In college, it is common to see people pulling all nighters to finish homework or studying until 4 a.m. preparing for an exam. Juggling so many things in our daily lives makes it even more impossible to avoid this.
College students have to participate in extracurricular activities, maintain a social life, and many times, we have to get a job. All of these are necessary in order to get into graduate school, start a career, or just to survive. It’s funny just how normalized, or even glorified, the culture of overworking is.
There is a notion that studying for longer hours means getting better grades or being successful. Overworking can lead to not only burnout but lower productivity (oh the irony…).
There are many conversations that go on on campus with people comparing how long they have studied, and everyone wants to mention how long they have gone without sleep. I myself have been a victim to this, studying for hours on end fueled by coffee and junk food diet. Despite the normalization and glorification, we can all agree how horrible we feel after staying up too late and how we deeply dread it.
There are many negatives effects of overworking ourselves. People that overwork themselves are at higher risks of heart attacks and strokes. Overworking yourself is never the best in the long run and the results are not worth it in any aspect of life.
The truth is that we all have an idea of the consequences of continuous late night studying but, we find it very difficult to control because of all the activities we need to fulfill. There are a few tips that I use in order to keep myself away from the overworking lifestyle.
It is important to say no to certain activities. You have to understand that you can not do everything and it is more effective to channel your energy to fewer activities and be successful at those.
Writing down things in a planner lets you set time aside for the things you need to do. I use an online planner to map out how my day would look. I usually do this early in the morning or the night before. Physical planners are also good if you prefer hard copies. The most important thing is that you have a place to write your plans and the particular times you plan to achieve it.
Take a rest! You will always have deadlines and tests to study for. If you don’t relax and refresh, you will have a tough time achieving maximum efficiency when it’s time to get to work.
Aisha Mohammed is a sophomore from Lagos, Nigeria, studying human biology.