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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Working yourself to death is no way to get through school

Another black cup of coffee goes down as the second hand sweeps past midnight too quickly, and I feel the deep purple circles scribble into black beneath my eyes.

Simply the credit load of a college student is already enough to put one in an unyielding frenzy of overlapping deadlines, memorization of varying topics, and cranking out lengthy homework assignments.

By the way, did you remember to read chapters three to seven last night?

The artist spends hours and hours beyond class periods to labor in the studio. The scientist pencils in uncredited time outside of their three hour labs to further tend to their experimental studies.

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Let’s also add a job or two in the mix, as well as student organizations because we need some sort of social life aside from Snapchatting under our desks in lecture.

It’s hard to balance our personal needs when we want to do it all and want to do it well, always.

However, I think it’s unrealistic to allow ourselves to believe we’re indestructible machines that can neglect sleep to satisfy perfectionism. Excessive caffeine and little sleep are not a great combo for the everyday grind.

When you step back and think about it, depriving your body of proper rest doesn’t just take toll on your ability to prevent nodding off in lecture and getting the death glare from your professor.

You’re looking at hormonal imbalances, compromising your immune system, the personal drama of body weight changes, and effectively stressing out a variety of vital organs.

While I was traveling out of town last summer, it finally hit me while pulling up to a drive-through coffeeshop around 7:30 p.m. and asking for a redeye with an extra shot.

I recall the woman saying, “Ma’am, espresso? Don’t you care about your pancreas?”

We laughed together at first, but my stomach flopped sharply realizing she was addressing a very real concern.

Acting as if you can stave off sleep forever and push forward on obscene amounts of caffeine can undoubtedly be detrimental to your health, yet I feel as though we’re led to believe it’s the only way to accomplish everything these crazy busy college years bring.

Meeting deadlines and managing our time wisely are crucial skills to take away from higher education endeavors without a doubt, but caring about our wellbeing should rank at least equally with our workload priorities.

The issue is there isn’t necessarily anyone there tapping on our shoulders to tell us to slow down or reconsider why so many tasks must be crammed at once. While some people are very in tune with their bodies, not everyone is as well-acquainted with the side effects that come with being overworked.

In order to stay sanely afloat in academia, learning to listen to our bodies will ultimately lead to better success in all parameters of our life.

When I’m getting a full eight hours of sleep at night, I instantly experience better moods, my body composition stays leaner, my grades are consistently higher, and I happily retain more knowledge altogether.

We might be independent adults now that make our own rules, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make a point to set a bedtime and unwind. The to-do list will still shrink, just maybe a few hours later than originally intended.

Bumping one task to the following morning won’t cripple your longterm goals if you keep your routine reasonably structured. Resisting your body’s natural rhythms however will affect your future.

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