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The Antelope

The Antelope

‘The best years of our lives’ feel more like a nightmare

Photo by Ryan Range Increased course loads as well as COVID-19 induced anxiety can contribute to student burnout.

College is supposed to be the best years of our lives. We are meant to make memories and friends that will last for the rest of our life. Although college can get very overwhelming and stressful, being able to have these good experiences make it all worth it — that is, when you’re not living through a pandemic.

Every day, I sit through each of my classes, some on Zoom and some in person, and it feels like the same day repeats over and over. I attend my classes, do my homework, spend a little time with my friends, then get up and do it again. As I continue this routine, I find myself losing any motivation to keep doing this. I ask myself if it’s worth it.

Assignments continue to pile up. Teachers continue to add more assignments without thinking about how the students are feeling or what they are going through. Even though we are paying for this, and we knew what we were signing up with by going to college, I never expected to be living like this. We didn’t go to college knowing that the things that make it enjoyable, would be taken away.

We need to be more transparent about the effect this pandemic is having on our mental health. The uncertainty and anxiety that so many students feel while waiting to get a text or call with orders to quarantine. The isolation and loneliness caused by staying away from large gatherings. The guilt of spending time with people, in order to stay happy, while potentially infecting someone in the process. The absolute draining feeling of going through this pandemic and election year while still keeping up with classes that are never ending. UNK has done a great job at keeping our students safe physically, but our mental safety is just as important.

We need to feel connected to each other to get through this. What gets most people through is seeing and spending time with the people they love. However, being unable to see our loved ones is what makes our situation worse and the semester so difficult. It’s draining feeling guilty about doing what’s best for our mental health.

We as students are trying, we really are. College is hard to begin with, but adding the stress of a pandemic to it can make it too much to handle.. Refusing to give up is a big accomplishment for us, so it’s important to have some grace and realize that we’re trying our best.

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