Students running on empty

RACHEL ASTLEFORD Columnist

As college students, I think we can all relate to dark circles under our eyes, hardly any sleep and high stress levels.

Every major is difficult in its own way and we are all spread too thin sometimes. It’s especially hard if you’re involved in extracurricular activities such as sports or clubs. You just sit there in class and think to yourself, “when am I going to eat next?” or “I can’t remember the last time I slept for eight full hours.”

We’re only human. There are going to be days when we just can’t perform our best, whether it be academically or athletically.

That’s still one of the hardest things for me to grasp.

I sometimes expect too much of myself and if I’m running on no sleep and no food, how am I supposed to function and be at my best?

I simply can’t.

We lower the quality of our performances because we’ve given too much of ourselves to be able to even function right.

I’ll be honest. My freshman year was a breeze for me. Most of my classes were general education courses and I didn’t struggle very much. Don’t get me wrong, I worked hard, but nowhere near as hard as I work now.

This year is different. I consider myself lucky if I get four to five hours of sleep a night. I’m lucky if I eat three meals during the day. But it’s not like I’m the only one. I watch my roommate struggle with the same issues. I know several of my friends who are in the same boat. Honestly, it’s become normal to run on empty.

The saddest thing has been that I’ve been tempted to lower the quality of my work, both in the classroom and on the track, just to get by. I’m tempted to settle for less than my best.

Running on zero energy can be dangerous. Our physical health and mental health can both be negatively affected. It’s a problem we all deal with. I know I’m not the only one dealing with this problem, so what can we do?

We need to celebrate every little success.

You got an A on your last chemistry quiz? Celebrate.

You got through the whole week without missing a class? Do a happy dance.

You got a new personal record in the weight room? Scream about it.

It may sound dumb to celebrate the little things, but how else can we expect to survive? That’s how we get through not only college, but life. I guess we just need to remind ourselves that it’s OK to celebrate the small successes.

After all, isn’t it the small successes that lead to the tremendous ones?

Rachel Astleford is a nutrition & dietetics major at SDSU and can be reached at [email protected]