College students crippling under insurmountable workloads

10:57 AM College Lawyer Blog 0 Comments

Tuesday, 1/19/16


The benefits of obtaining a college degree are undeniable.  It goes beyond the obvious benefits, such as further developing critical thinking skills and utilizing free thinking.  Earning a college degree opens up a myriad of doors that will forever remain closed to those with only a general education.

PBS reports that, approximately forty percent of working Americans hold a college degree.  Today, with college enrollment at an all time high, that number is destined to go up.  However, as that number grows, so does the number of students being diagnosed with depression and anxiety. 

The seemingly ever-growing workload is becoming insurmountable to some students.  Professors expect their students to read twenty plus pages and write commentaries on their readings between class sessions.  Multiply that with number of classes a student is registered in (usually 4-5) and it comes out to roughly one hundred pages plus writing, every two days.  This workload is expected to be balanced with maintaining employment and, if possible, maintaining a social life. It is a recipe for stress and students are crippling under the weight of it.

Those who lack sympathy for college students hold that this is the perfect way for time management and organizational skills to develop.  As good as it might sound, that is not what is happening.  Instead students are seeking treatment for the physical and temporal manifestations of their stress. These "disabilities" are being patched up with prescription drugs that these students may not even need. Nevertheless, students are patching themselves up with drugs, with or without a prescription. 

In regards to time management, the one thing that college students are willing to give up is sleep. Unfortunately, this is extremely detrimental as lack of sleep is proven to cause cognitive decline and a slew of other health issues such as depression and anxiety.  

As David Kupelian of WND writes, "for far too many young people, the college experience is annihilating their innocence big-time and thereby sowing within them tremendous inner conflict, anxiety, guilt, and self-loathing."

These intense workloads lead even the best of students to believe that they are incompetent, they begin to question themselves: How can I balance a career when I can't even balance homework?  How can I become successful if I do poor in school?  I was always a good student, why am I falling behind?  What if I am not the capable student that I think I am?  These self directed questions are the stepping stones into a downward spiral of anxiety and depression.

A student should never be pushed to the point that they are forced to question their character and classroom ability.  Academic rigor is important but it is even more important to ensure that that rigor is beneficial to students and that it is not supplementing their downfall.  In responding to these issues, institutions of higher learning suggest that students sacrifice their social lives before anything else.  Yes, it sounds ideal but it is not pragmatic.  Universities offer counseling programs and homework help centers to aid students that are dealing with the above issues but that is not enough.  They must work with their students to address the issue effectively and efficiently.

For students and parents that have encountered these issues or not, make sure that you are aware of the amenities that your university provides for its students.  Many colleges provide programs that are built to assist students and lessen the workload placed upon them.

Seth Canner
Assistant Editor-In-Chief
Levitt Law Firm, Law Clerk 
Tyler Webb
Levitt Law Firm, Senior Law Clerk 


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