we’re supposed to read and write 300 worded discussion answers on Canvas.

The joys of being an English Education major, or basically, being an English major period.

Even as I sit back down at my desk, listening to music to help get the creative juices flowing, my mind is still full of static. For the past five days, I have hardly gotten a full six hours of sleep; I know it’s probably my fault for staying up late to do homework until 3 a.m., then sleeping in until nearly 11 a.m., the next day. I’ve always been nocturnal, and during the semester, I don’t normally get a full night’s rest with all the reading assignments, essays, researching, editing for the newspaper, and projects. Though, the last time I stayed up until six in the morning was during the fall semester I took Advanced Comp. Worst semester ever.

I tap the keys to my laptop, glance to the corner of the screen to check the time (it’s 2:30 a.m.), and bob my head to the lyrics of my music. My eyes wander around the room, staring into space and procrastinating, but I just can’t concentrate. I feel trapped in here, the plain, dull white walls and the ‘80s carpet that has bleached stains from its previous occupant. Despite loving my job and my own room, I miss being able to go home every weekend like I used to. Almost 45 minutes away from my hometown of Greenwood, Miss., and I can only leave twice a month to visit family and friends. I may not be a state away or even hours from home, but being so close yet so far away is hard after a while.

I take a deep breath and switch the station on Pandora to a more soothing one for a little bit. Stress mixed with anxiety has finally led to a mild depression, and I can’t really say that being surrounded by drama yet again has helped ease my state of mind. Then again, if we want to devolve to gender stereotypes, girls are known for always being overly dramatic or starting drama nearly 24/7.

I roll my eyes at the thought as I grab one of my resources and switch tabs to look at my outline again. There’s a reason why I had a small circle of friends back in high school, though, the main reason for that was because the majority of my grade were jerks. Drama was like food to them and rumors were like dessert to most. I mean, high school, no matter where you go, is going to have rumor mill, bullies, and drama. I’d long ago accepted that when I was 13-years-old and just started sixth grade, but I knew bullies existed since elementary.

They say that “kids will be kids,” but do parents and teachers really understand what it means to be a kid anymore? Don’t they remember what it was like when a bully came and tortured them just because they were quiet, shy, or just different? In a lot of ways, I believe adults don’t really understand that just because “kids will be kids,” doesn’t mean they should let the bullying continue or the rumors/drama to go on. It’s pure laziness on their part and an unwillingness to get involve because it means the school’s image will be tarnished. Who gives a damn? A kid shouldn’t continue to live in fear or deal with the torture until they snap and decide that bringing a gun to school and killing all the ones who hurt him or didn’t help is a good idea. Kids will be kids, my ass. But, I digress.

Even while I’m (finally) typing the first sentence of my introduction, I can’t help think how ironic it is that I just wrote an article for The Delta Statement on sleep deprivation.