Editorial: No need to feel like a zombie

“Good grades, enough sleep and a social life. You can only have two in college, not all three.” This seems to be the idea that many college students, Rider students included, live by every semester. Midterms are finally over but finals have not yet begun, and it looks like it’s about that time when students get the most stressed out over everything on their plates.

We all go through stress on a daily basis. There’s the pressure to get a perfect score on a final exam, paper or project, because if we don’t, our final grade in a class could suffer. We could choose to get enough sleep, but then we won’t spend as much time on assignments as we should. Then, of course, there’s always the matter of finding time to balance friends and a job with everything else. With all of that in mind, it’s easy to see how the final weeks of the semester can drive some students to their breaking points.

Students should work hard and do their best, but in the long run, making time to relax and get away from the stress will do people more good than striving for perfection will.

Sleep is probably the most precious commodity there is to a college student. It’s one that we all need, but can never get enough of. Whenever the work starts to pile up, sleep is usually the first luxury to go. Students stay up later to get assignments done, cutting into the already limited time they have to rest.

We’ve all done it at least once: stay up until the early hours of the morning to complete an assignment, only to feel like a zombie the next day in class. Even though the work got finished, it’s harder to pay attention to what’s going on around us because we’re so focused on our exhaustion.

According to Robin Mansfield and Lynn Eiding, two of the nurse practitioners at Rider’s on-campus health center, extra stress and a lack of sleep are two factors that contribute to being more prone to illness, especially upper respiratory infections such as bronchitis or strep throat, and even the common cold.

Besides increased chances of illness, when students don’t get enough sleep, it leads to higher blood pressure, increased anxiety and a slight weight gain, according to a study done by Columbia University. Stress and a lack of sleep are not helpful or healthy for anyone and are two issues that need to be addressed.

There are plenty of ways to deal with the extra stress brought on by the end of the semester. First, estimate how long it will take to do any assignment, whether it’s reading a textbook or working on a final paper. Write out a schedule of when to start and finish the work, if necessary. Students should remind themselves that there will be enough time in the day to get everything done; it can help get through the work.

Students can also put a pause on working on projects to watch a movie with their roommate, listen to some music or even take a nap. It’s good to keep focused, but working for too long can actually make students do a worse job on projects than they would if they gave their brains a rest every now and then.

If all else fails, students can always talk to their professors if they find they are really struggling with getting an assignment done on time. Or, the more likely option, tell their friends how much trouble they are having. Having someone to talk to who can help students with their problems, or even just give a few encouraging words about how they will get through the difficult projects, can go a long way. There is no reason for any student to feel that he or she cannot get an assignment done or worry about having an emotional breakdown because of how much work is due.

The main thought that students should focus on is: this semester is almost over. There are now only two full weeks of classes to go, meaning it’s almost time for finals, and once those are over, students will go home for winter break and will hopefully be able to get the sleep they need, the time with friends they deserve and the break from stress they have earned. The spring semester will bring a fresh start, and students should use that to either continue their positive study habits or create new ones.


This weekly editorial expresses the majority opinion of The Rider News. This week’s editorial was written by the Opinion Editor, Angelique Lee.


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